Best drain cleaning machine

The 7 Best Drain Cleaning Machines in 2018

Drain cleaning machines have for years been relied upon by many professionals. As time goes by, more and more technological advancements are being done to improve these devices. This has seen the manufacture of more powerful, lighter, reliable and safer machines which meet the industry standards.

However, drain cleaning machines are not the same, and for you to successfully unclog plumbing pipes faster, you will require a powerful device. Choosing these machines has never been easy like before due to the increased number of brands which have left professionals wondering what the best choice to go for. For this round-up, we have carefully selected and reviewed some of the quality machines to help you choose the best drain cleaning machine for your plumbing needs.

Our Best Pick

RIDGID 58920 K-50 Sectional Machine
RIDGID 58920 K-50 Sectional Machine, Sectional Drain Cleaning Machine is versatile, sturdy and able to run three different cables making it Our Best Pick.

Our Budget Pick

Ridgid GIDDS-813341 34963 K-30 AUTO-CLEAN Sink Machine
RIDGID 34963 K-30 AUTO-CLEAN Sink Machine with MAXCORE 50 1/4 Inch Inner Core Cable and AUTOFEED Control is affordable, lightweight and keeps your hands and job site clean making it Our Budget Pick.

1. ​RIDGID 58920 K-50 Sectional Drain Cleaning Machine

This RIDGID machine is a compact and versatile solution for your clean draining projects. The device boasts of an acting instant cable clutch which gives you maximum control over the machine. RIDGID K-50 is designed to clean drain lines between 1-1/4 to 4 inches and can deliver enough power to unclog your drain lines.

The device is fitted with 1/6 inch horsepower reversible motor which has a grounded electrical system that rotates the cleaning cable at a speed of 400 RPM. This power is good enough to drain your plumbing lines.

One thing we love about this machine is its portability which allows professionals to transport it easily to and from the job site. That’s not all; the machine is easy to operate which makes it ideal for both professionals and less experienced individuals.

We would recommend this machine to anyone in need of a quality and a handy drain cleaning machine for the shower, sink and the floor drain that can deliver great power.


  • Versatile and compact
  • Portable
  • Handy
  • Meets all the CSA and UL Standards
  • Delivers power required to unclog your drain lines faster


  • Cables are sold separately

2. RIDGID GIDDS-813341 34963 K-30 AUTO-CLEAN Sink Machine

This RIDGID K-30 drain cleaning tool is handy, compact and lightweight. The device features an auto feed system which goes on and retrieves the cable at the pull of the lever. The internal guide horse and the auto feed system works together to reduce cleaning of work areas, hands, and fixtures a feature which is not common with most devices in the market.

The machine is designed to clean up drain lines between 19 mm to 38 mm in tubs, sinks, and showers. One thing we love about this machine is its cable which spins perfectly well delivering 450 RPM which is pretty good enough to power tough blockages.

To boost your cable performance, RIDGID K-30 has specialized paddles which boosts the cable up to 20% faster allowing you to spend less time.

Being one of the leaders in the production of quality drain cleaning machines, RIDGID ensures that all its products have met all the industry standards and the K-30 is not an exception. The device has a CSA approved single phase motor which rotates the MAXCORE cable and the On/OFF foot bulb activation.

The package includes the K-30 sink machine with MAXCORE AUTOFEED inner core snake with a bulb head style auger and user manual.


  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Keeps your job site and hands clean
  • Delivers enough power for unblocking even the tough blockages


  • Not ideal for unclogging toilets
  • does not indicate the length of the cable inserted on the drain

3. RIDGID 66492 K-60SP Compact Sectional Drain Cleaning Machine

This RIDGID 66492 features a small storage footprint and a rear handle for easy transportation. The machine is fitted with a sturdy ½ Horsepower motor which rotates the machine cable at 600RPM, which is good enough to unclog tough blockages.
This compact drain snake is ideal for use in commercial, residential, and institutions for septic tank vacuum truck operators. Though the machine is a little bit pricey, the results are great. Customers who used the machine were happy about its performance.


  • Handy
  • Compact
  • Easy to transport
  • Powerful motor
  • Delivers perfect power for handling tough blockages


  • Sectional cable sold separately

4. Ridgid 26998 TOOL COMPANY GIDDS-813353 K-400 Drum Machine

Are you looking for the best commercial drain cleaning machine for handling tough drain cleaning jobs? Then this RIDGID K-400 may be an ideal choice for you. The machine is compact and features a sleek design.

