Toss That Old, Heavy, Hand-Held Power Drain Cleaner

There’s an easier way to clear clogged sinks, tubs and laundry drains

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Toss That Old, Heavy, Hand-Held Power Drain Cleaner

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Q. We’ve had the same hand-held power drain cleaner for 20 years and it still keeps working. But my arms get tired holding the machine. Is there an easier way to clear clogs in small drains?

A. You’ve got a tough little machine there that was great in its day. But now there are counter-top models that are a lot easier on the body than the old hand-held drain cleaning machines.

A frame supports the motor and drum so you don’t have to. It can be run horizontally on a kitchen sink counter top, or vertically next to a tub. Get a machine with a variable-speed feed. It gives you complete control as it feeds and retrieves the cable at up to 16 feet per minute, yet you never have to touch the cable. A guide tube keeps your hands, and the job site, clean.    

Counter top machines can easily carry up to 50 feet of cable in the drum, a length that would be uncomfortably heavy in a hand-held machine, but easy to handle in a counter top machine.

A machine with a cable changing system will make it easier to clean the cable, or switch to a different diameter cable to better handle different-size lines. For instance, a 1/4-inch cable is best for 1 1/4-inch to 2-inch lines, while a 3/8-inch cable is better suited for clearing 2- to 3-inch lines. If you don’t want to bother with cable changes, a 5/16-inch cable is a nice compromise that will handle most of the applications you are likely to encounter.

Remember: It is easier on the cables if you remove the P-trap under the sink rather than wrestle your way past it with a snake.

To ask a question, email, or call the Drain Brains at 800/245-6200.


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