Plumbing disaster turns into cool discovery!

Today my kitchen sink had a major clog. I first tried liquid plumber “power gel” and that had zero effect. Since this drain was hooked into a garbage disposal I had to get in there with my channel locks and disconnect the trap so I could run the auger through the line.

Of course I man handled the pipe and it broke. Ok, not big deal the hardware store is still open… not the end of the world. I’ll just take the auger and clear out the gunk and then go get a new trap.

The auger is spinning it is hitting the clog like it is made of cement and not moving at all. At this point I’m seeing red so I know it is time to take a break. I leave to the hardware store and after I grab a new trap I decide to look over the plethora of drain cleaning devices available at the hardware store.

There are motorized augers which are like $100 or more and other normal augers like mine except with fancier handles, there was even a slim plastic rod for $2 which claimed several miracles on the packaging.

With visions of myself failing, calling a plumber with my tail between my legs, my eyes catch a simple device for $5. It is called the Drain Cleaning Bladder by Cobra Products.

I had a summer job for my father who was a civil engineer. What I did was throw smoke bombs down manholes and then run through yards with a Polaroid camera taking pictures of smoke coming out of the ground. Sounds like a good way to get shot huh? We had sent notices to everyone weeks beforehand but we still got yelled at on occasion.

Well the reason I mention this is because a few times when we were out on the job there would be a legitimate blockage in the sewer, well what the fire department would do is plug off one end of a fire hose and turn it on. It would launch through the sewer with all the force of the water behind it and you would literally see trash and crap spew out the manhole down the street. It was pretty awesome to see that. Well this thing reminded me of this.

I got home and attached this to my garden hose and stuffed it into the drain. I would say I ran this device for about 15 seconds before it had my entire pipe nice and squeaky clean. In conclusion this simple $5 device is pretty friggin’ awesome and made my night almost pleasurable.

Here is a highly redundant video review:

Author: Nick-LaDieu

Webmaster of Budding skill enthusiast and modern survivalist. When nick isn't plotting his next project he is probably running with his dogs, riding his mountain bike, or fiddling with his home theater.

  • Ben

    Video no Worky!

  • hey it is working for me??? here is the youtube link:

  • Just goes to show, once again, simplicity rules over convoluted complex systems.
    That, and the most expensive option isn’t always the best option.

  • Fred

    Nick, we have been using those things for 20 years. They work great. What they actually do it fill up with water, then expand like a balloon in your pipe, once they build pressure in the bladder, they start to jet water between the balloon and the obstruction in the pipe. They will then blow the blockage out. Just be careful if you have a pipe with a Y in it that you get it on the correct side of the Y, you can pump sewage water into you house with it. Also they come in two sizes and make sure that if you use it on the toilet that you don’t turn it on while it is in the toilet, it needs to go past the toilet into the pipe. Supposedly it can break a toilet.

    Keep up the great work.


  • Inbox485

    If you are looking for a similar tool for that which you probably already have you can use a plunger.

  • Honest question. Can u use a plunger on a sink with a garbage disposal?

  • Jorja

    Great info for drain clearing, thanks! However, woefully meager camera time for the GORGEOUS Malamute – please rectify this in future videos.

  • Scott

    This is some savvy advice! Haven’t personally had to declog my sink yet, but when I do this bladder is the first thing I will reach for. Great job with the blog. is definitely the place to go for useful information!

  • This is really interesting. I’ll keep visiting for more of your posts.

  • Sometimes you can easily solve a problem if you are in a point of not knowing what to do.And be reminded to you that there’s an alternative solution for your problem.