Can the Drain-FX unclog your pipes?

Consumer Reports tested the snakelike device on four tough clogs

Published: July 08, 2014 06:00 AM

Photo: Jan Stromme

The maker of Drain-FX claims that the snakelike device is  “100% effective” at unclogging “multiple drains,” and a video shows it clearing sand and hair. Consumer Reports paid $20 for Drain-FX Sinks, which has a 29-inch tube that connects directly to a faucet (as long as it has a removable aerator), and $40 for Drain-FX Plus, which adds a 15-foot hose extension and a valve for use in bathtubs, showers, and floor drains.

The check. We concocted four clogs of various materials: lard and cooked rice; bar soap, toothpaste, and hair; sand; and hair alone. For comparison, we used a traditional plunger. And we asked members of our staff to take Drain-FX home to see how it adapted to different faucets and drains.

Bottom line. Three out of four isn’t bad. Drain-FX cleared the lardy, soapy, and sandy clogs. Only the clump of hair proved a challenge: Drain-FX created a passage through the hair but didn’t clear the clump completely. Some staffers had trouble fitting the tube through a drain strainer or stopper—you might need to disassemble the drain—but those who succeeded found that the device improved water flow. And the plunger? It worked too, just more slowly and with more effort.

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