Unclog Drains with Ease Using This Power Drum Auger

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Don't waste your money on a plumber. Instead try this inexpensive, easy-to-use Family Handyman Approved power drum auger.

Plumbing projects are rarely planned. That was certainly the case when I stopped by my mother’s 1930s bungalow to find a four-foot-wide puddle of standing water surrounding the basement floor drain.

I spoke to her retired plumber cousin over the phone, and he diagnosed the problem as a clog in the floor drain pipe rather than something more serious. But before she called another plumber for a quick $100+ cleanout, I brought over my recently acquired Cobra Tools Pistol-Grip Power Drum Auger to see if I could break up the clog myself.

What is the Cobra Tools Pistol-Grip Power Drum Auger?

The Cobra Tools Pistol-Grip Power Drum Auger is a 25-foot-long steel cable drum auger that clears sink, shower and tub drains up to three inches in diameter. It features an easy-to-use quick lever cable lock and a center balanced pistol grip that makes control and operation more comfortable.

The tool can be operated by hand or attached to a drill. The 1/4-in.-dia. high-carbon steel cable provides adequate leverage for the majority of household clogs.

The Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger is light and comfortable to hold. Strong and well-made, the quick-flip cable lock and sharp pointed cable gave me confidence it could handle even the toughest drain obstruction.

How We Tested It

I bought the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger because I was sick of standing in ankle-deep water standing in my aging bathtub as I showered. A week later I learned of my mother’s basement floor drain predicament, giving me two worthy tests just days apart.

How it Works

Unclogging drains is a messy job. But with the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger, I was done in a matter of minutes.

In both cases I attached my cordless drill to the drum auger and plunged the rotary tip of the cable into the depth of the pipe. I didn’t use chemicals at all, so I felt safe operating the drum auger with just some thin rubber gloves and grungy work clothes.

Once I placed the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger cable down the pipe, I pushed it by hand until I felt resistance from a bend in the pipe or the mass clogging it. With about 10 inches of the cable sticking out of the drain, I kept downward pressure on the pistol grip and slowly feathered the trigger of my cordless drill. This ensured the sharp pointed end of the tip burrowed into the obstruction, or made its way around the bend.

For a clog far down the pipe, the quick lever cable locking switch comes in really handy, since it needs to lock at each obstacle encountered.

Once I found and breached the clog, the backed-up water slowly drained. I learned years ago not to pull out the auger too soon. Instead, I made a couple of extra turns with my drill to ensure it locked into the obstruction. Then pulled the drum auger cable back. This method helps you bring all the debris to the surface. If you don’t, you may find yourself repeating this process a few weeks later.

Ease of Use

With the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger and most other augers, slow and steady works best. Most people set their drill at an excessive speed or try to shove the cable down the pipe too quickly. That can cause it to back up on itself, especially in larger diameter pipes.

Feed it slowly until you feel an obstruction. Flip the locking switch and slowly turn it with your drill at a low speed. Stick with this plan and the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger will unclog the drain in half the time it takes to remember your Wi-Fi password.

Value

Just having a plumber show up at your residence will run you well over a hundred bucks. With the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger costing less than $40, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t keep a drum auger on hand to try to break through a stubborn clog. If the clog is too substantial, then call in the professionals.

Pros

  • Clears pipes up to three inches in diameter;
  • Quick lever cable lock;
  • Easy to use;
  • Inexpensive;
  • Works with any drill.

Cons

  • Unclogging drains is a messy task.

Q&As

Q: Is the Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger compatible with any drill?

A: Yes, as long as it features an adjustable chuck.

Q: Can you use this to unclog a toilet?

A: No. This cable may scratch the porcelain. The Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger is best for smaller diameter pipes like sinks, tubs and shower drains.

Final Verdict

A drum auger is an essential piece of equipment for any homeowner. They’re an easy, cost-effective solution for most common drain problems.
The Cobra Tools Power Drum Auger is the perfect choice for a messy job. The next time your sink or shower backs up, you’ll be happy and thankful you have one.

Where to Buy

Cobra 1 4 In X 25 Ft Music Wire Drain Augervia merchant

The Cobra Tools Pistol-Grip Power Drum Auger is available at Lowe’s or Ace Hardware.

Buy Now

Ethan O'Donnell
Ethan is Family Handyman’s go-to editor for finding and testing the latest and greatest products, tools, and gear in the DIY space. Ethan has experience building custom woodwork, sets, props, and exhibits. Over the course of his career, he has completed projects for several Fortune 500 companies as well as for the United States Park Service. During his spare time, he likes to ride anything on two wheels, read, draw, or spend time with friends discussing recent Formula 1 events.