Best Drain Snakes: How to Fix Clogs
It’s not something we dream of having to deal with, but it’s something that many humans who live in modern homes encounter: issues with their drains.
More specifically, hair (that’s the big culprit, mammals that we are), debris from flossing, brushing, and spitting, and other junk makes its way into our sinks (and tubs and toilets) and washes down the drain, only to get lodged there and create build-up over time.
Shelling out for a plumber is no joke – and that’s something most of us would hope to avoid if there was something we could do to pretty easily to fix the problem on our own (or if we could simply add an item to our Amazon cart and scribble a quick addition to our honey-do list…).
So read on to find out what makes one drain snake better than another, the better to understand where to start when in the market for one.
Affordable Drain Snakes
Our guess is that most folks looking to solve their own basic bathroom clog problems – rather than hire an expensive professional plumber – probably aren’t looking to spend a fortune on the tool that they will then have the pleasure of using themselves.
Because the basic idea is to get the device down there to dislodge whatever is causing the blockage in question, trying a drain snake with a very simplistic design and (very low price tag) may be a great place to start. (The one pictured above is not even $10.)
What are The benefits of being bendy?
Those drain snakes that are very simplistic in design also tend to share a common feature with their fancy-pants high-end counterparts, one that allows them to get the job done. Basically, they are flexible, allowing them to make their way down multiple-foot sections of pipe, through various turns, clearing out the hair and other gunk that may be causing water to pool in your sink or tub and make for an icky situation.
Drain Snakes with Sheer power
Some clogs are more serious, folks. And if you want to be prepared for many types of drains and many different types of clogs, consider that having the power required is going to need to be the focus.
I’ll try not to giggle, but there is something called a “crank snake” – it’s around twice as much as the more affordable options out there, but it comes with a handle attached, includes 25 feet of cable to really get down there, and can even be turned with a power drill adaptor if needed.
Basically, it’s not messing around.
When length matters for Drain Snakes
Sometimes, size does matter, folks, and so consider that going for a cheaper option of drain snake may only give you a few feet of length to work with, while choosing a longer option will still likely get the job done even if the clog (or clogs) in question are farther down in the pipe.
Spring steel wire makes some longer models suitable for tougher jobs at hand. We’re talking like 50 feet that will resist rust and allow users to feed the snake down deep to fix the problem that lurks there.
When you need a drain snake with a gentle touch
Although drain snakes may seem like quite an intense thing, sometimes you need to consider the softer side, even of the most masculine tools. No one wants to scratch the surface of their beautiful farmhouse sink (or even their not-so-beautiful but certainly functional tub, sink, or toilet). That’s why a key factor to consider, sometimes, is what’s covering the thing.
Yep, sometimes it’s what’s on the outside that counts, after all.
Rather affordable models come covered in a vinyl sleeve that is designed to prevent that porcelain bowl from getting all scratched up while you’re using the device in question. They are used manually, with the user feeding them down and then pulling out the clogging material (but we’d rather not think too hard about what exactly that material will be, thank you very much).
So what’s the final word in finding a drain snake?
The kind of drain snake that can be attached to a power drill is just like what a professional plumber would use, and it really doesn’t cost all that much more than the much shorter and much more manually operated varieties out there. If you want a product that can be used for any and all types of clogs, it might just be the way to go.
If, on the other hand, you suspect you have a shallow clog, trying one of the simpler, cheaper designs out there could be worth a shot.