K-400 drain cleaning machine delivers great power to unclog tough blockages which makes it an ideal choice for service plumbers, drain services, property management companies, facilities and intuitional maintenance departments.  For smooth movement, the machine has heavy-duty handle and wheels which allows you to easily transport the drain auger and K-400 drum over stairs, threshold, and bumps

This device is not just a drain cleaning tool but also a K-400 drum machine. Equipped with the machine are special features which make even the toughest drain cleaning jobs manageable.

The machine handles locks in low position to save space when using the electric auger and folds up perfectly well to allow easy transportation. These special features make the K-400 machine stand out. 

When you purchase this machine, you will get RIDGID gloves, sturdy and kink resistant C-45 ½" X 75-foot solid core, T-205 “C” cutter, A-13 Pin Key, T-202 bulb auger, T-211 spade cutter, Integral wound cable for 3 to a 4-inch line and user manual.


  • Unclogs tough blockages faster
  • Easy to transport
  • Compact and sleek
  • Sturdy


  • We did not find any

5. Hydrostar 1/2 inch by 50 feet Compact Electric Drain Cleaner Drum

This Hydrostar machine boasts of a durable steel frame and a ½” x 50-foot wire core cable which is resistant to kinking, tangling and breakage. The machines also have sealed air-activated foot switch, inbuilt ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and a quick-change enclosed drum.

With this easy to store and compact drain snake, you can easily clean up to 50ft of the pipe. The machine is suitable for use on property maintenance, pipes within the 2” to 4”, institutional maintenance and household plumbing.

The 76lb machine comes with 1-1/2" arrow cutter, spade cutter, 1-1/4" C-cutter, and boring bulb cutter which collectively work together to make your project a success.


  • Ideal for large commercial projects
  • Cleans up drain lines faster
  • Comes with many accessories
  • Has a durable steel frame


  • Slightly heavy to move around

6. RIDGID 52363 K-400 Drain Cleaning Machine

With a drum capacity of 100 feet of a 10 mm diameter cable, the 52363 K-400 drain cleaning tool provides a fast and hassle-free solution to the toughest drain cleaning jobs. The machine has a Pneumatic Foot Switch, incorporated transport cart with a retractable handle, rugged integral wound solid core cable which is kink resistant, and a cable control system.
For easy transportation, the machine has heavy-duty rubber wheels that are over-molded to easily handle stairs and bumps. With this machine, you should never worry about breaking your pipes or cables. The machine torque limiter stops the drum from rotating immediately when the blade gets stuck in the blockage, a feature which is not common with most devices.
Another welcoming feature about this machine is its 3/8 inch Integral Wound solid core cable which defies regular use and has a quick change coupling system that allows you to connect and disconnect tools easily.
52363 K-400 drain cleaning machine is ideal for use by service plumbers, property management companies; facilities drain cleaners and institutional maintenance departments.


  • Sturdy rubber wheels which are over-molded to make movement tom bumps and stairs easy
  • Delivers enough power to handles tough drain jobs faster
  • Has a torque limiter which stops the drum once the cutter gets stuck
  • Allows you to connect and disconnect tools easily


  • Does not have auto feed

7. Speedway COBRA PRODUCTS GIDDS-211332 Drain Cleaning Machine

The Speedway drain cleaning tool can be used on sewer drains, main drains and root blockages. The machine has a heavy duty capacitor motor which delivers enough power to unclog your blockages. The motor has a forward off/reverse switch and a thermal manual overload operator switch that can clean lines of 4” to 10”.

For easy loading and unloading, the Speedway drain cleaning machine has wheels with a 19” molded cable drum stair climbing skid.


  • Heavy-duty capacitor motor
  • Easy to move on bumps and stairs
  • Has dual handle for secure grip
  • Has a thermal protector switch


  • We did not find any

Benefits of using drain cleaning machines to unclog drain lines

Drain cleaning machines are economical

It is beyond any reasonable doubt that owning a quality drain cleaning equipment can save you money. Once you invest in one, you do not have to call your nearest cleaning company or plumber to unclog your drain lines.

Faster results

There is no better way to unclog your blocked drain lines than using a drain cleaning machine. These devices deliver enough power to unblock even the toughest blockages within a short time.

Improves your business reputation

In case you are a commercial cleaning company or a professional plumber, a quality drain cleaning machine can help build a good reputation for your business.

Drain cleaning machines are versatile

Drain cleaning equipment can be used to unclog different drain lines. This may range from floor drains, sinks, toilets or residential sewers among others. This means you do not have to purchase different machines any time you have a different blockage.

Long-term solution

If you are having clogged drain lines and looking for a long-term solution, a quality drain cleaning equipment will help you achieve this much faster.

Things to consider when buying a drain cleaning machine

Clogged drains are inevitable especially if you have stayed in your place for quite some time. To get the water flowing again, you will require the right tool. As much as these drain cleaning tools are versatile, it is recommended to know exactly when and where to use your machine to avoid any disappointments.

