Using a Hand Auger

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 11, 2015)

For particularly difficult clogs, there is one thing that you should try before calling a plumber. That is to try using a hand auger. Hand augers, also known more commonly as snakes, are smaller versions of the tools used by a professional plumber to get rid of nasty clogs. These tools are really effective on clogs that result from grease and hair buildup. However, before you begin using a hand auger you need to make sure that you know what you are doing. If you do it the wrong way, you could potentially damage one of the pipes. Simply follow these steps, and you should have no problem.

  1. Disconnect the trap. Place a large bucket underneath the sink, directly underneath your drain trap. This bucket will catch the water that will come out when you disconnect and remove the trap (it helps to reduce the mess). Loosen the slip nut couplings by using a pair of water-pump pliers, and then remove the trap. Take the time to remove any gunk from the trap. Set aside for later.
  2. Loosen the setscrew. Near the front of the hand auger, you should see a small key screw. This screw is called the setscrew, and it needs to be loosened so that you can remove some of the snake. Pull out the snake cord about a foot, and begin to feed it into the pipe. Be careful that you don't push too hard, since you may run into a bend in the wall. Continue to gently push until you cannot push any more.
  3. Tighten the setscrew. Retighten the setscrew, and then turn the handle on the auger clockwise. This should help make the cable move forward again as it works its way through the clog. When the cable stops again, loosen the setscrew again. Repeat the process, until you are sure that there is no more blockage. Remove the cable and discard the gunk that is on the tip.
  4. Replace trap and test. Replace the trap that you removed earlier. When it is in place, turn the water on and test your work. You should notice a dramatic increase in the ability of the water to drain. If you do not, then you will need to try it again. However, if you notice no significant changes after your second attempt, then you may have a clog in the main drain line. In the event that you do, that is when you should call a professional.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Choosing Ceiling Fixtures

There is a wide range of ceiling fixtures that you can use to provide light for a room. Make sure that you understand all of ...

Discover More

Bubble Stained Concrete

One of the most favored of all children's toys is that bubble solution that you can use to blow bubbles. However, this ...

Discover More

Combine Cleaning and Weatherproofing

When the weather begins to turn cold, it is time to finally begin thinking about weatherproofing your home. However, instead ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Replacing a Toilet Fill Valve

Everyone has a problem with their toilet once in a while. Instead of calling an expensive plumber or repair man to come out ...

Discover More

Keeping Your Pipes from Freezing

If you've ever experienced the aftermath of frozen water pipes, then you've probably already taken measures to ensure that it ...

Discover More

Replacing a Sink Strainer

Every sink has a vital, though often over looked piece of equipment called the sink strainer. This piece of equipment is what ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)