Which Drain Flusher is Better? Rubber Bladder or DrainJet®

Drain flushers are an effective yet affordable way to unclog your drains. This handy tool can save you time, money, and stress and ensure that your plumbing is running smoothly!

There are two types of drain flushers - rubber bladders and blow bags or fabric drain flushers like the DrainJet® (industrial canvas). Deciding which one will work best for you depends on what you want to accomplish.

How they Work

Rubber bladders and fabric drain flushers basically do the same thing – clear your pipe clog using water pressure. With the DrainJet® you turn the water on quickly so it seats in the pipe and starts flushing right away, creating a powerful jet action. With a rubber flusher you turn the water on slowly so the bladder fills up and expands before it releases water and pressurizes the pipe.

Maneuverability in Pipes

Positioning the drain flusher in the pipe is easier with a DrainJet® because the fabric is more flexible and it has a stiffener spring to provide it with enough stiffness to maneuver around bends and turns. Rubber flushers don’t have as much flexibility or pushing stiffness.

Price & Availability

If you need a drain flusher right away and want to spend less now, then the rubber bladder is your choice. It is inexpensive and available at local home improvement and large retailers. The DrainJet® is available at online retailers like Amazon and McMaster Carr, professional plumbing wholesalers, swimming pool outlets and the Petersen® Products website.

Fabric vs. Rubber

Exploding into pieces, being punctured, developing cracks, limited shelf life, and durability issues make Rubber more dangerous to use than fabric. Because fabric flushers are stronger, last longer and are less prone to failure, DrainJet® is the flusher of choice for plumbers and swimming pool maintenance professionals.

Rubber Bladder in Pieces

Hot Water

Only fabric flushers can use hot water. So if you need to melt away fat, oil and grease buildup in your pipes, do not use a rubber flusher!

Added Functionality

Some DrainJet® flushers have a threaded nozzle so you can plug the end with an NPT cap or plug and use it as a pipe plug too!


Because Drain flushers use water pressure to clear clogs you want to be sure all vents and branch connections are blocked off, your pipes are not old and weak and pipe seals are strong. If you have a blockage caused by tree roots, a drain flusher will not work. Also, it may be difficult to determine the drain flusher's location in pipes.

Feature Rubber Bladder Fabric Drain Flusher/DrainJet®
Low Price X  
Availability - Retail Stores X  
Won't Explode or Burst into Pieces   X
Resists Punctures   X
Won't Crack   X
Long Shelf Life/Durability   X
Use Hot Water   X
Professionals Choice   X
Use as a Pipe Plug   X