If you have a blockage in a sink or toilet, there are various types of drain augers that can be used to help clear the blockage and restore normal water flow in the drain. Drain augers, which are also referred to as snakes, can be used to unclog drains in sinks, toilets and tubs when a plunger or liquid drain cleaner won't work. Here is some information on the various type of drain augers that are available and what they're used for.
Cable or Drain Augers
Cable or drain augers use a flexible cable with the corkscrew attached to the end that must be turned manually using a handle on the canister or container for the auger. When you turn the handle, the cable also spins or rotates inside the drain pipe. The material blocking or clogging the drain is then hooked onto the cable and retrieved by backing the flexible cable out of the drain. This allows the blockage to be removed and restores normal water flow.
Flat Tape Augers
Flat tape augers are very similar to cable or drain augers except they use a flat cable rather than a flexible hose. Flat tape augers are usually designed to work for water pipes that are 2 inches or less in diameter. Some flat tape augers may have a spear point tip which is used to actually push a blockage through the pipe rather than remove it. The flat tape is usually more rigid than the round type used with cable augers and can be used to push larger obstructions through the water pipe.
Power augers are those that have their own built-in motors or are attached to a power drill. These type of augers also feed a cable down into the drain pipe, but are easier to use than hand cranked augers. They also usually spin the cable much faster which is results in a more efficient method of removing tough pipe blockages.
Rocket Nozzle Augers
Rocket nozzle augers are used in commercial applications or by professional plumbers. This type of auger works by a inserting a tube into the drain pipe of the fixture that has the blockage. Highly pressurized water is then shot through the tube to remove the blockage. A rocket nozzle auger is able to quickly remove blockages by disintegrating any thing in the path of the high-pressure stream of water. These types of augers are usually quite expensive but can be used to unclog pipes up to 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
Toilet Closet Augers
Toilet closet augers are those specifically designed to unclog blocked toilet bowls. These may be manual cable type augers or may be powered augers that can be connected to a power drill. The flexible cable used in these types of augers has been specifically designed to easily maneuver and navigate the plumbing connected to a toilet. Of the types of augers that are available, the toilet closet auger is usually the most flexible.