Drain Cleaning Machines Information

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Drain cleaning machines are tools that unblock pipes and prevent clogging of drains.  Applications for drain cleaning equipment include sinks, tubs, showers, sewer laterals, branch lines, trap arms, mainlines and commercial drains. They are also known as sewer snakes.  Water Jetting Equipment and Water Blasters are sometimes used as drain cleaning machines.



The primary function of drain cleaning machines is to clear blocked and clogged drains.  These tools are powered by hand, electric motor or small gasoline engines to complete the clearing of drains. 




There are multiple types of drain cleaning machines. In addition to those described below, Water Jetting Equipment and Water Blasters can be used for drain cleaning.

Hand Snakes -- These drain cleaning machines are hand-held manual or electrical powered tools used for small light load drains with simple blockages.

Hand snake                 Drum Drain Cleaning Machine

Hand Snake | Drum Machine

Image credit: Ridgid


Drum Machines -- These machines are electric motor driven and are used from small to medium load drains with simple to moderate blockages.

Sectional Machines -- Sectional Machines are electric motor driven and are used for medium to large load drains with more difficult blockages.

Sectional Drain Cleaning Machine       Rodder Drain Cleaning Machine

Sectional Machine | Rodder Machine

Image credit: Ridgid

Rodder Machines -- These drain cleaning machines are driven by small gas-powered engines and are used for large to extra-large drains with difficult blockages.




Drain cleaning machines are constructed of a few components including a cleaning cable, cable drum/reel and cable driving motor or engine.  The most prominent components of drain cleaning machines are the cleaning cable that is used to clean the drain, and the power source, whether it is manual, electrical motor or small gas engine that is used to drive the cleaning cable.





The follow specifications determine the functionality of drain cleaning machines.


  • Drain Size -- the size of the drain the machine is designed to clean
  • Cable Length -- the length of the cleaning cable
  • Motor/Engine Power -- the power of the drive motor or engine
  • RPM -- the maximum speed of the motor or engine.