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Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

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  • Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

    Since HVAC is all but dead Ive been doign the plumers helper thing to get my hours....its cool chance to learn a little about this trade....but got some??? 90% of the work Im baseing ?? on is residintal...single home or condo's..

    Drum Vs Sectional mechines... On the company trucks (4 plumers) all of them ONLY have a sectional mechine...we have a very old drum mechine in the shop...collecting dust.

    From what I've read on this board..big diffrence is weight...and getting drum to a roof..basement...ok since I R the gopher can appriacate that....but from the times I've used or help use a sectional in a kitchen or out in an area with a lot of grass the sectional cable sections needed to be in a sleve and/or peice of pipe to keep them clean...ok grass free...or from whiping around and damnageing a kitchen.

    Sooo what is the +/- of each mechine? what situations would u use a drum over a sectional? Do u all carry both on ur truck?

    We tend to use 7/8s cable for a lot of main line cleanings....but some times plumer has me fetch the 1/2"...for same thing (in my mind) we used the 7/8s on the day before..soo what size cable do u use for what (general) situations?

    The little Drill with a drum and 1/4" (?) cable drain cleaner...been playing helper for several weeks and the only time I touch this is to move it out of my way...even in kitchens we pull the main connection and run 1/2 cable with the sectional....for toilets its auger or sectional.... so what in the heck do u use the drill/drum tool for????

    thats about it for now...thank you all for ur help...please add anything else u can think of.

  • #2
    Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

    Gopher, I could sit and write a book but Josh already has the answer to your question. He made a Drain cleaning section just for you. I'm sure you'll find it interesting. Everyone likes different things. I bought a k-60 based on Mark and Rick's comments but All Clear is making me look at drum machine again. In the hands of a compatent person, it doesn't matter, it's personal preference. How do you like being a plumber?
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

      Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
      Gopher, I could sit and write a book but Josh already has the answer to your question. He made a Drain cleaning section just for you. I'm sure you'll find it interesting. Everyone likes different things. I bought a k-60 based on Mark and Rick's comments but All Clear is making me look at drum machine again. In the hands of a compatent person, it doesn't matter, it's personal preference. How do you like being a plumber?
      ben i hope you are just looking

      i know you love that k-60 and k-39

      havn't heard much on the k-40

      gopher, as ben has said, there is so much already written that you could spend the day reading and looking at photos

      do a little research and come back with some unanswered questions.

      ben, call me before you do something stupid

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

        Originally posted by Evil Gopher View Post
        Since HVAC is all but dead Ive been doign the plumers helper thing to get my hours....its cool chance to learn a little about this trade....but got some??? 90% of the work Im baseing ?? on is residintal...single home or condo's..

        Drum Vs Sectional mechines... On the company trucks (4 plumers) all of them ONLY have a sectional mechine...we have a very old drum mechine in the shop...collecting dust.

        From what I've read on this board..big diffrence is weight...and getting drum to a roof..basement...ok since I R the gopher can appriacate that....but from the times I've used or help use a sectional in a kitchen or out in an area with a lot of grass the sectional cable sections needed to be in a sleve and/or peice of pipe to keep them clean...ok grass free...or from whiping around and damnageing a kitchen.

        Sooo what is the +/- of each mechine? what situations would u use a drum over a sectional? Do u all carry both on ur truck?
        i use to. then i moved the drums to my shop.

        We tend to use 7/8s cable for a lot of main line cleanings....but some times plumer has me fetch the 1/2"...for same thing (in my mind) we used the 7/8s on the day before..soo what size cable do u use for what (general) situations?
        5/8'' sectional for 1.5''-3'' no roots and 7/8'' for 3''-6'' including roots

        The little Drill with a drum and 1/4" (?) cable drain cleaner...been playing helper for several weeks and the only time I touch this is to move it out of my way...even in kitchens we pull the main connection and run 1/2 cable with the sectional....for toilets its auger or sectional.... so what in the heck do u use the drill/drum tool for????
        i use the k-39pf on fixtures i can't get to the trap. sometimes i will do a quick lav, tub or shower with it. but for real cleaning and power i use the 5/8'' sectional.

        thats about it for now...thank you all for ur help...please add anything else u can think of.
        just added another drum killer in the drain cleaning section.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

          I run all Spartan drain cleaning equipment.

