Drum Auger and Cable Care Tips from the Pros

Milwaukee M12 Drain Snake 06

We’ve reviewed a few drain snakes and drain augers over the last year, as there have been marked innovations in the world of cordless plumbing solutions. In almost all these new products, the drum and the drain snake make up integral parts of the tool. And, in those tools, the drum and drain snake do most of the dirty work. The water, grease, and grime of clogged drains will eventually take their toll on the business end of your plumbing equipment. However, performing some simple, routine maintenance on the drum and drain snake will help keep your drain auger unclogging drains for years to come. Here are some drum and cable care tips from the Pros in case you’re new to the trade.


Drum Auger and Cable Care Tips

1. Lubricate The Snake

Pros use snake oil, gear oil, and even regular motor oil to lubricate the snake after each use. This helps prevent rust from forming on the metal and prolongs the life of the drum auger cable.

2. Pull the Plug

Some drain snakes have plugs to allow excess water to escape the drum. Be sure to pull the plug and let the drum drain into a bucket at the end of the day. If it’s an extremely cold winter, you may have to do it after each job to ensure you don’t get a frozen snake.


Even if you lubricate your drum cable regularly, excess standing water always leads to rust.

3. Remove the Drum to Access the Cable

Every so often, it’s good to remove the drum to expose the cable and clean the grime that accumulates inside. Let it sit open to dry if you have time.

4. Soak the Snake

Periodically pull the snake all the way out of the drum and coil it up in a bucket full of water with detergent. Just be sure to move on to the next step before too long to avoid rust.

Drum and Cable Care Tips
Drain Snake demands that you keep him cleaned and lubed up!

5. Dry It Out

Use a rag to dry off the snake after soaking it in detergent. Then, let it lay out to fully dry before lubricating it.

Drum and Cable Care Tips

Or, Avoid the Drum and the Snake Altogether

We recently took a look at the Milwaukee M12 AirSnake, which not only works well for lighter duty clogs, but it eliminates the use of drums and drain snakes altogether. Instead of running a snake down the drain, the AirSnake uses air pressure and the existing water in the line to push clogs through the pipe. A Pro plumber will still need the drain auger for some clogs, but this product will take care of grimy stoppages.

Drum and Cable Care Tips

Final Thoughts

If you follow these drum and cable care tips, you can expect to get years of use out of your equipment. A little oil, some TLC, and mere minutes of work, and these tools can keep you earning money without letting you down.

If you’re a Pro and you have any drain snake tips, add them in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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