Cheapest plumbing snake
February 14, 2010 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Plumbing filter: Where's the least expensive place to buy a powered plumbing snake?

We need to buy a 75-foot powered plumbing snake and they seem to be incredibly expensive. Have you ever bought one? We need advice on how to find the least expensive one.
posted by raisingsand to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Harbor Freight is my go-to for cheap tools, if you have one nearby. But it looks like their longest snakes top out at 50' and are $250+. Aside from that check Craigslist. And start calling pawn shops; sometimes people need to unload professional tools for cash. I don't think you'll find a 75' powered snake for cheap, though.
posted by 6550 at 8:48 AM on February 14, 2010

Have you called some local hardware stores to see if they rent it? I've rented power drills, and our local store has a lot of other similar things.

I don't know where you are, but I found this place in TN that lists sewer snakes for rent.
posted by saffry at 9:10 AM on February 14, 2010

Most rental stores have plumbing snakes for hourly/day rent.
posted by srbrunson at 9:29 AM on February 14, 2010

Here in LA, you can get pretty good deals on used power equipment at a local pawn shop. You might try looking the ones in your community up and calling to see what they've got.

Just know what retail is before you make an offer (and do make an offer - the marked price is never the 'real' price; 25% of retail is a good place to start for an item in good working order.)
posted by soulbarn at 9:31 AM on February 14, 2010

It would be helpful if you would give us a little more information. Is this for one clog that just came up, routine maintenance on a single home, or are you equipping a rental maintenance man? The tool you obtain will differ under each of these circumstances. If you only need it for one immediate clog, any tool rental place will have what you need. Other wise, there are several ways to go and the path you take should be based on what you actual needs will be. Least expensive may not be the most economical.
posted by Old Geezer at 11:09 AM on February 14, 2010

If you need to own one, rather than just renting, you should still check out tool rental places. Often, they sell the tools they rent, even though they are not broken or worn out. You can save a bundle over new, and they are usually pretty rugged.

A plumber cautioned me about using the powered snake. If it get stuck, and the motor continues to run, a lot of power gets stored in that long spring. It can whip up and wrap itself around your hand or arm - JustLikeThat. Use long, heavy gloves. Keep the exposed snake short. Watch out for tiredness, because that is when you can start making mistakes.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 12:19 PM on February 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers, we didn't check Harbor Tools. We are trying to equip our rental maintenance crew, just as Old Geezer surmised. We're renting them on a pretty regular basis, and this is one of those items that would pay for itself within a year. We are already looking at Craigslist and the pawn shops, and wanted some other options. Next time I'll be more specific. Thanks!
posted by raisingsand at 9:23 AM on February 15, 2010

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