Massachusetts Contractor Swears by This Handy Drain Cleaning Tool

Jeremy Giard says Milwaukee Tool's M18 FUEL Drain Snake has been worth the investment

Massachusetts Contractor Swears by This Handy Drain Cleaning Tool

Company co-owner Jeremy Giard.

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Pumpers are bound to occasionally run across customers who also need drainlines unclogged. For smaller-diameter drainline jobs, Jeremy Giard relies on the battery-powered M18 FUEL Drain Snake from Milwaukee Tool.

“We’ve owned one for three years now, and it’s worth its weight in gold,” says Giard, the co-owner of Timothy A. Giard & Son Plumbing & Heating in North Andover, Massachusetts. “It’s my go-to tool for clogged drain and tub sinks.”

Designed for cleaning drainlines up to 3 inches in diameter, the machine features an enclosed drum and an autofeed system. Both of these features boost efficiency and productivity, he says, adding that the machine has a small price tag, but can pay big dividends for busy pumpers.

Doing away with cords

With a battery-powered machine, it’s no longer a problem if there’s no power outlet nearby, and there’s no need for cumbersome extensions cords. Furthermore, battery power is more than sufficient. Giard says he can clean three to four average drains on one charge.

The M18 FUEL Drain Snake from Milwaukee Tool
The M18 FUEL Drain Snake from Milwaukee Tool

The enclosed drum prevents the operator from coming in contact with the spinning cable, which he says is a great safety feature. “On other power augers, the outer drum spins; and if you’re not careful, you can catch a rag in it or a shirt sleeve or scratch up a cabinet wall,” Giard says.

The enclosed drum prevents materials from splattering and creating a mess when it’s retracting, he adds.

Unit features

The machine features variable-speed control (from 0 to 500 rpm and 0 to 8 inches per second feed rate); an LED light; and 35 feet of rust-resistant, 1/4-inch-diameter bulb-head cable. It can also hold 50 feet of compatible 5/16-inch-diameter cable and 35 feet of 3/8-inch-diameter cable.

The unit measures 10 inches wide by just more than 11 inches tall and weighs slightly more than 8 pounds, which Giard says minimizes fatigue. “It weighs about half as much as other machines I’ve used,” he says.

As for power, Giard says the drain snake generates more than enough muscle to clear tough clogs. As an example, he cites a nasty one he encountered shortly after he bought the machine — a kitchen drain that had been clogged for three weeks.

“I got out the drain snake and thought to myself, ‘I’m going to find out right now whether it’s worth the money,” he says. “And after about 25 minutes, I unclogged it. It was definitely worth the money.”


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