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#1
Old 05-19-2014, 09:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: City of Angels
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How to use a hand auger? (no drum or screw)

I have a "hand auger" or "sink auger" - it's the same sort of cable you find in drum augers, but instead of the drum, there's a kink and a handle at the very end to turn.
Having struggled for a long time to understand how to use a drum auger, I learned that the screw to tighten the cable was crucial to success: push cable as far as you can, tighten the cable just a few inches behind the opening to the sink, leaving just those few inches to be forced into the drain. If you have too much free cable, it will just spas all over the place, there's nothing to make it push into the clog.

So great, drum augers work very well, once you understand this.

So I have a clogged bathroom sink and the drum auger is too large to use. I have a much smaller auger (no recollection where it came from, probably some CheapShitFromChina place- wait, looked for a pic and indeed the best I found was China related. ) that lacks the drum and screw, as I said, it just has the bendy bit and handle, and indeed turning it will cause the cable to turn as you would wish, but lacking the screw to shorten the bit you are driving into the drain, the only thing accomplished is the spazzing.

So…is there some secret to making this work like a drum auger to actually push the auger cable into the drain?
#2
Old 05-19-2014, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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there is usually a thumb screw in the handle to clamp the cable.

if nothing else with a gloved hand grab the cable and handle at the rear of the handle, twist away.
#3
Old 05-19-2014, 10:28 PM
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I don't follow… I can twist it, no problem. But the lack of a drum or other housing that somehow holds it tight and close, it just flops around, it isn't driven into the drain.
#4
Old 05-19-2014, 10:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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you hold the front of the handle still in space (like it was fixed in that location like part of a mechanism) the rear is then a handle to crank . you move the rear of the handle and hold the front of the handle still.
#5
Old 05-19-2014, 10:35 PM
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It isn't driven in. Most snakes I've seen aren't. Rotating it and driving it are different operations. Turn the crank with one hand, push the snake in with the other.
#6
Old 05-20-2014, 12:54 AM
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Hmm. What's being described sounds like either what I've already been doing, or not possible to do. Meaning I have only two hands… the crank at one end cannot be turned with only one hand - I have to steady the cable in some way or another… so my left hand holds the cable (it must be somewhat loosely to allow the turning to occur) while my right hand turns the handle….the cable turns, just as with a drum auger, but it doesn't go any further than I can simply push it in. A DRUM auger, on the other hand, "drives" the cable further in than simply pushing will ever do. I assume it is because of the turning, that somehow it "wiggles" or otherwise meneuvers it around bends where simply pushing won't. But the only way it does that is, as I explained above, if the amount of cable between the opening of the drain and the screw on the drum is relatively short, just a few inches. If it is longer, the cable will spin the way this drumless cable is spinning.

I found one on Amazon with a mix of reviews. Some people are raving, others are saying just what I'm saying: it won't go any further in than I can push it, making the whole crank handle pointless. There are 3 answered questions, one of them asking if it would "handle" better if it had "Would this "handle" better if it had a slide-along-and-clamp-down handle like the Cobra 10250 auger?" which is this.

I wonder how that works, and if there is some way I can cobble together a facsimile…? It appears to work in the same manner as the drum version, in terms of controlling the amount of cable being "driven" into the drain, but instead of the drum, it uses that hollow tube… hey, I wonder if I can sub out my big cable for the small one in my drum??? Gonna try that...
#7
Old 05-20-2014, 02:41 AM
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Push it in free hand until it meets resistance, then twist it.
#8
Old 05-20-2014, 02:59 AM
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Well I found the piece with the screw… but it's designed for a bigger cable than I have. Sigh….


Stui: been doing that. It needs to be more tightly controlled, as I've described.
#9
Old 05-20-2014, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
you use a drum auger and a non-drum auger much the same way. a drum auger is more compact and improved so it's popular.

you want to have the end of the crank near the drain, like one or two feet away. you want the front of the unit to remain stationary in space while being able to rotate. while the crank rotates you want the cable held fast in the crank.

a drum auger will have a tube handle to allow tight gripping to hold it still while still rotating. with a hand auger your steady hand with a loose grip does this. wearing a slippery glove or rag can help allow rotation as can fitting a short piece of tube over the hand auger.

the cable needs to be secured in the crank. a drum auger will have a thumbscrew at the front and so might a hand auger. if not you need to grip both the cable (tightly) and the crank (loosely) with your rear hand as you operate the crank.

you want to crank in the direction of the cork screw tip to snag the obstruction. to aid in making the cable go through right angles or bends before the obstruction you want to twist the crank so that the cable tightens (the cable is a long coil, if you grabbed a shorter coil tightly on both ends twisting one way tightens the coil, the other way expands the coil) tightening the coil is a more forceful rotation, though you might need twisting in either direction to pass bends..
#10
Old 05-20-2014, 05:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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It looks like the auger you have puts the crank at the very end, which seems like a terrible design, if you want to ever actually crank the thing. The Cobra auger has a proper sliding handle with a thumbscrew which will work like your drum auger, if a bit less easy to use.

If you can't get a new auger, with a proper handle, I'd put on gloves, grip the coil as hard as I could and twist it manually down near the drain. It won't spin and spin, but you maybe get it to turn a bit, which might get you around a bend or two.
#11
Old 05-20-2014, 05:26 PM
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The one I have is exactly like the one sold by Amazon (Cobra 10250). Leave the setscrew loose on the handle and slide the cable into the drain until it won't go any further, then try pushing in a few more inches of cable so it will coil up to the inner circumference of the pipe before you slide the handle up near the drain hole, lock the cable in the handle and start to turn it. The extra inch or two of cable will add a bit of pressure to force the tip deeper as the cable turns. The extra cable behind the handle does tend to flail around a bit but you don't have to turn it very fast to get results.
The metal handle is pretty thin and the screw stripped the thread in mine after a few uses but I just replaced the thumbscrew with a slightly larger in diameter bolt to hold the cable. The unit works pretty well.
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