Drain Snake vs Drain Auger: Which one is better?
A drain snake is a small tool used to remove water from a pipe or other opening in order to prevent damage to the plumbing system. A drain auger is a larger device used to cut into pipes or other openings in order to extract water from them. Both types of devices are designed for different purposes, but they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantage of a drain auger is that it allows you to get at the water inside the pipe without damaging it. If you don’t want to spend time drilling through your house, then a drain auger might be just what you need. However, if you do plan on digging around your home, then a drain snake may be more suitable for your needs because it will allow you access deeper into the wall where there may not otherwise be any place to go.
Another benefit of a drain snake is that it can be used to reach places where a regular drain would be too large or difficult to work with. For example, you could use a drain snake to make repairs in the basement so that your bathroom doesn’t flood when the rain does come. You could also use a drain snake for drainage around your kitchen sink if you don’t want to dig out all the plumbing fixtures there.
The main advantage of a drain auger is that it can go deeper than most snakes, especially if you’re working in soil or sand instead of the typical clay and concrete. This means that you can access water from underground sources more easily. Also, drain augers are often useful for cutting tree roots. If you have a tree nearby and it keeps sending its roots near your pipes, the head of a drain auger may be able to cut through the root system and allow water to drain properly.
Another advantage of drain augers is that they are useful for other purposes such as installing fixtures. If you’ve got a broken fixture in your home or you need to replace one, a drain auger can make the job much easier. Instead of having to dig up the floor or tear out drywall, you can drill right through it without causing any major damage in your home.
Drain snakes are ideal for use in the outdoors or in other places where digging is inconvenient or impossible. It’s also more suitable for use in places with looser soil or sand instead of just clay and concrete. Still, drain snakes are only suitable for shallow areas, so you shouldn’t expect to clear an entire pond with it.
Drain snakes come in a variety of diameters and lengths depending upon your needs. Most basic snakes can reach depths of up to 10 feet, but professional grade models can extend as far as 80 feet. They usually have an adjustable cable coil inside that allows you to adjust the length, but you’ll need tools to do this. Most snakes are made from a flexible plastic material that’s resistant to most chemicals and can withstand up to 500 pounds of weight.
Drain snakes are very easy to use. The only thing you need to do is lower one end into the water while holding onto the other end. Be careful not to let go of it because it will quickly drop to the bottom of whatever you’re draining and you might not be able to get it back out. If you have a long snake, you’ll need help from someone else to lower the one end into the water source while you hold onto the other end.
You can then slowly pull it out of the water as it goes down and clears the pipe.
Drain snakes are very affordable and can be found in many hardware stores for a low price. They’re particularly good for clearing clogs that are only a few feet deep because they can be pushed down into the pipe and the water will then easily flow through it. If you don’t have a big clog, then this is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go.
You’ll want to make sure that you get your drain snake out of the pipe before you refill it with water, otherwise it will just fill up with water again as soon as it’s turned on. If you want to keep the water from draining out, then get a plug or a wire mesh instead.
Drain snakes are handy for clearing clogs that are only a few feet deep since they can easily be pushed into the pipe. They can even be used to cut tree roots that might be growing near your pipes if they’re not too far down. If the clog is any deeper than that, then you’re going to need a different solution.
Combination tools are great if you only need to use them for a limited number of times. You might only need to unclog one drain or you might need to do all of them, but either way these tools give you the versatility you need without having to buy a bunch of different devices.
One type of combination tool is essentially a bunch of cable wires attached to a handle. These are designed in such a way that they can easily go through almost anything. You just have to push it into the pipe until you feel resistance and then pull it back out. Because there’s a bunch of cable wires attached to the handle, you’ll be able to pull out whatever is clogging the pipe.
Another type of combination tool is a small hand saw blade attached to a long handle. This is very similar to the cable wire models, except this uses a hand saw instead. The benefit of this type is that you can cut through just about anything without the need to push cables through first. The downside is that you do have to carry around a saw blade and it’s easy to accidentally cut through the pipe if you’re not careful.
One last type of combination tool is a set of magnets on a stick replacing the handle. These are for getting rid of pesky metal items in your pipes such as pennies, jewelry or even metal pieces of garbage. Basically anything that isn’t wood or plastic. Using a set of magnets to grab the metal objects and then pulling them out of the pipe is much easier than having to use a pair of pliers.
Combination tools are handy if you need to clear multiple clogs without having to repeatedly purchase new tools each time. These are also great if you primarily have issues with certain types of clogs since they can be designed for specific problems.
There is one important thing you should know about using any of these tools no matter what type you decide to go with and that’s how to properly use them. It isn’t as simple as just shoving it down the drain and moving it around until you feel something give. You can seriously damage your pipes if you don’t know what you’re doing so make sure to follow any instructions that come with the tool or do a quick internet search for whichever one you decide on.
All of these tools are great ways to clear even the toughest clogs, but only if you know how to use them properly. With the wide range of choices available to you, you should be able to find one that’s not only going to do the job, but is also within your price range and meets all of your needs.
Check For Leaks Regularly
No matter how well you care for your plumbing, eventually all of your residential or commercial pipes are going to start developing leaks. It happens to the best of them, but it’s just a fact of life that you’re going to have to prepare yourself for eventually. One of the good things about knowing that they’re going to start leaking is that you can be proactive about stopping a small leak before it becomes a big problem.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is remove any water from the immediate area around where the pipe is leaking. This can be done with a wet/dry vacuum, towels, a bucket or just your hands. The goal here is to make sure you don’t have a big puddle forming which could result in mold or other types of damage. Next you’ll want to locate the leak itself and begin tightening all of the fittings that the pipe connects to.
This is just like when you have a dripping faucet and you need to twist the knobs to stop the drip. In this case however, you may need to call a professional if you can’t find the right knob to turn or if nothing seems to help.
Of course you can always choose to ignore small leaks as long as they don’t seem to be getting worse. The disadvantage to this is you may end up with damage occurring somewhere else in your home, which could be even more expensive to fix. If you do choose to ignore it for now, at least make sure you have the leak located and know where to tighten the fittings if you need to address it later.
Taking care of your residential or commercial plumbing is an important job that can be time consuming and expensive, but there are ways to cut down on these costs. By focusing on preventative maintenance you can ensure that you’re not going to suffer any costly and out of the blue breakdowns in the future. Just think, all of that time you would have spent cleaning and fixing things could be put to better use!
Benjamin Lewis writes for National Home Comfort. They are a company that provides high quality installation, repair and maintenance of various HVAC products.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Drum auger (JB Wildauer, MJ Daciw, R Carl, CA Patterson… – US Patent …, 2013 – Google Patents)
- Drain cleaning apparatus having remote power feed (AA Silverman – US Patent 6,470,525, 2002 – Google Patents)
- Tool for removing obstructions in pipes. (LA Cornelius – US Patent 984,473, 1911 – Google Patents)