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Old 08-19-2019, 04:22 AM   #1
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Default Flex shaft 2.0

Skoronesa, I'm afraid I already knew that trick, I even added a handle wheel to my Spartan 1065 "widowmaker" when I had it. I'm more interested in the flex shaft machines while having some 5' cables as a backup for really infested lines. Seems like i could put together a really light setup and maybe downgrade on vehicle.



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Old 08-19-2019, 06:58 AM   #2
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I'd wait for the flex shaft. Feedback says it's hit or miss and one guy, the head broke off after what 2 month after release.

I would make my own instead.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:32 PM   #3
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I'd wait for the flex shaft. Feedback says it's hit or miss and one guy, the head broke off after what 2 month after release.

I would make my own instead.

So about this DIY business... I have 100' of 3/8" cable in pex. It works, but is quite unwieldy in a building. I have some ideas for containing it and have seen some rough ideas of what others have done for a reel. I would appreciate any documents, advice, or crayon art from anyone who can tell me anything more than "muh whacker". I spent hours chainsmoking and scrolling trying to navigate the dead links and cryptic advice on the other forum. Not trying to step on anyone's toes, I just want to diy something that seems like a good tool all around.



Also I'll show you guys my idea for a homemade chainflail/knocker when I get it together a little better.



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Old 08-19-2019, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
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So about this DIY business... I have 100' of 3/8" cable in pex. It works, but is quite unwieldy in a building. I have some ideas for containing it and have seen some rough ideas of what others have done for a reel. I would appreciate any documents, advice, or crayon art from anyone who can tell me anything more than "muh whacker". I spent hours chainsmoking and scrolling trying to navigate the dead links and cryptic advice on the other forum. Not trying to step on anyone's toes, I just want to diy something that seems like a good tool all around.



Also I'll show you guys my idea for a homemade chainflail/knocker when I get it together a little better.


I bet you are referring to Rick? We had a thread on that subject and I described the way I'd do it with irrigation tube instead of pex. That's what he uses and to make several lengths, 25, 50, 75 feet.

Don't want to design a reel, just buy one from them or maybe a chinese reel for duct rods?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3289...chweb201603_53
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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I'm more interested in hearing how these flex shaft would do in the job of clearing blockages inside the house or even a small tree root sewer blockage. I have seen the videos of them descaling cast iron and clearing blockage in small drain lines. I see that with a camera it's an awesome combo but how does it do without a camera? Being that it expands and mainly cleans on the side and not in front of the cable can it actually clear a blockage that is anything more than grease?

I am waiting for a good deal on a Ridgid k3800 drum machine with 3 different sizes of cable and drums but if the Ridgid k9 flex shaft could do the same job in opening up lines and is both lighter in weight and also leaves less of a mess then great. Now I'm just talking about every day opening of blocked drains and sewers not descaling for lining or anything like that.

Does anyone think that the flex shaft without a camera would be better than a k3800 for drains or maybe even for sewers better than a general speed rooter 92?

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Old 08-19-2019, 09:08 PM   #6
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I'm more interested in hearing how these flex shaft would do in the job of clearing blockages inside the house or even a small tree root sewer blockage. I have seen the videos of them descaling cast iron and clearing blockage in small drain lines. I see that with a camera it's an awesome combo but how does it do without a camera? Being that it expands and mainly cleans on the side and not in front of the cable can it actually clear a blockage that is anything more than grease?

I am waiting for a good deal on a Ridgid k3800 drum machine with 3 different sizes of cable and drums but if the Ridgid k9 flex shaft could do the same job in opening up lines and is both lighter in weight and also leaves less of a mess then great. Now I'm just talking about every day opening of blocked drains and sewers not descaling for lining or anything like that.

Does anyone think that the flex shaft without a camera would be better than a k3800 for drains or maybe even for sewers better than a general speed rooter 92?

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The answer is no, flex shaft is just another tool in the set of drain tools. For outside use it could be useful. Rick removes a lot of roots with his contraption from an outside clean out without a camera. For me in a house I'm convinced it would fail miserably.

Ridgid couldn't answer me when I asked if it would go through 5 vent 1 1/2" 90's on a 50' distance. They well damn know it won't do it.

The other issue for optimal results you need to use a camera but who the hell pays for a camera. Not the people around here anyway! You going to charge 335$ just to use the combo on top of the hourly rate? Then how about a 2" pipe, you going to buy a microdrain camera too?
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I'm more interested in hearing how these flex shaft would do in the job of clearing blockages inside the house or even a small tree root sewer blockage. I have seen the videos of them descaling cast iron and clearing blockage in small drain lines. I see that with a camera it's an awesome combo but how does it do without a camera? Being that it expands and mainly cleans on the side and not in front of the cable can it actually clear a blockage that is anything more than grease?

