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How could anybody resist talking about a product named the Drain Tornado? This water-powered tool connects to a garden hose and uses water pressure to clear clogs in waste pipes and gutters.

The drain tornado screws onto a standard 3/4″ fitting and features a high-powered main jet at the end of the tool and two side jets to “blast through” debris. Two rotary tail knives also help to dislodge material.

While the name and marketing copy would suggest it can be used for household drains, one could imagine the high-powered jets shooting crap everywhere, making it look like a tornado recently passed through. It’s probably best to restrict this product to outside use only.

The Drain Tornado will run you $6 at Harbor Freight.

Drain Tornado [Harbor Freight]

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14 Responses to Fight Clogs With Tornado Power

  1. Jonathan says:

    I have bought and used on of these to try and clear an obstruction in a sewer line. It broke before it ever reached the clog. The device does nothing to increase supply pressure. and the Blades stop turning with the slighest pressure applied to them. It would be just as effective to take the $6 and put it down the drain.

  2. fred says:

    We’ve had a few customers tell us that they had used one of those rubber hose-end rubber expansion bladders of the type that is sold at Home Depot to clear their drains – with good effect in the past – so this type (maybe not the HF device) are probably worth a try. We’ve heard this, however, when the problem has progressed beyond the stage where one of these gizmos can’t possibly work. We like the “General” brand snaking, augering and jetting equipment. For cleaning drains where we suspect soft blockages and build-up – water jetting is very effective – but our General machines put out up to 3000 psi water – not what you get at a hose end device like this thing from HF. Unfortunately our J-3080 rig probably costs 1000 times what the HF device does. Also there are times (e.g. a collapsed line) when even jetting or a power auger will not work. We find that our See-Snake equipment finds these situations and we can use it to convince the customer and/or their insurance adjuster (send them the DVD) that line replacement is the only alternative.

  3. fred says:

    Sorry for the double post – but what I should have added is that I highly recommend that homeowners purchase a decent quality closet auger which with a little practice can save on plumber’s bills. Of course, if you need to retrieve the odd soft plastic boat flushed down and then wedged in so well that the only recourse is to pull the commode – you’re out of luck.

    We’ve actually thought to keep samples of some of the things we’ve retrieved – from toys to 1/2 grapefruits and melon rinds, to belts, wallets and necklaces

  4. mike says:

    I bought one of these at Harbor Freight to help unclog some gutter downspouts. I had tried previously by fishing a hose with a spray nozzle down with little effect. But this little thing did the trick. However, be careful fishing it down past any tight corners cause it will get stuck.

  5. Eric R says:

    Had a clog at a customers house one time. We used the expanding bladder thing-a-ma-joo and we couldn’t just quite get enough power to push through the clog… Customer came in and said ” Water is coming out of the roof”. Friendly squirrels had been dumping acorns down his air intake. The bladder did finally push through after we sealed the roof.

  6. Chris W says:

    I just take the nozzle off and feed the bare hose into the clogged downspout. It can go around bends. If I need extra power I just kink the hose for a couple of seconds to let the pressure build up.

  7. Brau says:

    “We’ve actually thought to keep samples of some of the things we’ve retrieved”

    Agh. More info than I wanted.

    You are *not* coming to my house to show me your collection. 😉

  8. HFguy says:

    Don’t bother with it. I bought one to clear a drain that runs down the length of a cement wall – the builder put plain old downspout pipe down before pouring the cement. It would spin for just a few seconds and then stop due to friction. Put teflon washers in it, still didn’t help. Kinking the hose for a second would restart it occasionally, but it proved to be more frustration than useful.

  9. ShopMonger says:

    So the first thing that i laughed at is that this was not on the “Ohara” Sex toy Christmas tree……………… I have used the rubber bladder ones, they work great for getting GI Joe out of some compromising positions. I also see that this would be good for old cast iron pipes top clean them out, some old houses just get some soil build up and if used regularly, it can be there to keep you and your pipes regular…….HHAA HAAAAA

    ShopMonger

  10. HammerDrill says:

    I tried one of those rubber hose-end rubber expansion bladders to clear out a 4 inch storm water pipe and when it got to Y section in the pipe, pressure built up and exploded the bladder! Luckily it did not damage the pipe.

  11. fred says:

    @Brau

    The thought passed through our heads much quicker than the clogs

  12. Daniel Rutter says:

    Never mind the special, apparently-not-so-great fitting on the end; now I’m thinking about using a garden hose to deliver a boiling-hot saturated solution of caustic soda (which, of course, was caustic soda in a jar and a bucket of ice-cold water, two minutes earlier!) directly to wherever the hose seems to stop. Surely it is THIS which will correct my miserable roughly one-for-ten success rate with my beloved evil-fume-spewin’, flesh-dissolvin’ sodium hydroxide drain cleaner!

    The caustic soda wouldn’t be so great for any brass fittings in the hose, of course. And you’d need some sort of durable leakproof pump at your end of the hose, too.

    But once you got it all rigged, you’d also have a truly outstanding home-defence device. Door-to-door religion salesmen wouldn’t know what hit ’em.

  13. Jeff says:

    We use the rubber Drain King version of this at work(public housing maintenance, so we tend to get a lot of clogged drains.) Most of the time we will run a snake down like the Milwaukee power drain cleaner to break up the obstruction, then flush the line out with the Drain King. Works pretty well most of the time. If that won’t get it, we don’t have any more powerful equipment, and we have to call out guys like Fred.

    I wouldn’t bother with the Harbor Freight version. Spend the extra ten bucks and get the Drain King. Also pick up a six foot toilet auger while you’re at it, they sell them at Home Depot/Lowe’s for about thirty I think. You will save a hell of a lot on plumber’s bills in the future if you have those two tools in your arsenal.

  14. Tim says:

    Have used this product, althgh tough has worn, can u tell me who sells this product in GoldCoast, QLD Australia please…

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