          All drum type machines. I started on the electric eel and Ridgid-Kollman machine with the sectionals.


          Drain cleaning was definitely interesting when I first started doing it. Dangerous and found out that guiding the cable down the drain takes one task, watching what it's doing behind you is another.

          I had troubles with keeping the sectionals clean and you just cannot set those up in "nice" homes; the people will tell you no way. Sectionals to me is a 2 person task if you want to be efficient at it. One moving the cable down the drain and the other snapping the cables together, putting it in a section of pipe.

          I destroyed a carpet, pulled down a tv and curtains because where my clog was, I had to put in a new section of cable as I was at the end of my current one.

          As far as the hand held drill type? How do you all do it? Every time I've used one, I almost need to grow a 3rd hand so I can feed the cable in. Under a sink instead of top-down, pulling the trap off but the trap arm back to the wall is glued in (code) and now you're holding that piece of equipment down low to the base of the cabinet, it's turning and you're pushing/feeding cable in all at the same time. <<< I can't do this...that's a physically demanding feat.

          In my area, the only time a roof type drain cleaning is requires is only when a slab on grade home was built and it's a last ditch effort. This would be a ranch only type home as the majority of homes will be 2 story or high-pitched roofs. I've only sent guys out 1 time to do a roof drain cleaning and they had a rough time at that.....the larger cable was the trick over my 1/4" open hook through 1.5" drain.

          If anyone figures me out soon enough here....or any forum, I like what takes the least amount the work, the least amount of physical strain to accomplish the task at hand.

          There are times with my 300 that I've brought my machine to the cleanout or pulled the toilet to clear the drain, sit down on the footstool I own and one-hand my cable while the machine does everything for me in the power feed.

          I could almost set the machine in auto-pilot with the cable slightly feeding into the drain, reach over when the cable approaches a turn of direction.....the cable will bring resistance and try to climb out of the drain till it makes the turn.

          When you get to know your machine, it'll tell you what you're into. The sound of the machine will tell you what's approaching by the torque load delivering to the motor. That way you'll know whether to bite-into the clog or barrel through, depending on how the machine acts. If you keep going forward knowing the machine is winding in tight, you deserve to get stuck. You have to romance that drain to get it to do what you want, open.

          I always sight-gauge my clogs by using water to full advantage like at a floor drain or tub, slowly feeding water into a water closet drain while the cable is moving through it.

          The great thing about the Spartan I own is that when I break through that clog......I'm not even touching my cable, I can move the forward and reverse handle back and forth without being aggressive, physically doing the work myself. If it was a pronounced clog where it pops open quickly,

          throw the machine in reverse and let it reel back in without ever touching the cable.

          I can interchange my drums on my machine in less than 7 minutes and rod out a 2" line pretty fast. On my smallest machine, I can top down a kitchen sink drain if the basket strainer accepts it, never touch the drain piping underneath and watch the water level in the sink when I know I'm opening the drain.

          Believe me; I'm all about fast easy and simplicity. That's the main reason I bought Spartan because I can contain the mess by simply reeling it into the machine. I'd rather make 2 trips to the truck than 4.

          What I didn't mention until now is when I used to use sectionals, when you approached a clog or roots of the nature, that tension building on the cables till it would stop and you could hear the clutch slipping on the machine? When those cables reverse out and vibrate aggressively, that would literally kill my hands if you did that more than twice a day. Hard vibration is terrible for anyone with arthritis.

          I wrote smaller because I do understand this is a RIDGID forum.


          Signed,

          Lazy plumber that looks forward to remote control drain cleaning machines
          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

            Thank u everyone..

            Gear Junkie I enjoy learning new things....and I work with some great guys who are willing to teach. so for now its fun. Im sure like anything it can get boreing after some times once u been doing it for a long time. I find plumbing to be more strich forward than HVAC....no wireing diagrams to sort out....but too be fair 90% of HVAC calls are fairly stright forward as well.

            Too me I think plumers are way more distructive than ac guys....we dont tear up floors or walls ....funny when a AC tech seen a hammer in my tool kit it confused him....but plumers seem to use hammers a lot

            I think plumers need to be more flexable...geting under sinks and such...and I work with some chubby plumers so Im impressed at their ability to manuaver around...

