Does It Work?? Drain Bladders

More Pottyology!
>>>>>>>>>>>>Update 06/03/12: The design I like the most and have used the longest is apparently still available at Grainger: CLICK THIS LINK OR THIS LINK for two different sizes!<<<<<<<<


So I am in the market for a water powered drain bladder to clean a four inch rain downspout.

Naturally I want a design similar to the bladder I have used to clear sinks successfully for many years.

It features a nozzle with stop valve closed by a compression spring which opens the valve at the appropriate pressure.

This generates a nice steady percussive pressure which is remarkably efficient clearing clogs

My first stop: the big box lumber supply store.

They have a rubber gizmo with a high pressure jet hole, but no metal nozzle.

Okay, I believe in innovation, maybe this will do the job.

Wrong. I can not even get the bladder to expand to seal the pipe.

Off I go to the hardware store. They have essentially the same design.

Okay,what I really need is the giant canvas bladder deal the sewer rooter guys used a few weeks ago.

Off I go to the Mom-and-Pop plumbing supply.

They have only the rubber gizmo as sold by the big box lumber supply and the hardware store.

But I am nothing if not tenacious.

The super big box official plumbing supply is bound to have what I need.

Wow! They do! It looks EXACTLY like the canvas thing the sewer rooter guys used!

And it costs $$$$$$$$. Did I say it costs $$$$$?

I meant it costs $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

But I get one.


I hope it is defective. Stay tuned. I will report back tomorrow.

Today, the Sales Guy at the super big box official plumbing supply and I tried to figure out if my Drain Flusher was defective or suffering from operator error or what.

We took it to the loading dock and hooked up a hose and doggone if it worked substantially better than when I tried yesterday (in two different locations).

Whether it was the "powerful jet action" promised on the package seemed doubtful to both of us, but it certainly was not the weak pressure I videotaped here at the house.

Before we foul up his inventory, I said I would talk to the company- General Wire Spring in PA- and see what they said.

Stay tuned. The saga continues.

Update 10/12/10

The replacement arrived from the factory as promised and within just two or three days. I eagerly opened the package and connected it to the garden hose to try it out. Deja Vu all over again. It worked no better than the first one. I will make a video and post soon. Bottom line as per the package: the super powerful jet action is no more powerful than the garden hose to which it is attached. A brass hose nozzle boosts the spray more than this canvas bag gizmo. Anyone with comments or suggestions is welcome to post in the remarks section.

  1. Thank you for posting this. I tried rubber drain cleaning bladders from each of the two big box chains — different brand names, but obviously from the same manufacturer in Taiwan. Both ruptured within a few minutes of starting to run the hose. (I see here that you’re supposed to let the water run for a half hour or more with a blow bag.)

    • Apparently Grainger still sells the original design. I inserted links in the main body text. Thanks for dropping by. I am glad I was able to help….

  2. Adam said:

    Hi. Thanks for the reviews and information. How effective do you find that type of drain bladder to be? Does it clear most clogs?

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