Home Drain Snaking – What Is a Handheld Drain Auger?

Handheld Drain Auger Definition

Drain snakes (or augers) are stiff cables with weighted tips that can snake down your household plumbing, busting up or even extracting any obstruction they encounter. The smaller handheld tools are suitable for clearing clogs in drains in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry, garage and workshop, or pool and patio drainage.

Because a backed up or slowly flowing drain is one of the most irritating potentially most damaging, in terms of property, household emergencies, and because a plumber’s bill can easily run into the hundreds for off-hours visits, an inexpensive tool like a handheld drain auger usually makes up its own cost in its first use. Large or active households will find many uses for their drain spinner, particularly models small enough to allow use without requiring removal of stoppers or straining plates.

Different Snake Designs

Designs will vary in spooling out the cable; some are pistol-gripped devices while many larger core drain snakes are simply loosely coiled. Most handheld drain augers of the smallest size available with metal cables come with a spool that can be rotated along with the cable. This drum shaped housing can sometimes be attached to a cordless drill for power rotating. Smaller tools, seen on TV, are made of plastic and too short and flimsy for serious work. True drain snakes will have at least 1/4 inch metal cables of up to 25 feet in length. They are versatile enough to get down a bathtub overflow drain, but strong enough to handle any blockage they encounter.

Drain Snakes and Closet Augers

Do not use these smaller drain snakes on a toilet. The narrow cable can easily become tangled in the wide toilet drain, and if a knot forms beyond reach, you are stuck with an incredible restoration to get it out. This is a rookie move, don’t do it. Only use snakes designed for commodes, called closet augers, on toilets. The design of closet augers makes them safe for use on toilets.

Safety Comes First

And safety always should be a primary concern. While your handheld drain auger is safe for use on other drains in the house, be aware the heavy cable head and rough metal cable can easily damage other fixtures. Use an old washcloth over the area to prevent scratching any porcelain or chrome in your workspace. Eye protection is advisable, because there can be some splashing of dirty water and filth.

Clear That Clog

Drain snakes may be even easier to use than a plunger! Always follow your owner’s manual instructions, but there isn’t much to the basic principles. Extend the cable down the drain, rotating, backing up and moving forward around corners, until you get the impression you have cleared the clog. Standing water should flow away; often you will hear a gurgling noise as the blockage comes clear. Flush fresh water down the drain as you remove the cable back onto its spool, washing it clean then dry with a towel before storage.

Where to Get a Handheld Drain Auger

If you have a few moments to make your drain snake purchase decision, then do some online research. For drain auger product reviews, visit uncloggingdrains101.com.