Clogged drains are big business. We spend 288 million dollars a year on drain cleaners and plenty more on plumbers.
Consumer Reports tested a 20-dollar device that promises to work without caustic chemicals or a costly plumber visit.
Professional plumbers get lots of frantic calls about clogged drains.
Matt Pillius, of Mid-Hudson Plumbing Services, says, “By the time we get calls from consumers with drain problems, they’re already at the point of total frustration. They’ve done all the things they thought they could do on their own.”
Lots of products promise to clear your pipes without having to call a plumber. But even though they contain harsh chemicals, Consumer Reports past tests have shown most aren’t that effective. Even after half an hour, very little of the pipe opened up.
Now Consumer Reports has just tested a mechanical device that attaches to your faucet and uses pressurized water to clean your pipes. It’s called Drain FX.
In its commercial, it claims it’s effective at clearing all kinds of clogs.
Testers clogged pipes with things like fat, and human hair.
Drain-FX worked pretty well. It cleared everything completely, except it only partially removed the clump of hair.
Rich Handel of Consumer Reports says, “The faucet has to have a removable aerator, which most do. But if your drain has small openings, you may have to take it apart to get the tube down the drain.”
As a comparison, Consumer Reports also tried a three-dollar traditional plunger.
It worked, but took longer and required more effort.
Besides the 20-dollar version for sinks, Drain-FX has a Plus version for bathtubs and showers. It comes with a 15-foot hose extension and a special valve.