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How to use a drain auger

The history of drains and plumbing date back to ancient Egypt. Oddly enough, the great pyramids contain "bathrooms for the dead." Many of the pipes were made from copper. In Babylonia, plumbers helped to create the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. As plumbing techniques increased, drain techniques improved as well. However, one thing remained the same: Occasionally, the drains can clog. Using a drain auger or plumbing snake or pipe snake can help you clear most clogged drains. This article provides a guide to using a drain auger.

Step one

Put on protective rubber gloves. Lay a towel on the ground and have a bucket nearby to help catch any mess. Have a rag handy to clean the auger. Put the end of the drain auger in the drain and force it down by turning the handle on the auger clockwise. You may have to adjust your grip on the auger as you do so. When you reach the clogged area, you will feel it. Turn the handle counter clock-wise and anti-clockwise a few times. This will help the end of the auger to bite away at the clog. Turn the handle clockwise to drive the auger through the clog altogether.

Step two

Draw the auger and the clogging material back up the drain by turning the handle counter clockwise. Catch or knock off any clogged material in the bucket. Clean the auger with the rag. If this does not work to clear the clog, go on to step three.

Step three

Locate the branch clean-out on the pipe. This will be located in the basement on the drain pipe which runs from the fixture that you are attempting to unclog to the soil stack or stink pipe that runs up through the roof. Place a bucket on the floor beneath the branch of the clean-out to catch any water. Remove the plug on the clean-out with a wrench. Push the end of the drain auger into the clean-out and turn the handle clockwise, forcing the auger into the pipe. When you reach the clogged area, turn the handle counter clockwise and anti-clockwise a few times to bit away at the clog. Turn the handle clockwise to drive the drain snake through the clog. Turn the handle counter clockwise to draw the auger back through the clog. If this does not work, call a plumber.

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