            I find it interstign that the old timers seem to be more trusting of new things like PEX than the younger plumers at the shop...seems back wards.....

            I also was shocked to see plumers in attics....just seemed like the secret domain of hvac and if we allowed electricians....just never thought of plumers being in attics...but as ahelper Im getting more than enought attic time to keep me in good standing with my HVAC friends

            The owner of the shop is a plummer sooo way more protective of plumbing than HVAC....sooooo it will be some time before Im allowed to do plumbing without adult supervision.....which is funny since I get sent to work on commercial AC units..even when I flat out tell him I have never worked on one before....told all ac is the same.....but changeing a hot water heater is diffrent

            I need to upgrade some HVAC tools the first part of the year...but I've been picking up some pluming stuff here and there....plan is to make a decent helpers tool bag... figure untill march HVAC will be slow down here..

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

              Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
              I had troubles with keeping the sectionals clean and you just cannot set those up in "nice" homes; the people will tell you no way.
              Take a look at this link, never have a problem with keeping cables clean.
              http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...t=clean+cables

              I As far as the hand held drill type? How do you all do it? Get a k-39af /self feeds itself, works well

              There are times with my 300 that I've brought my machine to the cleanout or pulled the toilet to clear the drain, sit down on the footstool I own and one-hand my cable while the machine does everything for me in the power feed. Sectional is probably not for you, more physically demanding but has better, quicker results

              I can interchange my drums on my machine in less than 7 minutes and rod out a 2" line pretty fast. On my smallest machine, I can top down a kitchen sink drain if the basket strainer accepts it, never touch the drain piping underneath and watch the water level in the sink when I know I'm opening the drain. To go from 7/8 to 5/8 cable requires a 1/4 allen wrench, channel locks and less than a minute of time.

              Believe me; I'm all about fast easy and simplicity. That's the main reason I bought Spartan because I can contain the mess by simply reeling it into the machine. I'd rather make 2 trips to the truck than 4. Can usually carry the 60, 1 reel of cable, guide hose and extention cord in one trip.

              What I didn't mention until now is when I used to use sectionals, when you approached a clog or roots of the nature, that tension building on the cables till it would stop and you could hear the clutch slipping on the machine? When those cables reverse out and vibrate aggressively, that would literally kill my hands if you did that more than twice a day. Hard vibration is terrible for anyone with arthritis. Never had a problem with this.
              Ben
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

                Dunbar is my new hero


                Power on, brother!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

                  Dunbar,

                  I have to wonder what your normal jobs look like when your done if you are destroying a house while using a sectional machine. After 30-years of my shop using sectional machines we have not had a single issue with making a mess. Our normal MO for an inside drain would be to take our K-50 machine with a cage which included 5/8" cable and our rear hose, a cloth drop cloth, a rag and an extension cord if needed. We also carried drum machines on our trucks as I believe no machine is perfect for every situation but the sectionals were the ones we went to for tough drains or locations where we didn't want to make a mess.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

                    As I mentioned, this was "in the beginning" of my profession and drain cleaning wasn't exactly pleasurable. All they had at the rental yards were the Ridgid-Kollmans and the hose on the back side was 10'. Isn't the sections 15' ??? I could swear that tube was 6' maybe at the time....this was in the mid 80's.

                    Anyway, I don't feel the need to touch the cable in that way....just to get a drain open. I like the simplicity of a machine that zips the cable in and out, forces the cable to do what my hands/shoulders/upper body doesn't want to do. Great exercise but I don't want a workout with every drain cleaning call.

                    I understand everyone wants the lightweight advantage but when I do a call with no steps, low air pressure in my pneumatic tires and I can literally one-hand bang out a clog, that's impressive.

                    If I did sectional, 100' to the clog, that means I have to uncage over 6 sections of 15'rs. If I hit that clog and it's running through old OLD sewage, guess how unclean that cable is on the return, even if you run water to do your best to clean it before pulling it out.

                    And if you clear it and starts to gurgle again? Your pulling all those cables back out of those cages and repeating the steps.

                    You're forced to clean your equipment on the spot or pitch them into the truck, if your open cab you'll smell your earned income till you pressure spray the cables off. The drum minimizes all of this.

                    Everything above is a TON of work. I said I'm lazy. I want fast, easy and gets the job done. When my union boss put me through a day of learning on Spartan equipment, the room was divided with drum users against sectionals....


