How To Properly Use a Sink Auger

A sink auger may be a tool that you don’t use on a regular basis, but when you need it, you’ll be glad there’s one in your tool box. A sink auger clears or breaks up clogs in the drainage pipes of both sinks and bath tubs, but it should not be used on toilets.

A sink auger has a flexible cable with a bit on one end of it. The cable is in a coil inside a drum like canister. As you turn the canister, the cable will turn twisting the bit down into the drain pipe, it twists inside the clog and breaks it up.

To unclog your sink or bath tub drain, you’ll first need to remove the strainer basket or stopper. Then loosen the screw on the sink auger and extend the cable down into the drain. Once you feel the cable stop against the clog, let about another foot of the cable out and tighten the screw back up.

Crank the handle on the canister drum using gentle, but firm pressure. Keep turning the auger until you can feel it take hold of the clog. As you feel the auger bit working itself into the clog, release a little more cable and continue to turn the handle until you feel it break free.

When the auger bit breaks through the clog, you will notice there’s less resistance when turning the handle. This process usually always works well on clogs that are inside the sink trap.

Remove the sink auger by rolling it back into the canister, you may need to wash it off, depending on what was clogging the drain. If it was grease, there will be grease all over the auger bit.

Flush the drain repeatedly with hot water to make sure that the clog is gone. If you extended the auger cable farther than what was need to reach the trap and the clog is still there, you will need to remove the trap to go farther into the pipe.

The sink trap holds water, so place a bucket underneath it before removing the trap. Loosen the large slip nuts that are at each end of the sink trap with a pipe wrench. Remove the trap and empty the water into the bucket.

Insert the auger cable into the drain pipe and repeat the same process that you did on the sinks trap. Once you feel the cable pushing against the clog, release another foot or so and continue to turn the handle. Remember to loosen and tighten the screw each time you release extra cable.

Keep releasing more cable until you feel the auger bit break through the drain clog. Once the clog has been broken up, turn the canister handle until you’ve rolled the full length of the cable back into the canister drum.

Reassemble all of the pipes and again, flush the drain out with hot water from the sink. Using hot water will not only help flush out any remaining debris, if the clog was caused by grease, it can also help to dissolve any that remains in the pipes.

To properly store your sink auger until the next time that you need it, clean all of the grease, hair or any other debris off of the cable and bit. If you have somewhere to lay the auger, let the cable air dry and then use a spray lubricant to protect the cable before rolling it up into the canister drum.