How To Use a Sink Auger

In order to avoid the cost of a plumber, it's handy to know how to perform simple tasks such as unclogging a drain in a sink. To do this, you will need to use a sink auger. It may sound simple enough, but in order to use a tool such as a sink auger, you should know how to operate it.

Before starting, you should know the components of the sink auger.

First, you have a metal cable. When the sink auger is extended, you can see the cable. When it's not, the cable is coiled up inside the drum of the sink auger. Next, you have the auger bit which is located at the end of the cable. There is also a spinning drum canister which is the essence of the sink auger and is the secret to why it works. Finally, you have the set screw, which locks or unlocks the cable so that it can move or remain stable.

Now you're ready to use the sink auger on your drain.

  1. Remove the sink stopper from the drain.
  2. Loosen the set screw on the sink auger and extend the cable.
  3. Insert the cable into the drain and continue extending the cable until the clog in the drain stops it from moving. Extend about 12 inches of additional cable, then tighten the set screw on the sink auger.
  4. Turn the crank on the spinning drum until you feel the clog and are stuck. When you do this, apply firm pressure, but don't force it.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the clog is completely gone.
  6. Flush drain with hot water until the water flows properly.
  7. Rinse the sink auger and the cable and auger bit until the unit is clean. Let the auger air dry and then spray it with an oil lubricant before storing.

Note: This process will only work until you get to the sink trap. If the clog extends past the sink trap, you can still do it yourself, but it is a little more involved. Use the following steps:

  1. Place a bucket under the sink trap to catch any water that may come out.
  2. Loosen and remove the slip nut on the pipe with a pipe wrench.
  3. Use the sink auger as directed above in steps 2 through 6 on the pipe past the sink trap until the clog is gone.
  4. Clean the sink auger as directed in step 7.


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