What Is a Plumbing Electric Eel?

An electric eel is a snake-like tool used in plumbing to clear out blockages and clogs in drains and septic tanks. Essentially, it is a metal tool that is coiled and is adept at rotating when it is sent down deep drains and septic systems.

It works by breaking down a big chunk of debris or clog into smaller pieces so that they can be pulled from the drains effectively. Sometimes, it also gets stuck to materials that are causing blockages that can thereafter be easily pulled up, therefore, clearing the drains efficiently.

Types of Electric Eels Commonly Used

Hailed as an incredibly effective plumbing tool in the plumbing community, the electric eel comes in many different forms. These include:

Hand Auger

If you notice a small blockage in your bathroom due to the accumulation of hair or body waste, you may use a hand auger to clear this out.

The most common places where a hand auger proves to be effective include the bottom of sinks and the surroundings of bathtubs in households.

Closet Auger

This is a small J-shaped electric eel that is used to unclog toilets. It is covered by a plastic covering at the bottom end which prevents any damage to the porcelain of the toilet while you are cleaning it.

It clears out blockages by breaking them into smaller pieces that can, thereafter, be flushed out.

Roto-Rooter

This is an electric eel that is mostly used to clean larger drains and septic tanks. It is one of the most commonly used plumbing tools in the United States of America.

Drum Auger

This is a potent and robust motorized auger that is used to clear out tree root blockages in bigger drain pipes. The reason that makes it a powerful tool is that it comes with several interchangeable blades that can be used depending on the nature of the blockage.

Sewer Inspection Electric Eel

This conventionally does not fall into the category of an auger. However, it is also a tool similar to an electric eel that comes attached with a tiny video camera on its rear end. This works wonders in identifying blockages from a remote location and clearing them out with ease.

Benefits of Using an Electric Eel

There are several benefits of using an electric eel. Some of these include:

  • It is adept at removing solid and semi-solid blockages in small and big drains alike.
  • It can be used by a novice with ease. This is especially true for times one needs to deal with a drain in the home. A hand auger works fine and saves you money on contracting professional plumbing services.
  • It is easily available online and in stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Downsides to Using Electric Eels for Clearing Blockages?

Though electric eel is a popular plumbing tool, there are some downsides to using it that you must be aware of.

  • They are inefficient in removing big blockages such as tree roots.
  • They require a lot of physical rigor and strength of muscles to use.
  • The range of the pipe of an electric eel is sometimes not long enough to reach very deep and long drains.
  • They do the work in a longer period of time as opposed to other popular modes of cleaning such as water jetters.
  • They are aggressive to work with and may end up, on some occasions, damaging the pipes they clean.

Should I Use a Water Jetter over an Electric Eel?

This is a question that many people ask perhaps because both an electric eel and a water jetter are similar in terms of costs and usage. Well, not completely, but mostly.

However, a water jetter has more takers than an electric eel because it is more powerful and does the work faster than an electric eel that may be too feeble for huge blockages.

For instance, if you try to clear out a tree root with the help of an eel, there may be a significant amount of residue left and the debris may be pushed down further into the drain.

Lastly, a water jetter is less physically strenuous than an electric eel. The task of carrying eel cables around for cleaning purposes may be too tiresome and physically draining.

The Final Word

No one likes blocked drains, especially in their home. They emanate unbearable odors, gurgling sounds and puddles of water. With an electric eel, you may get rid of all the rigid blockages with ease without spending a lot of money.

An electric eel is a snake-like tool used in plumbing to clear out blockages and clogs in drains and septic tanks. Essentially, it is a metal tool that is coiled and is adept at rotating when it is sent down deep drains and septic systems.

It works by breaking down a big chunk of debris or clog into smaller pieces so that they can be pulled from the drains effectively. Sometimes, it also gets stuck to materials that are causing blockages that can thereafter be easily pulled up, therefore, clearing the drains efficiently.

Types of Electric Eels Commonly Used

Hailed as an incredibly effective plumbing tool in the plumbing community, the electric eel comes in many different forms. These include:

Hand Auger

If you notice a small blockage in your bathroom due to the accumulation of hair or body waste, you may use a hand auger to clear this out.

The most common places where a hand auger proves to be effective include the bottom of sinks and the surroundings of bathtubs in households.

Closet Auger

This is a small J-shaped electric eel that is used to unclog toilets. It is covered by a plastic covering at the bottom end which prevents any damage to the porcelain of the toilet while you are cleaning it.

It clears out blockages by breaking them into smaller pieces that can, thereafter, be flushed out.

Roto-Rooter

This is an electric eel that is mostly used to clean larger drains and septic tanks. It is one of the most commonly used plumbing tools in the United States of America.

Drum Auger

This is a potent and robust motorized auger that is used to clear out tree root blockages in bigger drain pipes. The reason that makes it a powerful tool is that it comes with several interchangeable blades that can be used depending on the nature of the blockage.

Sewer Inspection Electric Eel

This conventionally does not fall into the category of an auger. However, it is also a tool similar to an electric eel that comes attached with a tiny video camera on its rear end. This works wonders in identifying blockages from a remote location and clearing them out with ease.

Benefits of Using an Electric Eel

There are several benefits of using an electric eel. Some of these include:

  • It is adept at removing solid and semi-solid blockages in small and big drains alike.
  • It can be used by a novice with ease. This is especially true for times one needs to deal with a drain in the home. A hand auger works fine and saves you money on contracting professional plumbing services.
  • It is easily available online and in stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Downsides to Using Electric Eels for Clearing Blockages?

Though electric eel is a popular plumbing tool, there are some downsides to using it that you must be aware of.

  • They are inefficient in removing big blockages such as tree roots.
  • They require a lot of physical rigor and strength of muscles to use.
  • The range of the pipe of an electric eel is sometimes not long enough to reach very deep and long drains.
  • They do the work in a longer period of time as opposed to other popular modes of cleaning such as water jetters.
  • They are aggressive to work with and may end up, on some occasions, damaging the pipes they clean.

Should I Use a Water Jetter over an Electric Eel?

This is a question that many people ask perhaps because both an electric eel and a water jetter are similar in terms of costs and usage. Well, not completely, but mostly.

However, a water jetter has more takers than an electric eel because it is more powerful and does the work faster than an electric eel that may be too feeble for huge blockages.

For instance, if you try to clear out a tree root with the help of an eel, there may be a significant amount of residue left and the debris may be pushed down further into the drain.

Lastly, a water jetter is less physically strenuous than an electric eel. The task of carrying eel cables around for cleaning purposes may be too tiresome and physically draining.

The Final Word

No one likes blocked drains, especially in their home. They emanate unbearable odors, gurgling sounds and puddles of water. With an electric eel, you may get rid of all the rigid blockages with ease without spending a lot of money.

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