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Old 08-20-2019, 01:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoronesa View Post
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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Now it's not like I make that much of a mess but I do have a habit of also running the cable when pulling it back just to clean a little extra. I put a dropcloth down for the sewer machine but small or big machine I always end up having to clean the cabinet or walls for a little splashing from the cable.

When it comes to the drum machine being too much for me, I might not be going to the gym but I'm 6'6" tall and plenty strong but that does not change that I would like to keep my back in good shape too. I know the general speed rooter 92 I am planing on buying is not too bad for weight but weight keeps being in my mind since where I work currently we have the biggest Gorlitz machine with heavy 3/4" cable and I'm pretty sure this is the most heavy machine one can buy.

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Old 08-20-2019, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
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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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I only keep the sink drum in the truck which is used the most often and I also keep the 3/8" drum. It does my laundry lines. It does toilet lines when I find out it's not the toilet but the line. I keep the 1/2" cable drum at home and I pick it up only when I get a real call for it. I used the 1/2" maybe 2-3 times in the last 12 months. I also carry my k-45AF and that too is seldom used now, only twice in the last 12 months. I think I might remove the water ram from the truck, it hasn't been used for a year.

I decline many many calls when the whole basement is clogged. I'm not risking the cable at the 4"x6" pipe. I'm saddened to lose on that kind of money but I'm too afraid to get stuck and have to pay from my own pocket for a dig and a new reno. The other companies make tons of money selling them a repipe. I'm not sure was the scam percentage is though.

My 2 drums makes no mess at all, I always wipe them on the way back.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:41 PM   #13
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I have 3 different Picote Felx shaft machines:

Picote Super Midi-Miller (1/2 cable x110ft)
Picote Mini-Miller (1/3 cable x 59 ft)
Picote Mini-Cleaner 1/3 cable with flexy sheath x 59 ft)

The Mini cleaner is used for sinks and floor drains. The mini-miller is used to clear interior mainline/branchline blockages. The super midi is the full on mainline cleaner.

The only "traditional" snake I carry is a little handheld for tubs.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:42 PM   #14
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I am not a fan of the new ridgid flexshaft machines because you have to have one hand on the drill. This makes operating a potential hazard in my opinion.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:36 PM   #15
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Now it's not like I make that much of a mess but I do have a habit of also running the cable when pulling it back just to clean a little extra. I put a dropcloth down for the sewer machine but small or big machine I always end up having to clean the cabinet or walls for a little splashing from the cable.

When it comes to the drum machine being too much for me, I might not be going to the gym but I'm 6'6" tall and plenty strong but that does not change that I would like to keep my back in good shape too. I know the general speed rooter 92 I am planing on buying is not too bad for weight but weight keeps being in my mind since where I work currently we have the biggest Gorlitz machine with heavy 3/4" cable and I'm pretty sure this is the most heavy machine one can buy.

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You describe the cleanliness situation well. It also sounds like the 92 will be similar in regards to what you can clean while also being significantly lighter.








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Old 08-21-2019, 10:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoronesa View Post
You describe the cleanliness situation well. It also sounds like the 92 will be similar in regards to what you can clean while also being significantly lighter.








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It's been a few years since I used the speed rooter 92 but compared to the Gorlitz I think the 92 with the drum and 100' of 5/8" cable is close to the weight of just the machine alone with no drum on the Gorlitz.
I'll try and wipe the cable with a rag when pulling back and see if it helps with the mess but I had just thought it might get caught in the cable. I see the flex shaft has its uses like descaling before lining but was hoping it would compete with the drum machines too for opening blockages.

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Old 08-21-2019, 11:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dane View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by skoronesa View Post
You describe the cleanliness situation well. It also sounds like the 92 will be similar in regards to what you can clean while also being significantly lighter.








.
It's been a few years since I used the speed rooter 92 but compared to the Gorlitz I think the 92 with the drum and 100' of 5/8" cable is close to the weight of just the machine alone with no drum on the Gorlitz.
I'll try and wipe the cable with a rag when pulling back and see if it helps with the mess but I had just thought it might get caught in the cable. I see the flex shaft has its uses like descaling before lining but was hoping it would compete with the drum machines too for opening blockages.

