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What are the parts of a drain auger?

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basic components of a drain auger

Drain auger coil

drain snake coil The coil is a tightly wound spring and makes up the majority of a drain snake.

Coils can be various lengths and diameters to suit different purposes.

small and large drain snakes When purchasing a drain snake, the packaging or product information will state the diameter and intended purpose. It may also give measurements of the pipe diameters they can be used on.

Drain snakes can range in diameter from  5/16″ to 1/2″ (4-13 mm). The smallest ones are for use on basins and the largest for drains.

Drain auger head

drain auger head The auger head (sometimes called a ‘boring gimlet’) is an expanded section of the coil that sits at the end of a drain snake. It is the part of the tool that is fed down into the drain.

Its loose spring shape is ideal for trapping clogs and its tip can push, break through and hook blockages.

drain auger interchangeable heads Some drain augers have changeable heads with different designs.

For more information on these see: What types of auger head are available for drain snakes?

Drain auger handles

drain auger handles The addition of handles enables the basic drain auger to be used as it is and not with a drum or like other types of auger. These come in two different forms: crank handle or gripping handle.
crank handle with thumb screw for drain snake

Crank handle

This is a simple S-shaped tube, which slides over the end of the snake and is secured with a thumb screw.

The lower end is held steady by one hand, whilst the higher end is rotated by the other hand.

gripping handles, single and double for drain auger

Gripping handle

Gripping handles work in a similar way to crank handles, but are built in to the drain auger. They can be either singular or double handled, but the singular variety will include a piece of tubing that acts as the other handle.

Confusingly, they will sometimes be called crank handles as well; this is because both varieties work with a cranking action.

handles for drain augers Both types of handle work sufficiently, however the gripping handles are more comfortable for the user and easier to get in to a smooth rotating action. The crank handles are cheaper however.

Plastic casing of a drain auger

plastic cased drain auger Some augers have a plastic casing to provide a protective barrier between pipes/ fittings and the snake itself.

The casing is generally found on power drill augers, as this type of auger moves faster and can cause more damage.