Is a “Blow Bag” a Good Idea?

Q: I have a toilet that flushes slowly. I’ve tried plungers, chemicals and a plumbing snake, and nothing worked. My neighbor suggested using something called a “blow bag” that attaches to a garden hose. Is this a good idea?

 

A: A blow bag (also called flush bag) is a heavy-duty rubber bladder that attaches to a hose to clear clogs using water pressure. They can sometimes work where drain snakes can’t, like on grease clogs. The deflated bladder fits into a drain pipe. When the water is turned on, it inflates with water and expands inside the pipe. The bladder then releases jets of pressurized water to blast away clogs. However, blow bags come in sizes to match plastic pipes and aren’t designed to be inserted into a toilet, so it probably won’t get enough friction to hold in place. It’s better to insert the blow bag directly into the drain pipe by removing the toilet from the flange underneath.

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