Here are tips for choosing the right machine for your drain cleaning projects.

Where the machine can be used

Drain cleaning machines are versatile, but some will limit you from unclogging certain blockages. Get to know where you can use your device and what it cannot do to determine whether it suits your needs.


Drain cleaning equipment are of two types, that is the sectional and drum type.  Drum type machines are handy, fast and self- contained.

Drum drain cleaning tools have only one cord in one drum hence easy to transport. Sectional machines, on the other hand, are lightweight and can be transported separately from the machine.

Another welcoming feature about sectional drain cleaning machines is the freedom to couple and uncouple sections anytime. This means that any faulty cable will not bring the job to a stop.


The weight is an important feature to factor especially if you are a professional plumber or cleaning firm. A lightweight machine will allow you to transport it to and from the job site without much hassle.


Take a look at how the machine has been designed to help you navigate well along bumps and stairs. Machines with an upright design are easy to navigate in areas where sled machines cannot.

Size of drain lines

The diameter of your drain pipes is very critical when buying a drain cleaning machine. For home use, you may consider smaller machines with a smaller cable between ¼” to 3/8”. However, unclogging bigger drain lines like floor drains, roof vents or residential lines will require you to have a bigger machine.

For commercial purposes, large sled machines are highly recommended.


Drain cleaning machine are not the same. A poor quality machine will not only give you poor results but also consume much of your time. Know what you want in a drain cleaning equipment to avoid selecting a device that does not deliver up to your expectations.

Sturdy and kink resistant machines can defy the toughest drain cleaning environment and are highly recommended.


Motor-driven drain cleaning machines rotate the machine cable at varied speeds depending on how powerful the motor is. A powerful motor helps you unclog tough blockages faster.


For you to use a drain cleaning machine, you will require other accessories. While some machines come with all the required attachment, others do not.

Take a look at the quality of the machine and the required attachments to get to know the cost before investing on one. However, it’s good to weigh the benefits without compromising on the quality.


Before spending on your preferred machine of choice, ensure its backup with a warranty and if possible a service plan. Read the manufacturers terms carefully and get to know what the warranty covers and for how long.

Drain cleaning machine safety

Knowing how to handle your drain cleaning equipment is critical. Handling wastewater can also expose you to germs, and the necessary measure has to be done to prevent the risk of infection. Here are tips for handling your machine properly.

  • Read your operator manual and get to know how the machine works before using it
  • Use your machine to unblock drain lines that are recommended by the manufacturer
  • Ensure your machine is ideal to use the drain line material, size, and length.
  • To avoid kinks and other problems, ensure the right cable size has been used
  • Avoid wearing loose fitting clothes or jewelry. If you have long hair, tie it
  • To prevent infections cover all abrasions and cuts
  • Protect your eyes with goggles, wear leather gloves, rubber-soled boots with toe guards and overall
  • Ensure the working area has adequate light
  • Clean any oily, greasy, and dust on your machine controls and handles to avoid causing accidents
  • Never handle a machine when you are fatigued, on medication or under influence of alcohol
  • Never touch your eyes, face. Ears, nose or mouth when using the machine. Wash your hands with soap and plenty of water for a minimum of 30 seconds or more
  • Inspect your machine always for any visible damage before using it. Inspect cables for kinks
  • Ensure your working area is dry to prevent electrocution. Test your ground fault circuit interrupter before using your machine
  • Never operate your machine without using a foot switch
  • Before powering your machine, always ensure your gloved hand are on the cable
  • Keep children, bystanders, and other visitors away when using your machine
  • Never operate your machine in an explosive environment with dust, flammable gases or liquids. Machine create sparks and may lead to fire causing serious damages
  • Use belt guard to prevent your fingers from getting caught between the pulley and the belt
  • To prevent cable from looping, always place your machine two to three feet from the drain opening
  • Never turn the machine on unless the cable is inside the pipe
  • Never use a machine whose switch is not functioning well.
  • Do not attach other accessories or attachments when the machine is on
  • Do not operate your machine with oily or greased hands to avoid losing better grip of the machine. Your hands should be clean and dry
  • Never use reverse unless your cable has been stuck. The cable can flip out and cause injury
  • When you are handling a blockage, let the cutter do the work. Forcing the cable can cause injury or damage
  • Do not over-run your cable. This can cause retrieval problems or even damage the cable
  • Avoid distractions when using your drain cleaning equipment. Distractions can reduce your concentration hence causing damage or injury
  • Keep your hands from contact with moving parts especially when the machine is on. your hands may be caught up causing severe injury
  • Once you have unblocked the drain, use running water to wash roots and debris

Common Drain cleaning machine problems and how to fix them

When operating your drain cleaning equipment, you may encounter some problems. Knowing how to fix some of these faults can help you save time and money that you would have spent calling your manufacturer or paying a professional to repair it.

