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How to Buy a Drain Snake

10 min read


Drain Snakes for DIYers Table

Benefit Value
Versatile Drain snakes can reach hard to reach places to help clear pipe blockages from any size.

| |Cost-effective| Easily available and can be purchased for a low cost compared to plumber costs.| |Easy to use| Quick and simple way to unclog drains with minimal effort and experience required.

| |Saves time| Using pieces of equipment with long reach can save time and money in the long run.|

Owning a drain snake is a must-have for any home DIYer.

It’s versatile, cost effective, easy to use and saves time.

This tool is perfect for clearing pipe blockages and it can be used in places that can’t be reached with regular clogging instruments.

Plus, the cost of purchasing a drain snake is far less than hiring a plumber.

Finally, because drain snakes are so simple to use, any homeowner can handle the job.

All in all, the advantages of owning a drain snake make it an essential item for all DIYers.

Defining the Drain Snake

A drain snake is a must-have tool for anyone dealing with a clogged drain.

It’s a long, flexible tool that is inserted into a drain to get rid of any blockage in pipes or drains.

It’s also known as a drain auger and it can be used for a variety of plumbing jobs.

The end of a drain snake usually has a cutting head to break down tough clogs.

The tool is easily operated and available in a range of sizes to suit different plumbing needs.

It can even be used to clear out stuck debris from the pipes.

With a drain snake, you can work quickly and safely to restore your clear flow of water.

Our Goal

Our goal is to provide readers with the knowledge and information they need to safely and effectively use a drain snake in a home DIY project.

We want to help readers learn about the different types of drain snakes, how to choose one and how to use it properly without causing damage.

With our helpful advice, readers will be able to pick the right tool for the job, make sure they use it correctly, and avoid any unnecessary hassles.

What Sets Drain Snakes Apart


Drainsnakes offer several advantages over other methods of unclogging drains.

For starters, they can reach deep into a blocked pipe and use its long, flexible head to break apart the blockage.

They can also reach places where other tools cannot, such as around bends in a pipe.

Drainpipes are also more effective than plungers or chemical cleaners because they are specifically designed to snake through a confined space without damaging it.

They are also unlikely to get stuck in the pipe or cause any damage along the way.

Finally, they are far easier to use than traditional methods, making them a great choice for amateur handymen.

How Drain Snakes Work

Drain snakes are simple tools that work to clear clogs from plumbing systems.

They consist of a long, flexible cable with a specialized auger head on the end.

The cable is inserted into the drain, then fed through until it reaches the blockage.

The auger head is then used to break up the blockage, allowing materials to move freely once again.

To prevent scratches to pipes, the auger is often covered with a series of prongs or bristles that turn away from the walls of the pipe while digging through the clog.

The end result: clog free pipes and free-flowing drainage that restore plumbing systems to their optimal functioning.

Features to Look For

When shopping for a drain snake, there are certain features to look out for.

First, consider size.

You want a snake that’s the right size for the job.

If it’s too small or too large, it won’t do the job correctly.

Second, you’ll want to check the shape of the snake’s head.

It should be curved for easy maneuvering.

Finally, make sure the snake is made of durable, corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel.

These features help ensure the drain snake will have a long life and won’t get worn down over time.

All these features should be taken into account when buying a drain snake.

When to Use a Drain Snake

Common Applications

A drain snake is a useful tool for many plumbing projects.

It can be used in a variety of contexts to remove obstructions from drains, pipes, and other cramped spaces.

A common use case is when a clog is too far down the drain for a plunger to be effective.

Another popular use is when a sink or bathtub drain has hair or soap suds that form a sticky clog that’s impossible to remove.

They can also be used to remove items that have fallen down the drain.

Finally, the snake can be useful in opening slow or clogged sewer pipes.

It should be noted that a drain snake is not suitable for all types of jobs, and it’s important to assess each situation appropriately.

Drain Snakes In Your Workshop

When working on DIY repairs in your workshop, it can be a good idea to use a drain snake.

These can be helpful for unclogging sinks, bathtubs, toilets, showers, and other drains.

They can also be used to cut through materials like plastic and metal pipe.

A drain snake can substitute for other workshop tools and can even be used in combination with them, like with a plumbing auger.

Not only that, but a drain snake offers improved control and can be more precise when working in the tight spaces of a workshop.

