Drain, Sewer Cleaning Machines

    Rental Equipment for Cleaning Drains and Sewers

    Is your drain backed up? Rent a drain or sewer cleaning machine. Rental stores carry a variety of equipment for cleaning drain and sewer clogs. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental professional can recommend the equipment you need for properly cleaning your drains and sewers quickly and easily.

    • Toilet or closet auger. This manual, rental auger designed for cleaning clogged toilets uses a cable that reaches 3 to 6 feet down the toilet bowl’s drain. This type of auger features a guard to prevent scratching porcelain.
    • Drain snake or auger. This drain-cleaning, rental tool uses coiled metal cable or flat steel wire to clear clogs in drains that have small diameters, such as ones for sinks, bathtubs or showers. It is available in manual or drill-operated models. The manual model operates by hand, whereas the drill-operated model attaches to an electric drill to feed the cable. These drain snakes can reach between 25 to 50 feet.
    • Water ram. Rent a water ram to clear clogs in toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs and floor drains using compressed air.
    • Electric sewer jet. Rent this drain-cleaning tool to clean floor or main drains using high-pressure water. An advantage of this tool is that it unclogs drains without undue stress on pipe walls. It also works well to clear blockages caused by severe grease, sand or ice.
    • Electric sewer snake or auger. Also known as an eel or rooter, this electrical rental item works to clear tough clogs in large-diameter drains, such as a main sewer line from the house to the street. This type of snake consists of a cage or drum containing continuous cable that can reach from 50 to 100 feet down the drain.
    • Sectional-cable sewer snakes. Unlike continuous-cable models, these electric, sectional-cable sewer snakes consist of 5- to 10-foot cable sections that snap together to make a cable up to 500 feet long. Therefore, a section is damaged, it can be replaced at the worksite without having to return the equipment to the rental store for repair before continuing to work. This drain-cleaning tool works well to clear tough drain blockages, such as those caused by tree roots. It may also be used for the same applications for which you would rent an electric sewer snake.
    • Pipe inspection equipment. This rental item allows video recording of the pipeline using a cable-mounted video camera that transmits the recorded images to a video monitor. It is often used to troubleshoot drain problems or to locate an expensive item someone washed down a drain.
    • Wet/dry vacuum. Plumbing problems may cause water to overflow and puddle. Rent an industrial-strength wet/dry vacuum to remove the water quickly and easily.
    • Submersible pump. When a large amount of water accumulates from a sewer backup, rent a pump to remove it.


    Getting good advice and the proper drain-cleaning equipment at a rental store allows even beginner do-it-yourselfers to handle tough drain clogs themselves. Homeowners, plumbers, apartment complex superintendants, building maintenance personnel and maintenance contractors all have discovered the many benefits of renting drain and sewer cleaning equipment. Renting drain and sewer cleaning equipment can be:

    • Effective. Rental stores offer a variety of drain and sewer cleaning equipment to tackle specific types of drain clogs like a professional.
    • Economical. Words to describe a drain clog include messy, inconvenient and inevitable, but there is no need to add expensive to the list. Renting equipment to clean drains yourself eliminates outside labor costs.
    • Fast. Rent to take care of drain problems yourself without having to wait for professional drain cleaning companies to find the time.
    • Clean. No one cares more about your home than you do. Renting equipment allows for control and the necessary precautions to prevent a messy worksite.


    Rental drain and sewer cleaning equipment offers different features. Becoming familiar with available options will help you rent the equipment that best suits your needs.

    • Type of drain cleaner. The type of drain and sewer cleaning equipment suggested for rental depends on the size and location of the clogged drain. See above for more information on the various types and uses of rental equipment for cleaning drains and sewers.
    • Source of power. Rental drain and sewer cleaning equipment comes in manual, electric or gas powered units. Manual units work best for small clogs or for the inexperienced operator. Electric drain-cleaning equipment is faster and more powerful than hand-operated tools. Gas-powered units provide a solution for cleaning tough, drains clogs where there is no available electrical source.
    • Length of cable. Bigger drain or sewer lines require more cable for cleaning it than smaller drain lines need. Only three to six feet of cable is needed to clear a clogged toilet, but up to 200 feet may be needed to clean a main sewer line blocked by tree roots.
    • Safety features. Since rental equipment to clean drains requires use around water, look for electrical-safety features on electrical units. Electric drain and sewer cleaning equipment equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) helps to prevent electrocutions, as well as electric shocks and burns, by shutting the equipment down when it detects electrical current leakage. In addition, a slip-clutch feature stops a cable from rotating so much that it whips around, possibly injuring the operator.
    • Covered cage. Some drain cleaners are able to be used with disposable covers to prevent spraying floors with wastewater during the drain-cleaning process.
    • Transportability. Transport lighter drain-cleaning units that have fold-down handles easier than some more heavy-duty models.

    Best practices

    You may want to rent drain and sewer cleaning equipment, such as a snake or auger, for drain clogs too big for or unresponsive to plunging. Before you use this equipment, please review the tips below and read all manufacturer warnings and instructions. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental store professional can provide you with complete instructions. Some rental stores offer how-to video instructions for information on using the equipment safely and effectively.

    • Read all manufacturer warnings and instructions for drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment before use.
    • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
    • Only connect electric drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment to a grounded outlet.
    • Do not operate electric drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment in standing water to prevent electrical shock.
    • Do not use drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment in a drain containing drain chemicals. These chemicals can injure the operator exposed to them and can damage the drain and sewer cleaning equipment. Be sure to thoroughly dilute any drain chemicals in the drain with water or let them drain overnight before using drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment.
    • Never pour materials that harden, such as paint or glue, down the drain.
    • Run hot water in your kitchen sink for several minutes every few days to loosen and flush grease.

    Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your drain and sewer cleaning equipment needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.

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