Here are some of the problems and how to get along with them.

Machine auto-feed does not function properly

One of the causes of auto-feed malfunction is debris accumulation. When auto-feed is not regularly cleaned, dirt and debris may build up causing it not to function correctly. Disassemble the auto-feed and clean it properly every month.

Follow your manufacturer’s instructions on auto-feed dis-assembly and cleaning

When auto-feed is not well greased, you may encounter problems. Grease your auto-feed fittings weekly to increase its performance

Machine drum turns only on one side

A faulty reverse switch can restrict you from moving your drum on both sides. In case you encounter this problem, have your switch replaced. Never operate your machine when any of the switches are faulty.

Cable breaking or kinking

When the motor is switched to reverse, it may cause kinking of your cable. Check if your motor is switched to reverse. Only use reverse when the cable gets caught on the drain pipe

Applying excessive force can cause cable kinking. Allow your machine cutter to do the work

When your cable is exposed to acid, you may encounter problems with your cable. Ensure your cable is cleaned regularly and its oil free before making use of it

Using your cable on wrong diameter pipes can cause kinking. Always get to know the diameter of your drain prior using your cable

Damages or worn out cables can break when using your machine exposing you to a lot of risks. Inspect your cables routinely and get them replaced if any signs of damage are evident

Machine moves or wobbles when cleaning the drain

When the machine kickstand is not engaged, the machine will not be stable causing un-intended movements and shaking. Check if the kickstand is engaged, if yes, try to place the device on a leveled surface.

Drum stops when you depress the pedal and start when pedal is re-pressed

This may be as a result of a hole in your pedal, hose or diaphragm. Inspect your hose and pedal for any of these signs and replace the faulty component.

If the hose and pedal are in proper condition, replace your diaphragm switch

Ground foot interrupter trips when foot pedal is depressed or when the machine is plugged in

When your machine power cord is damaged, the ground power interrupter my trip causing injury. Inspect your power cord for any signs of damage and have it replaced.

Short circuit in the machine motor can also trigger the problem. Visit any near authorized service center with your motor for examination.

If this doesn't resolve the issue, then your ground fault circuit interrupter may be faulty. Substitute your cord which includes the ground fault circuit interrupter to check if the problem is resolved.

If the matter gets out of hand, try contacting your manufacturer for help.

Never use a faulty machine or try to repair it if you do not have experience in the field. Power tools can cause serious injuries.

Care and maintenance of drain cleaning machines

Drain cleaning equipment like any other machine requires proper care and maintenance. Regular maintenance can help boost your machine performance by preventing mechanical problems and headaches each time when using your tool. Below is a general drain cleaning machine maintenance tips.

  • Keep your machine away from children or any untrained individuals
  • Inspect your machine for any damaged cords, cables, faulty switches, and any missing ground- prongs. Faulty or damaged cables or cords can break leading to serious accidents. If you do not know how to replace them, you can hire a professional to handle the situation
  • Lubricate your machine moving parts according to your manufacturer’s instructions
  • Lubricate your cable to boost its lifespan and also increase its performance
  • Always inspect your cutting edges of your equipment and if possible get them sharpened or replaced before using your machine. Damaged cutting tools can lower the performance of your machine and may cause binding or break the cable
  • Flush the machine drum to get rid of any sediment which can corrode the cable. Always drain your drum after every use
  • Store your cables indoors when the machine is not in use to prevent deterioration
  • Store the machine in a dry, cool place away from children or any untrained professional
  • Store motor driven machines indoors and cover them well during rainy season

What makes a good drain cleaning machine?

  • A good drain cleaning machine should be handy and versatile
  • A good drain cleaning device should be fast, reliable and efficient
  • A great drain cleaning machine should be easy to maintain
  • An excellent drain cleaning machine should deliver enough power to unclog even the toughest blockages

Final Verdict

There is no better way to unclog your blocked drain lines other than using a drain cleaning machine. Due to the convenience and reliability that comes along with these devices, professional plumbers, homeowners, and commercial cleaning companies have for years now relied upon them to clear clogged pipes.

As much as these machines are versatile, they vary in size, performance, design, quality, weight, and cost which can make you overwhelmed by choices. While people have different taste and preferences, the best drain cleaning machine should be handy, portable, fast, easy to maintain, sturdy and above all meet your needs.

The 7 Best Drain Cleaning Machines in 2018
5 (100%) 4 votes

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