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Cobra Sewer Machine Products / Bad service

1 Warner CourtSwedesboro, NJ, United States Review updated:
4.45
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We purchased this sewer drain cleanout machine from Lowe's for $407.95 on May 25, 2004. We have only used the machine five times since then and had significant problems on three of those occasions. According to the literature, it cleans 4" lines up to 100'. What the literature does not say is the machine "eats" cables quicker than my cat consumes a raw shrimp. Replacement cables cost about $135. I always followed the instructions when using the machine. It worked fine on a drain clog 80' away the first time I used it. The second time for the same distance the cable kinked both inside the drum and inside the 4" sewer line at about 50'. Cobra replaced that cable at no cost. The third time we used the machine was for a short distance and it worked okay - I suspect because not more than 40' of cable was deployed. The fourth time for the 80' distance the cable again kinked; and Cobra was kind enought to replace the cable. What occurred each time was we had an overflowing sewer line. I had to find a Lowe's store that actually had a replacement cable in stock, make the drive (we live in a rural area), replace the darn thing, finish the job then complain to Cobra. When the replacement cable showed up I had to return it to Lowe's for a refund. If you have even been involved in trying to clear a main sewer line with people there needing to use a toilet or take a shower and go to work you can understand the frustration. When I used this new cable installed into the drum with TLC for the first time the other day it again kinked coming out and in the line. We believe the drum and subsequent in line kinking problem is caused by the cable construction. When I pay 400 bucks for something I expect it to work, correctly, the first time, every time - especially if I have the operating instructions in my hot little hand. I have asked Cobra to buy back this worthless piece of junk and have not received the courtesy of a reply, even if it is to say no. I am pursuing this with Lowe's Corporate because they are selling this inferior product. However, if you have ever dealt with Lowe's Corporate you know talking to someone who cares is a difficult task at best. I also noted this particular model is no longer on the Cobra web-site.
Va
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St
  29th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Cobra eventually responded, claimed not to have received my first e-mail, sent a UPS pick up ticket for the objectionable item and issued a full refund. I am satisfied with the resolution but still believe the product sucked.
Sc
  14th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
The kinking of the cable was neither due to the quality of the cable, nor the construction of the machine. The problem is due to the manufacturers literature that states the capabailities of this machine. At $407, you purchased a drain machine and not a sewer machine. The smallest sewer machine would have a 5/8" cable and a 1/3 hp motor, MINIMUM. Standard sewer machines have a 3/4" cable and a 1/2 hp motor. Even the bare minimum machine used for cleaning a sewer line would easily cost$1, 000. The machine that you purchased is more inclined to be used for cleaning kitchen sink/washer drains from a clean-out or a roof vent. It's a very good machine, but not for sewer lines.
Complain to Cobra for their misleading literature and statemnts about the machines capabilities.
Ze
  24th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
replace your sewer line problem solved
Bh
  21st of Jul, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
i also have a cobra drain cleaner that i bought from lowes for $399.i used it twice. the first time it worked great. the second time the foot pedal quit working.when you step on it, it works for about 15 seconds, then you have to wait for it to air back up.eventuallly it quit all together and i had about 50 feet of cable in my drain.had to pull it out.not easy. can you buy parts for these junkers? i got 2 uses out of this thing for $400. not happy
Ja
  17th of May, 2010
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I bought one of the same units from Mennards in Grand Island NE. The problem I had was the cable kinked, so there is a major problem when trying to use it. I wished Cobra would replace the cable for me just once.
Pl
  7th of Nov, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have been in the Plumbing business for over 30years. You have to know the limitations of the equipment that you use. Proper handling and use of the equipment is huge factor here also. Because you buy a sewer machine does not make you a professiional any more than owning a rifle makes you a expert marksman.
Ma
  11th of Dec, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
hello. i'm a plumber that probably makes at least half of his income from cleaning drains and sewer lines.we also own a backhoe and replace broken and clogged sewer lines pretty often, around once a week.it's true you need at least a 1/2 inch to 5/8 cable machine that at the very minimum would cost 1000 dollars to clear roots & obstructions in sewer lines & you also need the years of knowledge it takes to have the right feel for what the machine is doing in sewer line that you cant see. thats why its so expensive to call a plumber. after reading filip's complaint. did he really save money trying it himself?
Th
  16th of Jan, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have a Cobra XL500. It's a small unit, 50 cable (I think) I bought the unit from Lowes about seven years ago. I bought it for a 2" drain line that feeds my kitchen area. It seems to clog up about every two years and usually comes as a complete surprise. Anyway, I found that the key to using the item is a short feed into the vent pipe and slow speed on the rotation, never more than 6" - 8" or so and the slowest speed possible; any longer and the cable begins to wrap onto itself. I unreel the cable and feed it by hand and only use the attached drill motor when I can no longer push it by hand. It's annoying to continuously loosen and tighten the thumb screw, but it works like a champ. My clog is usually 45 or so feet down the line. I'm certainly not a professional, but I think you have to get the feel of any tool and perhaps most non-professionals don't use it enough to retain that feel. Anyway, just a thought.
Da
  17th of Oct, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I bought a Cobra LX1000 from Home Depot. It has worked twice. When we tried to use it three days ago, the machine did nothing! We have checked everything. It will not make a sound. We are contacting Cobra. Has anyone else had the problem of the machine not turning on or starting up?

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