Milwaukee Tool recently introduced a new solution for unclogging toilets, urinals, and floor traps for service plumbers and facility maintenance professionals with the Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake Porcelain Auger System. The TrapSnake allows multiple auger attachments to be unified on a single power source.
The heart of the system is the M12 TrapSnake Driver which produces low RPM and torque to unblock drains and protect porcelain fixtures. The M12 TrapSnake Driver attaches to either a 6-foot Toilet Auger or 4-foot Urinal Auger extension for the work at hand.
A while back, I had the opportunity to review the Milwaukee M12 Drain Snake by clearing some waste arms and other small drain stoppages. It’s a fine tool when you have access to open pipes and drains where letting the cables spin won’t cause damage to porcelain. But fast-spinning cables can mar and damage fixtures, so toilet blockages call for a different tool. Milwaukee’s solution is the Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake 6-Foot Toilet Auger.
Once I had it, all I needed was a clogged toilet, which didn’t take long to find in my line of work!
This toilet auger is sometimes called the closet auger by plumbing Pros in a reference to the times and places where the bathroom was called a water closet. The Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake version is recommended for 2- to 4-inch drains and features a 6-foot by 1/2-inch cable with a retriever bulb cable end. In a move that will draw praise from plumbers everywhere, Milwaukee has made the cables replaceable.
What’s more, a cable locking mechanism holds the cable in place while it telescopes to reach deeper clogs. Besides being longer than the Milwaukee TrapSnake for urinals, this toilet version is distinguished by a curved, rubber boot to guide the cable into the toilet’s serpentine innards and protect the porcelain.
It’s all powered by the M12 TrapSnake Driver which spins the cable at a low RPM. You could opt for the interchangeable TrapSnake Auger Handle and do the job manually, but what fun would that be?
It might seem a little odd that Milwaukee chose to design a dedicated driver for the auger rather than simply have it hook up to a drill like some other designs. But I think a drill attachment in the wrong hands will likely do too much damage to the bowl with a high RPM.
Saint Auger-stine Goes “Bowl”ing
Today’s low-flow, eco-friendly toilets certainly save water but they also result in more clogs. That thick, comfortable toilet paper is a contributor, as are simply inappropriate items. If you’ve ever asked little Johnny where all his Legos went, he might have confessed they went down the drain. It’s not like the toilet’s design helps. Sure, its serpentine drain traps sewer gasses from entering the building, but anything flowing through a bend experiences resistance and is more likely to clog.
Clogged toilets are one of the most common service calls, so it wasn’t long until I was using the Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake 6-Foot Toilet Auger in the field. I fed the exposed cable down the toilet drain and then inserted the boot to protect the visible porcelain. I pulled the driver’s trigger and began the unclogging process. To ensure that the drain was completely clear, I pulled out the telescoping column and then pushed it down to fully extend the cable into the drain. It worked like a charm.
Pro Tip: Even though the rubber boot goes a long way in protecting the bowl, the cable can still mark up the porcelain near the bottom of the bowl if you’re not careful when you insert and remove the exposed cable. If you do create marks, you can rub that off with some fine sandpaper.
The Bottom Line
I’ve never used a battery-powered toilet auger and the benefit is obvious. I don’t have to awkwardly crank a handle around its axis like a manual version. It saves my arms and shoulders some work but more to the point, it doesn’t bind up like a hand auger so often does. The low-torque power of the TrapSnake keeps the cable moving where my own force can’t while protecting the inside of the bowl from damage caused by a high RPM.
Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake 6-Foot Toilet Auger allows the user to replace the cable when it’s showing too much wear for service. This gives the auger a big advantage over its competitors, who get thrown out and replaced by a completely new tool. Even some of the good ones cost less than $50 – a third the price of this model. An old-school plumbing Pro may scoff at the cost of this battery-powered auger, but the replaceable cable makes the TrapSnake quite effective in terms of consumables and time.
This is absolutely the tool to use for toilet clogs – it works quickly and efficiently without bind-ups and lowers the risk of damage to porcelain. I’ve already recommended that my fellow plumbers at Curry and Company Plumbing go out and get one because it’s easy to endorse and difficult to lend! If you’re already on the M12 platform using a ProPEX Expander or Press Tool, you can’t go wrong – and even if you’re not, the TrapSnake will surely win you over as a kit.
Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake 6-Foot Toilet Auger Features
- M12 TrapSnake Driver: Maneuvers traps faster and protects porcelain, compatible with all TrapSnake Augers
- Patent Pending Cable Lock: Integrated locking mechanism which holds the cable in place for easy telescoping extension and retraction
- Fixed Rubber Boot: Prevents porcelain scratches throughout the life of the tool
- Industry’s First Replaceable Cables
Milwaukee M12 TrapSnake 6-Foot Toilet Auger Specifications
- Model Numbers:
- 2576-21 (Kit)
- 2576-20 (Bare)
- Milwaukee 48-53-2576 (Replacement Cables)
- Cable Size: 6-foot x 1/2-inch
- End: Retriever Bulb
- Cable Locking Mechanism: Yes
- Replaceable Cables: Available
- Protective Boot: Yes
- Recommended Drain Size: 2- to 4-inch
- Warranty (tool/cable/battery): 5-year / 2-year / 2-year
- Kit includes M12 battery and M12 charger
- Price: $149 (kit), $119 (bare), $28 (replacement cable)