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  • How long's your cable?

    Did 2 drain jobs today. One involved a septic tank 78' away. The other was a main drain on a concrete slab where I had to go backwards in the cleanout. Closeset toilet was 38' away. I use a sectional machine (K60)so avoiding these problem is easy. What do you guys do when you use a drum machine with an autofeed. How do you know how far you are into the pipe?
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: How long's your cable?

    Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
    What do you guys do when you use a drum machine with an autofeed. How do you know how far you are into the pipe?

    I sit back and watch the guy I subbed it to.
    I do all I can to avoid drain cleaning...though I KNOW I'm about to hear about how much it would expand my business, I know, I know.
    I go as far as my closet auger will let me, then it's time for a drain cleaning co to take over, the equipment is a bit much on top of my cluster already.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How long's your cable?

      I use a spartan 300 machine. I've learned every little kink in the cable and know how far it is from the end. Sometimes I've used electrical tape, but that doesn't last very long.
      Brent

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How long's your cable?

        I've never used an auto-feed but all of our service trucks had 1-100' and 1-80' drum of 3/4" and 1-100' drum of 1/2" for our drum machines. The longest 3/4" we ever had in the sewer was 500' and thank goodness it was a soft ftoppage because the machine had nothing left. I think I have probably gone about 400' with my K-500.

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

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How long's your cable?

          personnaly, when i need to duplicate a key area, i will mark the cable.

          otherwise i use to mark my cables every 10' with a color code. problem was that the mark would evntually wear out and repainting it was a pain. easy when new, hard when used.

          i've been playing with a footage counter, but i have a gut feeling that ridgid has beat me to it. of course they won't say yea or nay

          josh probrand

          of course with a sectional, it's a no brainer

          a camera of course makes sense to know all the points of interest.

          only mrs seat down really knows the size of my cables

          it's not the length of the cable, it's what you can do with it

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How long's your cable?

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post

            it's not the length of the cable, it's what you can do with it

            rick.
            I have to agree. It's not the length, but what you can do with it. But, if there is ever any question, over size it.
            Brent

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How long's your cable?

              It seems I read somewhere people get lager and longer cables to make up for other inadequacies. I always wonder what that meant but none of the guys will tell me.

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

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How long's your cable?

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                It seems I read somewhere people get lager and longer cables to make up for other inadequacies. I always wonder what that meant but none of the guys will tell me.

                Mark
                sort of the same feeling when you buy a new fancy cruiser

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How long's your cable?

                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  sort of the same feeling when you buy a new fancy cruiser

                  rick.
                  LOL-I guess you have me there.

                  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: How long's your cable?

                    I can't tell are we still talking about sewer cables?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How long's your cable?

                      After you do enough sewers you just know by feel and time spent
                      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How long's your cable?

                        haha... this thread cant be read as serious after this point...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How long's your cable?

                          I have a story on the lenght of my cable. I was called to a job in manhattan beach, no c/o, ran 100' from the roof, couldn't clear. Called the owner, installed a main line c/o, front of house, it is on a walk street, which customer has about a 10' yard, and the city has a 5' easment. the walk street is closed and runs down to the ocean. I run a sparten cable, 10 back, 2- fifty footers and a 2 foot lead. in manhattan beach, it is well known the city sewers suck and we never wanna get stuck in a city sewer. Well, I am a great judge of how much footage I have, I can tell within 5', I have been running a cable for a long time, and just have that sense, no marking my cable Well, I got stuck in the city sewer, after the city dug it up, with their vac truck, 8 feet deep, we found out I was exactly 12" into the saddle, at approx 10pm, we broke open the saddle, the city's sewer was trashed! I removed my cable, talked to the on-site city engineer, he said it was no big deal, I only went in a foot, he said most people go in 10-20 feet before they know whats up. It is very important to know how much cable you are running, running cable until you clear the stoppage isn't very smart. If I went in 20', I would have paid for the job that day, 10 city workers plus overtime and that $300,000 truck would have been expensive. watch your footage
                          sigpic

                          Robert

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How long's your cable?

                            Actually to get back to the original question, if I am trying to measure a spot I will wrap some electrical tape at the spot I want to identify. After I am done with snaking and the cable is back in the drum I have to pull the cable back out and lay it on the ground to measure it.

                            Or course these days I have really nice sondes with adapters to snap onto my sectional cables so who needs to measure when you can locate?

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

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How long's your cable?

                              Approximately 20-years ago I got a call from a guy who could not get to one of his customers for an emergency drain cleaning (just after midnight of course). He explained this was a home for Autistic adults and he snakes it at least once a week. His belief was the Autistic adults were putting things down the toilet which did not belong there. He went on to tell me the home was located on a long dog-leg lot with several other homes. However, he reported the County had an easement through the property so the County sewer was only 50’ from the uppermost cleanout on the back patio.

                              When I got to the site I quickly cleared the stoppage right where he said it would be. However, when I put the system on a high demand while I loaded my equipment it backed up after about 10-mins then would slowly drain back down. At that point I unloaded all of my equipment again and ran 100’ of cable without hitting anything. I personally have never had a problem with my snake in a municipal line so while I avoid them if I know where they are I often run my cables into them.

                              By now I decided it was time to quit listening to the guy who was their regular plumber and do some investigation of my own. The asphalt driveway was just about 400’ long and the only manhole I could find was out at the street. To stay on the safe side I thought I would call the County and ask for some assistance with the stopped up County line. As I tried to pull my hundred foot cable out the cable pulled back. All I could think of was great a backwater valve and I am stuck in the flapper. Once I was certain it was a backwater valve the next question was if the regular plumber was correct in his assessment of the property, why is there a backwater valve. At that time in the morning I didn’t feel like sports-digging to find the backwater valve so I put my machine in reverse and backed my cable out as far as I could until the head was at the flapper. At that point I was able to play with it for a minute and free my cable.

                              About the same time I finished getting my cable out the County crew showed up. As we reviewed their plans it became apparent the County in fact did not have an easement down the dog leg and the lateral from the house was 400’+ long without any cleanouts and a backwater valve to boot. Because the drains were now flowing although slow I suggested they call their regular plumber in the morning and I went home to go back to bed.

                              The next morning I received a call saying the regular plumber suggested I do the job as he was too busy. The first thing I did was to locate the buried backwater valve in the front yard and add a cleanout on either side of the valve. I then ran 200’ from the new cleanout towards the street to install a second cleanout. To those who will suggest the Code requires a cleanout every 100’, I agree but the owner was strapped for cash and a cleanout every 200’ was better than no cleanouts in 400’. Anyways I took out my trusty Goldak locator and energized my cable. I located the lateral and dug down the 6’ to install a new cleanout.

                              With the second cleanout installed I ran 200’ through the line and finally hit a stoppage just before the tie-in at the County sewer. With the exception of one of the staff driving over my Goldak locator with the facility Suburban the cleanout installs were pretty much uneventful. The group is still one of our customers and they have not had a main line stoppage since we cleared it from the second cleanout we installed.

                              My guess (because that’s all I can do) is the original plumber had been snaking secondary stoppages which were caused by the primary stoppage which was 400’ away. I was told he had snake the line at least once a week for several years before I finally hit the job. There were at least 5-homes on that driveway and none of them had any cleanouts in the driveway. That means 5-laterals which all needed cleanouts installed. I tried to offer them a group project but no one was interested. Over the years we have made quite a profit installing cleanouts for the other homes on an as needed basis.

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

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

                              Comment

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