You may have heard drain snakes being referred to as drain augers or plumber’s snakes but, whatever you call it, it’s all the same tool! Many prefer them over plungers but they can come with more risks. If you aren’t familiar with using one you could rip pipes or puncture them, creating leaks.
Don’t fret or call out on a plumber yet though, we have all of the advice you need to complete the job efficiently and effectively (along with the best drain snake to buy).
What is a Drain Snake?
In short, this tool is used to unblock clogs from kitchen sinks, bathrooms, showers, toilets, and as previously stated, works a lot better than your standard plunger. It has a simple yet effective formula that enables it to clear obstructions from the pipes without much effort from you (as long as you know what you’re doing).
How do you use a Drain Auger?
To ensure you don’t damage your pipes, make sure to read this section carefully! Assuming you are working on a bathroom sink, utility sink, or kitchen sink:
- Ensure you are wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. It may become fairly messy.
- Remove the p-trap (curved pipe under the sink). This step is purely optional however you can remove quickly with your hands or a wrench. It might be a good idea to do this in any case and give it a good clean.
- Remove the trap arm (sits between the p-trap and the wall pipe). Again, this part is optional too but it will help you get as close to the drainpipe as possible. However, if yours is glued on (i.e. there is no nut to loosen) leave it alone.
- Once removed, take a peek inside, if you catch sight of the blockage, try taking it out from here. If that isn’t possible, it is snake time.
- Put the auger head end into the pipe. If you removed the trap, start at this end but if you didn’t, insert the head directly into the drain. Be careful not to force it in too hard — have patience!
- Start rotating the handle at a steady, medium pace. Once you feel pressure, you will know you have hit the blockage.
- When you reach the obstruction, move the head up, down, back and forth to break it up as much as possible. If scraping sounds occur you will need to stop and realign everything.
- Stop when there is no longer any resistance.
- Pull it out and put your sink back together (if you removed the trap arm and p-trap).
- Check the sink for any further signs of blockage.
What Should You Look For When Buying a Drain Snake?
In order to buy the drain snake that will be the best fit for you and your home, there are some aspects to think about.
The length of the snake is important and they can range from 25 feet to 100 feet (you will not need one that is between the lengths of 75 and 100 feet, these are the big boys that only the professional plumbers play with!). If you are wanting one for your sink drain, then you will be absolutely fine with the 25 feet option (as long as the clog is small with minimal build-up).
Hopefully, you won’t be needing to unclog drains all that often but, we recommend you searching for one that is durable in any case. Why? Well, then you will only need to buy one once in a blue moon — what a win-win situation! Depending on your location a house call from a plumber can cost at least $150 for the visit. This will pay for itself in one use!
Finally, decide whether you would like to invest in an automatic one or stick with a manual. In our experience, we prefer one that does it for you. And no, that’s not us being lazy! Drain snaking is actually far safer and a lot more effective when you use an automatic one.
Features and Benefits of The TACKLIFE Drain Snake
In our opinion, the best drain snake to buy is the TACKLIFE 25ft Drain Snake. Why? Take a look at these features and to find out:
- Large load-bearing capacity making it more efficient than other makes and models
- Is suitable for use on numerous drains including bathroom sinks, bathtubs, shower drains, downspouts, utility sinks and kitchen drains
- Includes a flexible shaft and automatic telescopic feature
- Easy to replace the shaft
- Rechargeable battery (only takes an hour) which holds power for a great length of time
- Built-in LED light for when you are working in dim spaces
- Cordless – work without a power cord!
Unlike other drain snakes, the versatility of the TACKLIFE Drain Snake is amazing. Usually, you would need separate augers for different types of drains but since the shaft is so flexible with this device, that simply isn’t necessary. This fact alone will save you a whopping amount of money over time.
Plus, you can’t beat the fact that this little guy is automatic. You can sit back and monitor its progress without having to worry about whether you are going to stab a pipe or not!
How to Clear Clogged Drains
Tacklife was founded by a group of 10 people in 2015. They had a dream to produce the best tools and products that would mean their customers could live a more convenient, safe and secure life. They have definitely done what they set out to achieve!
Today they are manufacturing loads of products from angle grinders and generators to ultrasonic cleaners and hedge trimmers. Tacklife is the one-stop-shop for all of your DIY needs.
Curated Independent Reviews
One reviewer said he no longer needs a plumber for clogged sink drains. After using this tool it took him 10 minutes to unclog the drain saving him hundreds of dollars.
This reviewer took longer to wind the snake back up than clear the clog. The clog was exactly 25 feet down. 5 minutes to unclog it and 7 minutes to wind the snake back up.
Another reviewer had a clogged shower and was impressed with how quick he was able to unclog his shower drain. He was impressed with how fast the battery charged and overall thought it was a great value.
When it comes to clogged drains less mess means less fuss. How long do you really want to be messing with clogged drains? It’s much easier and cheaper to use an automatic snake than call out a plumber or use a manual snake. Be done with that clogged shower drain and get on with it!