You might know a drain auger as a drain snake. But, they are not the same thing.
An auger is a long tool that resembles a snake. It is mainly used to remove blockages in toilets or drains.
A manual drain auger is a perfect tool to use for removing blockages because they have a rubber shield exterior. This protects your drains and toilets from getting abrasions.
Besides being a very helpful tool for cleaning pipes and drains, it can also be used to clean out flowers, and bathtubs.
But to get the most out of this incredibly useful tool, you first need to know how to use a manual drain auger.
Don’t worry, here you’ll find all that you need to know about Drain augers, starting from construction to the user guide. So without further delay, let’s get started!
Why Does A Drain Pipe Clog?
Drain clogs are a very common phenomenon in indoor plumbing. Most of the clogs can be easily avoided with frequent plunging. But, some clogs are quite hard to get rid of.
The main reason why a drain inside your home will clog is because of the build-up of hair, dirt, skin flakes, and even soap scum. These can easily make their way to the drain through your bathtub or shower drains.
Another reason why your drains might clog is if you have flushed anything that is non-flushable down the toilet. For example- feminine hygiene products, wet wipes, or even cotton swabs.
Kitchen drains can get clogged when you pour fats, grease, or oil down the sink.
What Is A Manual Drain Auger?
A manual drain auger is a very slim, and long wire structure that can fit into any type of drain hole.
One end of the grain auger is pushed into the drain and then turned to get a hold of the debris that is clogging the pipe.
It is a device used for unclogging pipes at home without having to pay for professional help. Unlike an electronic drain auger, a manual one needs to be turned using manual force. It does not turn automatically.
Nowadays, there are a lot of different kinds of drain augers available in the market. Some are automatic while some are not. Drain snakes are also quite popular for unclogging drains.
How Can You Prevent Drain Clogs?
There are a lot of ways through which you can unclog a drain. But isn’t it better if you avoid the clogging from happening in the first place? Here are a few things that you can try doing to prevent this issue from happening.
1. Use A Sink Strainer
If your kitchen pipe is clogged, you can use a sink strainer and put it on top of the drain. This strainer will catch any small pieces of food, dirt, debris, and hair from going down the drainpipe.
2. Don’t Flash Objects That Are Not Flushable
Try not to put anything that is not supposed to go down the drain through your toilet or sink.
Don’t flash any cotton pads, feminine hygiene products, or cotton swabs through the toilet. Also make sure that other kinds of debris, such as wallboard compound or plaster, or any large pieces of food do not make their way through the sink.
3. Use The Garbage Disposal Properly
When you run the garbage disposal, pour cold water through it. Pour a huge amount at high speed down the drain so that anything that is stuck in the garbage disposal is pushed down. It is a great way to flush the garbage disposal to get rid of any dirt and debris.
How To Use A Manual Drain Auger? Guide
If you want to get the most out of your manual drain auger, you first need to know how to use it properly.
1. Insert The Drain Auger
The first thing that you need to do is grab your drain auger and insert the end into the drain. If your drain has any sort of strainer or grill, you have to remove it first.
2. Turn The Handle Of The Drain Auger
Then, you have to slowly push down the drain auger to the pipe and rotate it clockwise. Go in a very slow motion, don’t rush.
When you reach the clog, you will feel a slight resistance.
3. Pull Out The Blockage
Once you feel resistance, keep on rotating the auger. The auger will try and get a hold of it.
When you are sure that the auger has caught the blockage, pool it out in a straight motion.
4. Run water
After this, run water at full force down the drain. This will help flash any clog that was not caught by the auger.
It is a safe measure to run the water for a minute straight.
Some Other Common Ways To Clear Drains
One of the most popular ways for clearing a drain clog is plunging. But, here are a few other options that are worth trying out.
1. Taking Apart The U-pipe
If the clog is very hard to clear, you can try taking apart the u-pipe. This is a very drastic method, and should only be used for drain plugs that are very difficult to plunge.
The u-shaped pipe is often placed underneath a kitchen or bathroom sink. This is so that the clog in the u-pipe does not clog the entire draining system of your house.
Take apart the u-pipe and unclog the drain by scraping out the dirt and grime. The dirt and grime can only be scrubbed out of the u-pipe if the clog is in a location near to the part of the plumbing.
If the clog is deeper, you will have to call in a professional as you won’t be able to reach the clog by yourself.
