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Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: Brasscraft BC260

One penalty of living in an old house like mine is that the kitchen sink clogs up about twice a year. I got fed up of paying the plumber to come out and unclog it every time, so I tried various solutions. The hand powered augers were too painful to use, and the drill auger I rented once turned out to be difficult as well. Finally, I asked the plumbers to give me a recommendation. They were reluctant but eventually pointed me at the BrassCraft machine.

The BrassCraft auger sits on the ground, which is perfect, because then you're not holding the power drill. It comes with a foot switch so you can activate it while feeding the cable into the clean-out. I've used it in anger twice since I bought it earlier this year, and it works, though the set up is laborious. Because the power cable is too short, I have to first run an extension cord out to it. Then, I have to thread the proper cleaning tool onto the front, and then screw it on.

After plugging everything in, you then put on gardening gloves, and then pull out the cable and feed it into the cleanout, stepping on the foot switch to help everything grind along. Note that even though there's a "reverse gear" on the drill, the manual says not to use it! Fortunately, if you've actually cleared the obstacle in the pipe, you can generally pull the cable out by hand.

To my surprise, you can actually over-drive the cable machine: the cable itself is not anchored in anyway to the drum, so if you get over-enthusiastic and drive out all 50', you can end up pulling the cable out of the machine entirely. This sucks, because you'll spend at least 15 minutes working the cable back in.

Nevertheless, the machine will pay for itself if you use it just 3 times over it's lifetime, and it looks like it'll survive quite a bit longer than that. It also saves quite a bit of time since the penalty with calling the plumber isn't just that you have to pay him, but also wait for him to come around to where you are.


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