Try It! Turbo Snake

4:19 PM, Jul 22, 2010   |    comments
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LANDOVER, Md., (WUSA) -- "We're gonna put a retriever head, and this is gonna handle whatever blockage we have," says Gary Printz.

At the U-A Mechanical School in Landover, training director Gary Printz shows his apprentices how to handle one of their most frequent calls for help.

"Just let the machine do the work.  You don't have to force it," he says to a group of students.

If this was your sink, these plumbers-in-training would have plenty of tools to clear the way.  But, the Turbo Snake says you can skip the pricey professionals and do it yourself.

It's supposed to instantly clear slow moving drains, no need to remove the drain stopper for bathroom sinks, showers and tubs.  We'll see.

Gary helps us simulate hair blockage in a frequently used sink.

He says, "Let's see if we got it in the drain where it needs to be."

With help from a diagnostic camera, Gary gets the hair in place.

"This is supposed to be able to go down, insert it into trap and twist.  It looks like it's grabbing something pretty good," Printz says.

But Gary says without a camera to show you what's stuck, there's a good chance you won't get it all.

He says, "Then you've created yourself a little more of a problem."

And in that case, someone would need to call a professional. 

The Turbo Snake did eventually unclog the drain.  But, Printz thinks it's no match for the real thing.

"This one has a little bite,' he says.

Now the question, would he try it again?

"I wouldn't try this again," he laughs.

Gary Printz and the other professionals would rather see you use the device rather than reach for a drain cleaner.

They say most cleaners harm the environment and can cause more problems.

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