You should only try out this method if you are sure that you can take apart the u-pipe and put it back together perfectly.
2. Hand Plungers
As we have mentioned before, hand plungers are one of the most effective ways to unclog your drain.
Get your hands on a very good quality hand plunger, and use it to create a tight seal and suction around the drain.
Move the handle in an up and down motion, and the dirt and grime inside the pipe will be forced to go down. This way, the drain clog is cleared completely.
3. Home Remedies
You can also try home remedies to clear small drain clogs. One of the most effective ways to do this is by pouring baking soda, salt, and vinegar down the drain.
Let the mixture go down the drain and sit for at least 12 hours. Then, pour very hot water down the drain. This will unclog any grease, food debris, and dirt from the pipe, and will ultimately unclog the drains.
If you have poured down oil and grease down the drain, you can also try pouring dishwashing liquid down the pipe. A more aggressive approach is using a straightened-out wire hanger to unclog the drains manually.
This method works great for bathroom drains. You can create a hook using the wire hanger and unclog the drains by pulling out any stray pieces of hair that have made their way down the drain.
Tips And Tricks To Make Drain Unclogging With Augers More Effective
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when using a drain auger if you want to get full advantage.
1. Twist The Drain Auger Properly
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that you need to twist the drain auger like a corkscrew. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get all of the dirt and debris out.
Pushing the drain auger up and down the pipe will only get rid of a very small amount of clogging. That is why you must follow the right motion to unclog the pipes completely.
2. Do Not Use The Drain Auger To Frequently
You should only use the drain auger when you know that the drain has been severely clogged. Otherwise, you should use drain opening solutions.
Using the drain auger too often can damage the insides of the pipes. Especially if you do not know the structure too well, using the drain auger too much can cause more damage than any good.
3. Do Not Use The Auger If The Clogging Is Complicated
If you find that the clogging is very complicated, and you do not understand the main cause of the blockage, you should not use the drain auger on the pipe.
Sometimes, jobs are better left to the professionals.
If you start unclogging the pipe on your own without having much knowledge about it, you could cause a lot of damage to your entire plumbing system.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is The Difference Between A Drain Auger And A Drain Snake?
A drain auger is a tool used to unclog drains, and so is a drain snake. But a drain auger is much thicker than a drain snake.
A drain auger can be used on pipes that range from 1.5 inches to 3 inches wide. Drain snakes are much thinner in construction.
2. Which One Is Better Between A Drain Opening Solution And Manual Mechanical Equipment?
The answer to this question depends on the type of clog that you have. If the drain clog is not too severe, it can be opened using a solution. You can also use homemade vinegar and baking soda solutions to unclog pipes.
If the clog is too severe, a drain opening solution might not work. You will have to use manual mechanical equipment such as a drain snake or a drain auger to get rid of that clog.
Therefore, it can be said that the manual drain auger or any other manual mechanical equipment is more effective than a drain cleaning solution.
3. Can A Manual Drain Auger Damage Your Drain Pipes?
If you don’t want to damage your drain pipes, you first have to know the structure of the pipe.
When using the manual drain auger, you will feel resistance. This resistance could be because of the dirt and debris, or because the auger has reached the surface of the pipe.
If the pipe is curved and the auger has reached the surface, and you still keep on pushing it down, you could damage the structure of the pipe.
Otherwise, there is no possibility of the auger scratching or damaging the inside of the pipes.
4. Which Drain Snake Will Be The Right One For You?
Before you start using a drain snake, you need to first choose the right one. There are a lot of different drain snakes in the market. You can buy an expensive power auger or a manual drain auger.
Electronically powered drain augers are very easy to use. They are also made for pipes of all sizes. But, they are not the perfect choice for pipes and drains that are shorter. If you are on a budget, and your pipes are smaller, a manual drain auger will be better for you.
Also, try to get a drain auger that has a coil or screw-type head if you plan on pulling out dirt and debris. However, if you want to break through the dirt and debris, you need a cutting head drain snake.
Now that you know how to use a manual drain auger, you won’t have any trouble unclogging your drains at home. But you should always know when you can use at-home solutions, and when you need to call in a professional.
If you do not understand the depth of the block, it is always better to call in for professional help as trying out at-home solutions can cause more damage than any good.
But, if the block is not too complicated and small, you can easily get rid of it by using a manual auger!