A plumber's snake is a slender, flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in plumbing. The plumber's snake is often reserved for difficult clogs that cannot be loosened with a plunger. It is also sometimes called a toilet jack or electric eel.
Plumber's snakes have a coiled (helix-shaped) metal wire with a broader gap between the coils at the terminal end. The operator turns a crank to rotate the helix as it moves through the pipe.
If the clog is caused by a dense, but shreddable obstacle, such as tree roots or glass wool, the auger might break it up enough to enable flow. A small, lightweight obstruction might be snagged or corkscrewed by the auger, enabling the operator to pull it away. As the auger rotates, it also flails against the interior walls of the pipe, scraping off minerals and oil.
Plumbers and their "toys" - reason we call them
When it comes to professional repairs done by specialists, you often wonder - "ha, I could do that myself, but now I need to pay anyway...". It is common enough way of thinking, but is it really true?
Experts in their fields make it look like it is easy, but only because they have years of experience. Because of it, they were able to deduce what the problem is quickly, and if it is easy to fix, they make it look like it's nothing. It may escape your attention, but they more often than not, use special tools when doing so.
Simple wrench and hammer are common household items, but what about thread seal tape? Or do you really want to buy whole package od putty, just to seal one small hole? These are the things that seperate experts in their fields from weekend handyman. Other than that, they are also the reasons why you call in a real plumber, once in a while.
Wikipedia about the history of the plumbers
Quick look in to the history of the plumbers, thanks to Wikipedia:
The word "plumber" dates from the Roman Empire. The Latin for lead is plumbum. Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead, lead was also used for piping and for making baths. In medieval times anyone who worked with lead was referred to as a plumber as can be seen from an extract of workmen fixing a roof in Westminster Palace and were referred to as plumbers "To Gilbert de Westminster, plumber, working about the roof of the pantry of the little hall, covering it with lead, and about various defects in the roof of the little hall". Thus a person with expertise in working with lead was first known as a Plumbarius which was later shortened to plumber.