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  • should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

    As you can see from my join date I'm very new to this; okay, here's my story:

    I recently bought an older house with a 4" main line made of clay tile. The main line has cottonwood tree root problems that need to be cleaned out every 10 months. I've been told that it takes approx 125' of cable to get to the city main. There is a house between my house and the city main so my sewer must make a "jog" around the house behind my back yard.

    I decided to buy a used k-750 from someone locally. The machine works okay but my concern is the cable. It has 100' of 3/4" inner core cable that appears to have been abused. It has a weld repair near the tip, another weld repair approx. 55' from the tip and 4 kinks starting at about 75' and ending at about 95' from the tip. It also has various permanent bends (near kinks). I've attached pictures to show these problem areas.

    I decided to "test" the machine & cable so I used the machine on the main line at my house without a blade. This way I was able to check the operation with minimal stress. I got the cable out to the first kink (about 75') and decided to stop. Most of the time the cable and machine ran smoothly, but there were several times the cable tried to bind and was moving violently while advancing. At one point the motor cut off for a few minutes because it was too hot. Now remember, this was without a blade and I was doing my best to go slowly!!! So I’m thinking, what would happen if I actually had a blade on the end of the cable and was trying to cut roots??... Also the last 10' of the 100' of cable does not go "smoothly" back into the drum. I think this is because of the kinks & bends in the cable it does not lay correctly in the drum, therefore, takes up too much space. The only way I can get all of the cable back in is to use a wrench on the guide tube assembly to force it past the spot where it binds with the cable already in the drum. This usually happens the last 10' or so.

    On to my dilemma.... Should I:
    1) use the 3/4" cable as is & hope it doesn't break? I'll need to buy an extra 25'.
    2) repair (remove) the 4 blemishes using Repair Splicers and or couplings?
    3) trash the old 3/4" cable as a boat Anker and buy 100' and 25' (or 75' + 75') of NEW 5/8" cable?
    4) trash the old 3/4" cable as a boat Anker and buy 2, 75' of NEW 3/4" cable? Expensive...
    5) buy 75' of NEW 3/4" cable and salvage 50' from the old 3/4" cable to come up with the 125' feet I need? Obviously using this option I need to figure out where to put the old 50', at the blade or the end (in the drum)

    some additional thoughts/questions:
    If I buy 125' of new 5/8" inner core cable, is that heavy enough to cut cottonwood roots to 125'? Given that the trees are only in my yard, I'm not sure the roots go all the way to the City main.

    If I salvage some of the old 3/4" cable, where do I put it, near the blade or between the drum and the new 3/4 cable? How reliable are Repair splicers and or couplings? What blade should I use for the cottonwood roots, Sawtooth cutter or double cutter? If double cutter should I use a 3" blade for my 4" pipe, or can I use a 4" blade in the 4" pipe (I've read in the forums this is a bad idea, although one of the local plumbers I talked to said that's what he'd do). All of the blades I've been looking at are on the Ridgid webpage for the k-750, should I look else ware? I've read about a "spiral root saw" where do I get one of those or is that another name for Ridgid's Sawtooth cutter?

    Many thanks for any suggestions, feedback.
    Knute

    p.s. please move this thread if its in the wrong section.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by wyoming; 11-26-2007, 09:20 PM. Reason: clarify a point

  • #2
    Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

    Welcome to the forum...1st off, what kind of experience do you have running cable machines?? It says your an auto tech??? 2nd..How old is this used machine you bought??? 3rd...ABSOLUTELY DO NOT use that cable that is pictured unless you want to wind up your fingers and or arms, or wrap the cable over on itself...

    My suggestion is to get the line video inspected before you do anything...Im all for saving money and doing things myself...but using an old machine with that cable on 125 or more line with tree roots....your just asking for trouble...you may save yourself some money and pain and suffering by getting the line video inspected...find out how severe the line is....what condition the Terra Cotta is in....

    If this is an ongoing problem for you, i would suggest letting the pros handle it....specially with tree roots

    Greg
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

      What's the depth, where the roots are? Might think of repairing that section ,and adding a second clean out mid way.
      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

        Thanks for your quick responses.

        > what kind of experience do you have running cable machines??
        at this point, once.

        > How old is this used machine you bought???
        it’s the current model, but beyond that I have no Idea....

        > What's the depth, where the roots are?
        Unfortunately, I have not yet had it video inspected.
        The trees are in my yard (next to the back fence, and from my house to the back fence is about 15'. I don't know how far the tree roots "chase" the sewer main before they enter it. The problem is the rest of the sewer pipe is in in the neighbor's yard. Not sure at this point if he'll let me mess with his yard...

