Drain Snakes

How to Use a Manual Drain Auger for Serious Clog Relief



Table of Contents

Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

Getting a clog in a drain, while it isn’t good for the plumbing, is pretty common. And it’s almost always cheaper and more efficient to take care of it yourself as long as you know how to use a manual drain auger. If you don’t know, then you’ve come to the right place. From a step by step how to product suggestions if you don’t have one. We got you covered.

Related Post: Best Grinder Pumps

You might know them by the name of the plumber’s snake since you move them almost like a snake through your drainage system, and because of how they are coiled and spiraled. They are good to keep on hand because getting a clog within a drain that won’t come out with a plunger is always a possibility.

The difference between a manual and an electric drain auger

Within the names of each tool, you maybe already able to tell the difference. But a manual auger is one that you crank by hand through the clog and pull it back out. With an electric drain auger, you’re able to use machine power to push it through a clog and pull it out.

Because the way you operate each tool is different, there are some slight differences between the ways you go through the steps of unclogging a drain with each. That’s what the main section of this article will be about, but first, you’ll need to gather a few things.

Where to get an auger

Click for details

There are specific types of drain augers that work best with different drains, like how kitchen sinks have a specifically designed snake just for them. Before getting started, make sure you have the right one for the job.

Sometimes small plastic drain snakes are sufficient to unclog bathroom sinks of hair and debris that are near the surface, while larger drain augers are needed for more serious clogs further down the plumbing system.

You can buy an auger online or from your local hardware store so you’ll always have one on hand. If you don’t want to buy one to keep in case of the occasional clog, you might be able to rent one from a tool rental shop or your local hardware store. If you want to, check in with your neighbors or friends who live nearby and ask if they have one you can borrow. Just make sure to return it if you rent or borrow one.

Popular Drain Augers

How to Snake a Drain

Here are the steps you need to follow to snake your drain with a manual drain auger:
Total Time Needed: 30 minutes
Total Cost: (up to) 60 USD

Required Tools:

– A drain auger

Things Needed?

– Rubber gloves
– Bucket or container
– Old towel or rag

Steps to Clear a Drain with an Auger

Step 1 : Make sure your supplies are at hand.
You’ll actively be using your rubber gloves and the drain auger in many cases, but make sure the rest are in an easily accessible area for when you need them
Step 2 : Clean out the drain.
I don’t mean going in and starting to unclog your drain, but see if there is any hair or other objects lodged in the uppermost part of your drainage system that you can reach and get rid of without using an auger
Step 3 : Extend the cable into drain and turn the handle.
Some manual drain augers may have a setscrew keeping the cable in place within the drum, so be sure to loosen that up first
Step 4 : Continue extending the cable until it hits the clog.
Once you feel the cable hit something, you’ll know where the clog is in the pipes. You are probably going to need to apply pressure as you are cranking the handle in order to get the snake past the tight curve within the trap under the sink. After this turn, the next thing you hit should be the clog
Step 5 : Rotate the snake.
Continue cranking clockwise with gentle but firm pressure until it is hooked. You can check this by periodically pulling up slightly to see if you have gotten it yet. Rotating the snake itself will either break up a smaller object that isn’t very solid, or has gotten entangled within a solid clog. This makes it so you can pull out the clog or let it be washed down the drain
Step 6 : Pull out the cable and the clog.
Pull the cable back by hand and dispose of the clog. Rinse off the cable and flush the drain with water running full force to ensure that it is cleared out. If it still seems clogged or it seems that you didn’t get rid of the clog or hook it, you can try again or call a plumber

Taking care of your drains

The best way to make sure you don’t run into this kind of problem again with a clog in the sink is to do your best to prevent future clogs. There are a few easy ways to do this.

  • Use a sink strainer. This is mainly for your kitchen sink, but it helps prevent many materials from washing down your drain. You could also use these in your shower or bathtub if you want to replace the current drainage cover or if it does not currently have a cover.
  • Remember that a drain is not a trash can. You can’t just let large amounts excess food left on your plates go down your kitchen sink or let loose hair down your shower or bathroom sink drains.
  • In your kitchen sink, run your garbage disposal. It may not help get rid of clogs, but it will help at least cut up a little bit of what solid waste didn’t make it into the trash


Now you know how to take care of any clogs in your sinks or drains that you may come across. It is a pretty easy process to follow, although it may be gross to actually do. That’s why you wear gloves and keep items on hand to make for a quick cleanup afterwards.

There may be occasions when you can’t get the clog out on your own, so make sure that you call a professional and don’t remain stubborn and continue trying to dislodge it on your own if you are not a plumber.

And remember, preventing the clog in the first place with drain covers and the like will significantly reduce the number of clogs you get.

DrainX Pro Steel Drum Auger Plumbing Snake | Heavy Duty 25-Ft Drain...
  • Features a lasting and durable steel drum housing with grip handle for...
  • 1/4" Dia. Steel Snake with spiral head designed for 1-1/4" through 3"...
  • This hand-driven drain auger will clear your househould drain clogs...
  • Grip handle and turning knob allows you to use this tool easily to...
  • Easy Work Gloves and Drawstring Carrying Pouch Included. Great for use...

How to Snake a Drain

Need Help?

Connect to an on-call 24 Hour Plumber in Your Area

Click Here to find local licensed plumbers in your area that are on call 24/7

Related Posts
Like what you’ve read? Share it with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

About Author


2 thoughts on “How to Use a Manual Drain Auger for Serious Clog Relief”

  1. I’m pretty sure that my youngster dropped her rubber ball in the toilet. I usually check before using the toilet. I had diarrhea this morning and didn’t have time…before or after. I have a manual augur, but I can get past the clog. Is calling a plumber next??


Leave a Comment