For those working on DIY repairs in their workshop, a drain snake is a great tool to have on hand.

Techniques and Tips

To ensure success with your plumbing project, here are a few tips when using a drain snake: First, make sure to check what type of drain your snake is designed for.

Depending on the severity of the clog, you may be able to use a hand snake or a large power snake.

Second, depending on the size of the pipe, it may be necessary to attach other pieces to the snake to ensure it will fit properly.

Third, select the right auger bit.

Depending on the material, you may want more tightly wound coils to break up tough clogs.

Finally, be aware of potential plumbing damage from snaking.

Don’t leave the auger in the pipe too long, or try to force it too far.

What To Look For In A Drain Snake

Drain Snake Options

Drain snakes come in various shapes and sizes and it is important to know what type of task you need it for.

Straight snake augers are good for clearing out pipes with very few bends and curves.

A closet auger is ideal for toilets while a power auger is best for longer runs and bent pipes.

A sink auger is good for removing blockages from kitchen sinks.

Knowing the specific type you need for your job will help you choose the right drain snake.

If you are not sure, consult with someone knowledgeable before making a purchase.

Additionally, a flexible drain snake may be able to reach around tight bends.

Choosing the Right Drain Snake

Finding the right drain snake for your needs depends on the job.

If you are unclogging a slow or backed-up drain, a manual drain snake will do the job just fine.

When you have clogs further down the line, you will need a power drain snake to get the job done.

You may also need to consider the diameter of the clog, as different drain snakes are built with different sized cables.

Ask yourself how often you’ll be using the drain snake, and choose one with a bit of extra reach as well as the correct amount of power.

Make sure that the snake fits your type of drain, as some require special tools.

Depending on the snake you have chosen, you may also need some chemicals to help you break down the clog.

With these considerations in mind, you’ll be able to find the right drain snake for your needs.

Brand Reliability

When looking for reliable brands of drain snakes, go with those with a history of quality products and satisfied customers.

One option is the Ridgid drain snake, known for its durability and power.

Another great choice is Cobra, which provides a wide variety of tools for the professional plumber and do-it-yourselfer.

For pace and precision, the Milwaukee Drain Snake comes well-recommended.

Lastly, the General Wire Spring Company offers an extensive collection of tools and augers that are designed to unclog pipes reliably.

Safety Measures and Precautions


When using a drain snake, a few common troubleshooting problems may arise.

Firstly, the serpentine cable may be stuck in or otherwise unable to enter the pipe.

To fix this, the pipe may need to be unclogged or the cable manually pushed forward.

Secondly, the cable may become jammed inside the pipe.

This can be fixed by reversing direction of the crank handle to remove the cable.

Thirdly, the snake may not be able to make a proper connection with the clog.

To fix this, you may need to remove some additional material or carefully adjust the position of the snake’s head.

If none of these solutions work, contacting a professional plumber may be necessary.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular maintenance of a drain snake is essential for top performance.

After each use, be sure to rinse off the snake to remove debris.

Then, use a damp cloth to wipe down each end, paying special attention to the traps, clamps, and the cable roller.

Lubricate the cable as needed, to keep it from sticking or fraying.

Check to ensure that all components are securely tightened.

Make sure the cable can move freely.

Inspect the entire snake for any signs of damage and replace damaged parts.

Finally, store the drain snake in a cool, dry place.

Following these maintenance steps can keep your drain snake running efficiently.

Staying Safe

When using a drain snake, it is important to stay safe.

Always wear work gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes.

Make sure the area you are working in is kept clean and clear of items that may cause tripping or stumbling hazards.

Do not use the drain snake around any water sources, as this increases the risk of electric shock.

Do not use the snake in places without ample ventilation, as fumes might cause dizziness and possible fainting.

Finally, always remember to unplug your snake before detaching it from the source of power.


Buying Your Drain Snake

Buying a drain snake doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult.

It’s important to consider the cost, size, and type of snake you want for your needs.

If you want a flexible snake, be sure to find one that fits the size of your drain.

Take into account how much space you have to work with and consider how easy and safe the snake will be to use.

Make sure you read reviews and remember to factor in the cost of replacement parts.

Lastly, consider if a manual or powered snake is better for your project.

With these guidelines in mind, you’re now ready to buy the perfect drain snake.

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