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Drain Cleaner 7/27/14

Professional plumbers get lots of frantic calls about clogged drains.

"By the time we get calls from consumers with drain problems, they're already at the point of total frustration. They've done all the things they thought they could do on their own," Matt Pillius of Mid-Hudson Plumbing Services said.

Lots of products promise to clear your pipes without having to call a plumber. But even though they contain harsh chemicals, Consumer Reports past tests have shown most aren't that effective. Even after half an hour, very little of the pipe opened up.

Now Consumer Reports has just tested a mechanical device that attaches to your faucet and uses pressurized water to clean your pipes. It's called Drain FX.

In its commercial, it claims it's effective at clearing all kinds of clogs. "No tools, no chemicals, no mess and no need to call the plumber."

Testers clogged pipes with things like fat, and human hair. It worked pretty well. It cleared everything completely, except it only partially removed the clump of hair.

"The faucet has to have a removable aerator, which most do," said Rich Handel of Consumer Reports. "But if your drain has small openings, you may have to take it apart to get the tube down the drain."

As a comparison, Consumer Reports also tried a three-dollar traditional plunger. It worked, but took longer and required more effort.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright ©2014 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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