I am waiting for a good deal on a Ridgid k3800 drum machine with 3 different sizes of cable and drums but if the Ridgid k9 flex shaft could do the same job in opening up lines and is both lighter in weight and also leaves less of a mess then great. Now I'm just talking about every day opening of blocked drains and sewers not descaling for lining or anything like that.

Does anyone think that the flex shaft without a camera would be better than a k3800 for drains or maybe even for sewers better than a general speed rooter 92?

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It depends on what size lines you'll be working with. I own a k-3800, k-50, k-60, k-7500 and a couple other machines. I find that the sectional machines clean better and have confirmed with my camera. If your goal is to get it clean as possible without jetting I would go with a sectional or flex shaft. With proper procedures there should not be much more of a mess than with a drum.

I also own a 50' long picote flex shaft that was given to me by a guy I sometimes jet for. One of the trainees burnt out the outer layer by overheating it on a job. I was able to salvage a 50' and a 33' foot section of the 100'. it works great for getting rid of roots and grease. I have used it on a few main sewer jobs to unclog and I'd say I prefer to snake first since it will get bogged down if pushed too fast. To be fair, I am running it with a Ridgid 18v octane drill. I'm not sure how much better it would be with the actual picote machine.

I almost put an order in for one of those Ridgid flex shaft machines but a friend of mine who went to the Wett show said they looked too fragile for heavy duty work. From what I've heard, from people who got one, he was right. If you don't do too much drain cleaning and are mainly going to use it on branch lines you might be ok. I've also heard it's very difficult to take tight bends with them.

If you want similar cleaning performance without the much higher price tag you can try using a chain knocker on a sectional or with a drill. The only problem is that you'll need a minimum of 2" access. The drums spin way too slowly to be as effective. I've actually descaled several 2" cast iron pipes with that setup. Plus it'll take care of light roots as well.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:52 PM   #8
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To continue my mini rant I told the tool store guys to stop pushing machines they have no clue if they are appropriate for our area. They don't have a clue and no feedback . They are the biggest specialized tool store with several drain machines on the floor but every time I order something I'm always the first one in 25 years to buy that item like the k-3800 sink drum, the guide tube, the sonde adapter etc.

I told them I'm sick of tired of buying thousand dollar machines in complete darkness to find out it could be a 4000$ paper weight. Stop reading me the brochure and get some true videos in action from the manufacturers. I believe the drain machine companies do on purpose to hide to see if their equipment are up to par. When is the last time you saw a true video from them clearing a true blockage??

Ridgid is supposed to be in town this thursday for their "road show" and if I don't forget to show up I'll give them a piece of my mind.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:09 PM   #9
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We don't normally have crazy roots here in the sewers but almost all houses have a basement so I was hoping a flex shaft might have been good for the back compared to getting a drum machine in the basement.

For smaller drain lines I was thinking the flex shaft looked like it is easier to keep clean and has less chance of making a mess. I was also thinking it would be nice to have just 1 machine and cable rather than a machine and 3 different drums with different cable sizes.

I know a flex shaft would really shine if used with a camera but I was thinking it is the same as with drum machines where no one cares to pay for a camera but just wants the line opened up.

Since I'm not a drain only plumber but an all around plumber that does most things I will need just the basics of machines to deal with the few drain calls and can't have all sorts of machines.

It sounds like flex shaft has its place but not as the only machine. I think I might be best off sticking to my plan of a k3800 and a speed rooter.

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Old 08-19-2019, 11:48 PM   #10
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If you are talking clearing real clogs/roots in 3" and 4" then drum unit for in the house, sectional for outside or for if you really need firepower from in the house you tarp stuff off.


From what I have seen the main drawback of a flexshaft is the lack of flexibility. They will not go through the same fittings for a given total outside diameter vs a cable. Like a 3/8" flexshaft cable plus a pex jacket is 5/8". If you think it will go around 2" 90's like my 5/8" general cable you are fooling yourself.


The drum unit has been around for what? 80 years? The sectional ~100? Just like the pipe wrench we all still use today some things just can't be made that much lighter or easier. Even an aluminum pipe wrench has its drawbacks. A 14" aluminum pipe wrench just isn't as strong as a 14" cast iron. Just like my 5/8" cable vs flex shaft example. Same size, lighter, less strength.


Now if you want to go making a titanium version......


Yes, a drum is heavy, but quite frankly it is the standard for drain cleaning in a house. And it is the standard for a reason. Drain snaking is not an old guys profession. Just like how we don't send our old guys into a crawl space(A real crawlspace, not these 4' tall concrete floored basements) we don't send our old guys to lug around drain cleaning equipment.


If the drum unit is too much for you then go to the gym or do some stretches first. Or hire a young helper. Also, I have no issue keeping things clean and I use mine daily.










.
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