Drain Cleaning Machines Information


Selecting drain cleaning machines snakeDrain cleaning machines are tools that unblock pipes and alleviate clogs in 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 or pipe snake. Water jetting equipment and water blasters are sometimes used as drain cleaning machines.


This specification guide is primarily concerned with mechanical drain cleaning techniques, not chemical drain cleaners.




The sole function of drain cleaning machines is to clear blocked and clogged drains. These tools are powered by hand, electric motors, or small gasoline engines to clear drainage systems. 




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 (pictured above right) are hand-held manual or electrical power tools for small, light load drains with simple blockages.            


Drum machines: These machines are electric motor-driven and are for small to medium load drains with simple to moderate difficulty blockages.

Selecting section machinesSectional machines: Sectional machines (pictured right) are electric motor-driven and are used for medium to large load drains with more difficult blockages.

Rodder machines: These drain cleaning machines are driven by small gas-powered engines and are 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. 




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

  • Line capacity: diameter and length of cable suitable for use with the power supply

  • Drum capacity: length of cable that can be stored in the drum of the unit

  • Motor/engine power: the power of the drive motor or engine, typically in horsepower (hp)

  • RPM: the maximum speed of the motor or engine.

  • Weight: machine weight ultimately determines portability

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