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Whenever I use the k-7500 I use the auto feed to retrieve the cable. That allows me to use 2 rags to clean off the cable. I rarely have more than a few drops to clean up.
You just have to get good quality rags. I've tried those cheap rags they sell at Home Depot and they'll get wrapped up on the cable. They can be used it just is a slower go of it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dane View Post
It's been a few years since I used the speed rooter 92 but compared to the Gorlitz I think the 92 with the drum and 100' of 5/8" cable is close to the weight of just the machine alone with no drum on the Gorlitz.
I'll try and wipe the cable with a rag when pulling back and see if it helps with the mess but I had just thought it might get caught in the cable. I see the flex shaft has its uses like descaling before lining but was hoping it would compete with the drum machines too for opening blockages.

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I am not a scale, but I think it all evens out a bit when you have 100'+ of 5/8" cable. The drum machines all have their pros and cons and I have grown to love and hate every one I have used. If I had my druthers, it would be something like a Spartan 300/ 2001 hybrid with a plastic clamshell over the wire drum holding 5/8 duracable.



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Old 08-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #19
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Flex shaft The Scoop.


Here’s the scoop you’ve been waiting for. I spent 2 hours of my time and went to see the Ridgid road show at the tool supplier. They had too many sandwiches, I should of taken a second when they told me to grab one for the road but anyways....

I decided to bring my test set up to their tents, I use this set-up to simulate kitchen lines when I try out new machines to see how they behave and to see the issues that rise up from practice sessions. I also asked to try out their microdrain camera, the 2 guys went back to their hotel to go and get it. I finally got the results I needed for the camera to see if it made sense to purchase one but that's another story.


They told me Ridgid bought clog dog, not sure if it’s accurate or not. What I found strange is no one else checked out the flex shaft, cameras, or navitracks while I was there. I tried out the flex shaft, I was pleasantly surprised to see it went through all the bends in my pipes I brought along. Their 2" setup on the wall was unrealistic, too easy. .They asked me if there were that many bends in houses, I said yeah and sometimes more than that. The trick which they didn’t tell me until I wondered why my hands were oily is you have to lube the sheath with vegetable oil.



Pro’s for the K9-102 (small flex shaft) 1200$CAD
-Lightweight
-Easy to feed in the line
-50' length
-Bends easily
-If the end breaks all you have to do is tack weld the cable end and re-attach
the chains


Cons
-The flex cable inside the sheath is a little more than a 1/4"
-The cable is very very flexible and looks fragile
-You can only use forward, using reverse the cable will unwind.
-You can’t use a lot of torque with your drill or it will snap the cable
-I can see it breaking off leaving the chains inside the pipe. Now you need a
drum machine with a retriever bit to get it back
-You have to carry a jar of vegetable oil to lube the sheath because you can
only push it compared to a drum machine where it rotates the cable.
-You’re gloves oily your drill will become oily, your tools get oily etc.



Pro’s for the K9-204 (Large flex shaft) 1700$CAD
-Lightweight and easy to bring down and up the stairs in a basement or
second floor. No more lugging a 200 pound machine ruining carpet or
hurting your back.
-Reasonable price



Doubts
-The shaft is still small and flexible, how much torque can it handle getting
caught in roots?
-If it’s fragile then a camera would be needed to see where you are going
and what you are doing.
-Can you safely push a camera and the flex shaft in the same pipe without
them getting tangled and impossible to get back?


Would I buy one? I would not buy the small flex shaft, my k-3800 has the power and has proven itself, I doubt the small flex shaft will manage our pipes with many bends. Unless proven otherwise.

However I could see buying the large flex shaft, it would solve the issue of lugging a huge machine to clear the main line up to the street. It’s economical but I would have to go home and get the chinese camera and include the pricing of the cam and flex shaft in combination. Will it do roots well?

Another issue I wouldn’t build my own because if it gets stuck and I get sued I’ll lose because it’s not approved equipment. I’ll have to pay from my pocket the backhoe, new lawn, new floors. Simple as that. I read a court case like this, the plumber had to pay because he didn’t use the right size cable or bit. The story was a little vague.



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Last edited by Tango; 08-22-2019 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:10 PM   #20
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Ok some pictures of the large Flex Shaft. The unit comes with chains. Carbide lug chains is extra.


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Flex shaft 2.0-flex-22-.jpg  

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