When it comes to unclogging drains, there are three main plumbing tools you can use. These tools are plungers, drain snakes, and augers. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so knowing when to use each is helpful. This guide will take a look at what each tool is and when it should be used.
Understanding the differences between a plunger, drain snake, and auger
You should have a basic understanding of what each plumbing tool is and how each of them works.
Plunger – Plungers are the most common tool used to unclog toilets. A plunger works by using suction to create a seal around the drain. Plungers then use air pressure to push and pull the clog through the drain. Plungers can be found in nearly every household and are relatively inexpensive. Plungers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be automatic or manual.
Drain Snake – A drain snake is a long, flexible rod that is inserted into the drain to remove clogs. Drain snakes have a variety of different heads that can be used to break up and remove clogs. Drain snakes work by twisting the head of the snake around in the drain. This twisting motion breaks up the clog and ensures your drain is working properly again. Drain snakes are designed for sinks and bathtubs and are less effective on toilets.
Drain Auger – A drain auger is a plumbing tool that is designed to clear clogs that are located further down in the drainpipe. An auger has a long, flexible cable that is inserted into the drain. The auger is then turned to break up the clog and clear the pipe. Augers are more expensive than plungers and can be more difficult to use, but they are often the best option for clearing tough clogs.
When should you use a plunger, snake, and auger?
Which tool you choose to use to unclog your toilet will depend on your needs and preferences. However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow.
Use a plunger first
In most situations, a toilet plunger will be the first tool you should try. This is because most clogs are located near the drain and can be cleared with a plunger. In addition, plungers are inexpensive and easy to use.
However, there are a couple of downsides to using a plunger. One is that not having the correct plunger will make unclogging your toilet more difficult. There are a few types of plungers that have different purposes. The two most important types of plungers to know are cup plungers and flange plungers. A cup plunger is a simple plunger designed for unclogging sink and shower drains. A flange plunger is a more specialized plunger that has an extended rubber flap on the bottom. This type of plunger is designed for toilets and will create a better seal around the drain. A cup plunger should not be used on a toilet because it will not create an effective seal due to the shape of the toilet bowl.
Another downside to using a plunger is that if you are using a plunger improperly, you can cause damage to the wax ring seal around your toilet. This seal is important because it keeps water from leaking out of the base of your toilet. If this seal is damaged, you will need to have it replaced by a professional.
If a plunger won’t unclog your drain, then try either a drain snake or drain auger
If your toilet is still clogged after using a plunger, you may need to try either a drain snake or auger. Rather than using pressure to push the clog through the drain, these tools work by breaking up the clog and allowing it to be removed.
If you are dealing with a clog in your sink, shower, or bathtub drain, then you will want to try using a drain snake first. These are less expensive than augers and can be found at many hardware stores and online retailers.
If you are dealing with a toilet that is still clogged after using a plunger, then you will want to try using an auger. There are two main types of augers: hand augers and power augers. Hand augers use manual power to clear the clog, while power augers use an electric motor. These are more expensive than plungers and snakes but can be very effective at clearing tough clogs.
When using either a drain snake or auger, be sure to follow the instructions that come with the tool. Improper use of these tools can damage your plumbing.
What to do if the plunger, snake, and auger didn’t work?
If you’ve tried using a plunger, drain snake, and auger to clear your toilet and nothing has worked, then you may need to call a professional plumber. You may have a clog that is located further down in your plumbing that will require special tools and equipment to clear.