                    There is no convincing one to switch to the other, it'll never happen, ever. I do however like to throw the reality of what a drum machine offers over sectionals when someone is on the buying gammut, I feel the need to produce what it does for me, just like those who run sectionals.

                    There is no denying though that you will exert more physical force to complete the task when running sectionals. Electric eels? I tried it once and couldn't figure out why I would want to do all the work, and let the machine do just the clog.

                    The drum machine with the powerfeed will do everything you want it to, give guidance to the cable when it hits the obstruction.

                    On the k-39.... do you realize the wrist strength that is needed to operate that? The smallest spartan I use...the only weight I have in my hands is the 1/4" cable and it's nothing! The machine sits on the countertop or in front of the cabinet, 2 hands on the cable, not one.

                    I say to each their own, but it's beneficial to understand the use of both to gauge what better fits your needs, what physical endurances you choose to commit to.

                    I choose easy, I am lazy, I choose drum.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

                      Dunbar,

                      It sounds like if you are getting your drain cleaning equipment from a rental yard your equipment was likely poorly maintained and/or poorly matched to the task at hand. As I recall my K-60s, K-500s and K-1500s had 10' rear guide hoses as the cable was 15' long and you never had more than 10' of cable in the back of the machine at a time. Our K-50s had a 6' rear hose because the 5/8" cables are 7 1/2' long and you never had more than 6' stick out of the back of the machine.

                      We probably had 40+ drain machines and at least 1/2 of them were sectional machines. The sectional machines were used for 80% of all of our drain cleaning. There is a learning curve to using a sectional machine but once you learn it they are really a better machine. Our sectional cables always stayed cleaner because of the open wind design of the cable. I could also generally hand feed a bunch of cable before I even put the cable in the machine because it is a more flexible cable. For the same reason I did not have to use the machine to pull the cable out after 100' stoppage. All I had to do was pull the cable out and feed it straight in to the cage.

                      This discussion reminds me of a call I got one year during a Holiday where I gave everyone else the weekend off. I received a phone call from a Mobile Home Park Manager saying they had a main line stoppage and another plumber had been there all day trying to clear it and he could not get it. When I arrived the plumber and manager were at the low end of the park and the entire park was overflowing and running down the street. The other plumber had is Spartan 1065 sitting on wooden pallets in the back of one of the homes and was telling the manager they would have to wait until after the Holiday so he could have a crew come back with a back hoe to dig up the park trap. After the manager dismissed the other plumber I grabbed my K-1500 of of the truck and a cage of 1 1/4". The other plumbers was loading up his truck and said to the manager something to the effect that there was no way that piece of sh*t was going to be able to clear the stoppage. Before he had a chance to winch his 1065 on the truck I hit and cleared the stoppage. The manager gave the guy a dirty look and said "in 10 minutes with his piece of sh*t machine he got more done then you did all day".

                      His machine was not a piece of sh*t and either was mine. The difference between the two of us is I knew what machine was needed to clear the stoppage and I had enough machines on the truck to be able to use the right machine. However, that day I looked like a super-plumber to the manager and the occupants of the park.

                      Mark
                      Last edited by ToUtahNow; 12-24-2007, 03:35 PM.
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Since Ive been playing help got some ??? I've been meaning to ask

                        Evil Gopher,
                        I am surprised, you seem to enjoy plumbing, all the HVAC guys in my shop run like girls when I ask for some help.

                        My boss is old school, and loves the school of hard knocks. I run the K-1500 with a 1 1/4" sectional cable by myself. 3" and larger lines. You should see me get that monster in a basement sometime. By the time I carry in the machine, tarps, extension cord, 120' of coil, tool box of heads, & tubes I am just about done with it.

                        We have three k-3800 drum machines. I use the 3/8" cable and sometimes the 1/2" cable depending on the length of run and elbows.

                        I can tell you horror stories from both. Snaking a line takes skill, no doubt about it. It is like a Zen thing, you just know, type of stuff.

                        I strongly urge you to do all the snaking with the plumber there. You will learn more than you think and develop your technique. The last thing you want to do is just assemble and carry cables then get go on a job by yourself.

                        Good luck Evil Gopher!
                        Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

                        Comment

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