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Best Electric Drain Cleaner for Smaller Jobs?

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  • Best Electric Drain Cleaner for Smaller Jobs?

    I manage about 100 units (apartments). I have been using a Ridgid K-40 for the past several years to handle clogged tubs and sinks. I have actually been fairly disappointed at the quality of the machine as several parts of it have broken or fallen apart. This past week, something in the eletrical system died and the machine won't work at all. I'd like to replace it with something and I'm looking at the General Super V, the Ridgid drill type, the Ridgid K-50 and the Milwaukee drill type. I need a machine that is portable (i.e. a guy can carry up 5 flights of stairs without getting a hernia..the K-40 was at the absolute upper limit in terms of weight), powerful, reliable, sturdy and that can handle at least two cable sizes and ideally one that can change cables quickly. Self/power feeding would be nice, but one guy told me to stay away from self-feeding with any smaller machine. Also, the machine needs to be easily operated by just one guy. I don't need a machine that will also handle the sewer lines as I'll call a local plumber for that. Finally, how can I get my K-40 fixed? Many thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JLNYC
    I manage about 100 units (apartments). I have been using a Ridgid K-40 for the past several years to handle clogged tubs and sinks. I have actually been fairly disappointed at the quality of the machine as several parts of it have broken or fallen apart. this makes 2 of us. mine has not fallen apart, but i feel that when i purchased this machine several years ago from an industry trade show and waiting 6 weeks to recieve it. i was very disappointed after using it on a few occasions. This past week, something in the eletrical system died and the machine won't work at all. I'd like to replace it with something and I'm looking at the General Super V, the Ridgid drill type, the Ridgid K-50 and the Milwaukee drill type. I need a machine that is portable (i.e. a guy can carry up 5 flights of stairs without getting a hernia..the K-40 was at the absolute upper limit in terms of weight), powerful, reliable, sturdy and that can handle at least two cable sizes and ideally one that can change cables quickly. Self/power feeding would be nice, but one guy told me to stay away from self-feeding with any smaller machine. Also, the machine needs to be easily operated by just one guy. I don't need a machine that will also handle the sewer lines as I'll call a local plumber for that. Finally, how can I get my K-40 fixed? Many thanks.
    the k- 50 is an excellant machine. it can run interchangeable drums and 5/8'' sectional for harder stoppages. the only issue you might have is the weight of the whole machine (cables, guide hose, drum). having said that the k40 is at it's upper limit of weight, the k-50 is even heavier.

    an auto feeder on a small cable (3/8'' and smaller) is a waste and is going to ruin a cable very fast without a good feel on using them.

    personally i have good luck with the hand held k-39 with auto feed. the slide chuck is junk. the auto feed will feed all but the last 5' of cable. another good choice is the k-39 with the 3 jaw chuck. this will grip the cable all the way to the end. the issue is that you have to handle cable in and out.

    i keep all these machines on my truck. 2- k-39( auto feed, 3 jaw) k-50, k-60, k7500. along with asst. cables and cutters for all of them. along with 2 jetters.
    the slide chuck k39 and k40 along with my 30 year old milwaukee hand gun are all on the shelf collecting dust.

    in your case, if the k-50 is too heavy? then i would look into the k-39 with both auto feed and 3 jaw chuck. stay far away from the slide chuck.

    i would also bring the person who is using the machine to shop with you and check the features. if you can handle the weight of the k-50 (no elevator) i would go for it, with the accy. drums. the 5/8'' sectional is a little messy, but will cut and clean better than a 5/16-3/8'' cable.

    rick.

    hope this helps, let us know what you purchase
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      K-39 vs Milwaukee and General?

      I realize this is a Ridgid forum, but how does the K-39 compare the the similar Milwaukee and General drill-type machines in terms of reliability, cable options, cable prices, ease of use etc. Thanks.

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      • #4
        Rick: K-39 Slide Chuck?

        Rick,

        Thanks for the response. Isn't the chuck the part that grabs the cable? If it is an the slide chuck on the power model is junk, doesn't that effect it's ability to feed cable?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JLNYC
          I realize this is a Ridgid forum, but how does the K-39 compare the the similar Milwaukee and General drill-type machines in terms of reliability, cable options, cable prices, ease of use etc. Thanks.
          i prefer the plastic drum of the ridgid. also the drum removes with 4 screws that just have to be loosened, not removed.

          you can use anyones cables as a replacement. i actually like the feel of the ridgid cables.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JLNYC
            Rick,

            Thanks for the response. Isn't the chuck the part that grabs the cable? If it is an the slide chuck on the power model is junk, doesn't that effect it's ability to feed cable?
            the 3 jaw chuck is not part of the slide chuck.

            the slide chuck is junk. the 3 jaw chuck is a seperate part # and if you convert the machine, or order the machine with the 3 jaw ($50.) the slide chuck is then removed.

            the power feed head is faster, but will not feed all the cable out and will not get through the tuffer traps. also there is more wear on the cable and on the auto feed unit. the power feed still has the slide chuck on it, but it is typically not used and is easilly removed if you need to.

            i typically will start out with the auto feed. if this fails then i move to the 3 jaw.

            model # of the slide jaw is k-39 junk

            the power feed is k39-pf. good

            the 3 jaw is k-39c best

            get some more input from others too. these are my opinions. although i might own just about every drain machine out there, i still like others input too. that's how i stumbled onto the k-50 and k-60. (thanks, mark)

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              How small is small?

              Not sure what size drain you mean when you say small, but I've had good luck with the Super-Vee. I use the 5/16th cable with the drop head. Usually I can go right through the pop-up drain.

              The tool can be a bit heavy for prolonged use. It is just a drill motor with a reel on the end, so it can get front end-heavy. I wouldn't ask it to do much over 20-25'.

              DavidTees

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              • #8
                this one here??

                http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/K-39AF/index.htm

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                • #9
                  Super Vee

                  I cast my vote and dollars for Super Vee. I have used both, but now only buy Super Vees.

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