        I can get it video inspected, any suggestions on what cable/blades I should buy if the main line is in reasonable condition....

        once again, thanks,

        Knute

        p.s. This forum is awesome, wish I would have found it sooner......
        Last edited by wyoming; 11-26-2007, 10:35 PM. Reason: added p.s.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

          welcome wyoming

          trash that cable and don't even think of using it on anything.

          it's going to be a fairly expensive investment for 100' and another 25' of 3/4'' cable. probably $300-400

          unless you do this a lot, the cost of this machine sitting might not pay off for you. make sure you properly dry the cable and oil it as it will sit and rust with your little use.

          a video is a great idea as it will allow you to document the total footage and problem areas. the footage can be transfered to the cable and then you can do a great job on the problem areas.

          keep reading and ask questions. plenty to pick up on and learn too.

          be careful with that machine. it's not rocket science, but more hands on experience you need to learn. a 3/4'' cable bites very hard.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

            I'm with Drain Medic and Toolaholic on this one. A cable that binds up can hurt you very easily. Your present cable is very dangerous and should not be used or "repaired". Drain cleaning is not as simple as putting the cable in the pipe and turning the machine on. A reliable and reputable plumber can solve your problem long term and this is what I recommend. If you are insistent on doing this yourself; there is a "drain cleaning discussion" that you should explore and read every thread before you do anything else. This is also where this post should have been posted but no big deal, we're flexible. Welcome to the forum and please keep us updated on your situation.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post

              be careful with that machine. it's not rocket science, but more hands on experience you need to learn. a 3/4'' cable bites very hard.

              rick.
              Not trying to discourage you, but you are getting some darn good advice here!

              I agree that you should hire a pro to video the pipe and get a pro to clear it for you.

              Regards,

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                What are you talking about guy's? That cable is excellent, it will spin around and really clean that drain! All my cables look like that.....kidding, but I tell you what, a cable that is used cleans the drain better then a new cable with no rolls or kinks or bends.

                I perfer slightly used cables over new cables any day.

                As far as the comments, all are valid, and with that cable, an in-experienced guy can break a hand, a wrist, or fingers, I don't advise you to use that cable, invest in a new one, for approx $300 or call a professional.
                sigpic

                Robert

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                  Was the house behind you built in what was originally your houses yard?
                  If your sewer pipe passes through the rear house yard you probably have some sort of easement throught their yard to allow for replacement if needed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                    Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                    What are you talking about guy's? That cable is excellent, it will spin around and really clean that drain! All my cables look like that.....kidding, but I tell you what, a cable that is used cleans the drain better then a new cable with no rolls or kinks or bends.

                    I perfer slightly used cables over new cables any day.

                    As far as the comments, all are valid, and with that cable, an in-experienced guy can break a hand, a wrist, or fingers, I don't advise you to use that cable, invest in a new one, for approx $300 or call a professional.

                    Ya you would say that

                    it only takes 1 little kink to ruin everything if you dont know what your doing.
                    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                      Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                      What are you talking about guy's? That cable is excellent, it will spin around and really clean that drain! All my cables look like that.....kidding, but I tell you what, a cable that is used cleans the drain better then a new cable with no rolls or kinks or bends.

                      I perfer slightly used cables over new cables any day.

                      As far as the comments, all are valid, and with that cable, an in-experienced guy can break a hand, a wrist, or fingers, I don't advise you to use that cable, invest in a new one, for approx $300 or call a professional.


                      Why am i not suprised that you would say something like that

                      That cable in that picture would kill someone...it only takes one little kink
                      The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                      www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                        What will happen if that old cable breaks under the Neighbors property? Maybe, can't be retrieved,without digging ! Why not hire a pro an learn the 1st time? I'd get it camered and located. Also have a real estate Attorney check Your rights to repair on other property before You need to.
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                          Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post

                          I perfer slightly used cables over new cables any day.
                          Have I got a deal for you
                          You buy a few new cables and I`ll brake em in for ya at no charge
                          http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                            Hello all, and once again thanks for the awesome discussion.
                            Originally posted by Australian Plumber Josh View Post
                            Was the house behind you built in what was originally your houses yard?
                            If your sewer pipe passes through the rear house yard you probably have some sort of easement throught their yard to allow for replacement if needed.
                            I think my house was built first and I seem to remember mentioning an easement when I closed on the house. I'm in the process of confirming that now. I'm also trying to contact the homeowner of the other house; its being used as a rental (we're right next to the University of Wyoming).
                            Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                            What will happen if that old cable breaks under the Neighbors property? Maybe, can't be retrieved, without digging ! Why not hire a pro an learn the 1st time? I'd get it camered and located. Also have a real estate Attorney check Your rights to repair on other property before You need to.
                            I'm a pretty beefy guy so I'm not too worried about getting hurt, but a broken cable is definitely a concern. Obviously I don't have the experience a pro does, but I'm also not on a clock, its okay if it takes me all day to do something that a pro can do in 1 hour.

                            In any case, the old 3/4 cable is gone.... From what I've read, it seems most pros use 3/4" cable in their main-line machines, but I'm trying to decide if I can get by with a 5/8" cable... suggestions???

                            Knute

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: should I use this old 3/4 IC Cable?

                              Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
                              Have I got a deal for you
                              You buy a few new cables and I`ll brake em in for ya at no charge
                              not sure if that's a good idea. you have a track record of breaking them

                              truthfully, i like a new cable as it's as stiff as it will ever be. i like a stiff cable over a flexiable cable

                              now don't read into this too far. we are talking sewer cables

                              although it is important to properly load the cable into the drum and run it out 1 time under no load. gets the stored set out. also use snake oil to help preserve the cable, especially with a closed drum. drain any stored water from the drum too.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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