Which Plumbing Snake?

What type of plumbing snake is suited to which type of job? With a variety of makes, models and types of plumbing snakes available, it's important to choose the right drain auger for your job. This article will discuss the various jobs you may need to tackle using your plumbing snake and the type which is best suited to each job.

Clearing Clogged Toilets:

A water closet auger (also called a closet auger, toilet auger or toilet snake) is a special kind of plumbing snake specifically designed for clearing clogged toilets. It is shorter and more rigid than other drain augers, it is bent to allow access into the u-bend of the lavatory and it has a protective cover over the rod or cable. The protective cover is intended to prevent damage to delicate porcelain surfaces of most toilet fittings.

Clearing Clogged Basin or Shower Drains:

A hand auger (or hand spinner) is another kind of plumbing snake designed to clear clogged basin or shower drains. It consists of a cable with a handle at one end and an auger head at the other. It is normally longer than a closet auger and therefore has a longer reach. It is normally not quite as rigid. A variation is a model that fits on a power drill. Instead of turning the auger by hand, the motor of the power drill turns the auger head.

Clearing Tree Roots From Blocked Sewers:

A heavy duty sewer snake or plumbing snake is required for this job. It consists of a much longer, thicker cable, and is powered by its own electric motor. Some also have a drum the hold the cable. These larger models have a detachable auger blade designed for cutting through tree roots and other major obstructions. Care should be take with these more powerful units as plumbing can easily be damaged. If in doubt, a professional should be called in to handle these larger jobs.

Read more about plumbing snakes and drain snakes.