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Stuck cable tales.

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  • #16
    Re: Stuck cable tales.

    hoa/ carl. if you can track down an older k-38/39 with a key less chuck, you'll be good to go

    there have been times i needed to hook up a cordless drill or just use my snake with chuck to pull it out. the chuck allows you to grip it anywhere on the cable and allow the rest into the drum.

    also the chuck drill will get you through any miserable clog or trap.

    you need 1 back up snake just for the tuff jobs

    phoebe it is


    • #17
      Re: Stuck cable tales.

      22 years ago, was called out to a restaurant, one toilet right at the counter of all places in this restaurant and it was clogged.

      I asked since the toilet was old if he wanted to replace it. He confirmed this and 22 years ago I was extremely green in this profession.

      I go and bust the base because I wasn't going to fight the old bolts, they were solid rusted.

      I remove the toilet, it's full of floating corn kernels.

      I had a sectional and started running it in, 3 sections, 4, hit an obstruction.

      I start pushing hard, really hard because it was sort of springy, not counting what a sectional cable is like.

      I could tell I could keep pushing as it looked like I was going to make it.

      The bad thing was that I didn't know the exact location of the septic tank, we knew it was at the back of the building but no exact location.

      Well, here's the really bad part:

      I did this job bare handed, because the gloves didn't fit my large hands. The owner looked at me in disbelief, seeing how dirty my hands were, knowing how nasty 1.25" cable was before I started. I simply couldn't do anything any other way. Jersey gloves were dangerous as they would grab, my plastic gloves were I just went with the flow.

      NO flow whatsoever because once I broke through that hard spot, I went an added another section of cable......and then the cable binds up, won't let me pull back.

      NOT GOOD.

      I'll just put it out there for the record,

      80-120,000 pound tractor trailers were pulled around the back of this building which was a gravel pathway. They kept filling that back edge of the hillside and making the lot larger for parking for the restaurant.

      The owner of this property owned the gas station next door, and also owned many pieces of large equipment.


      One of those big trac-hoes was brought in, the top of the septic tank to parking lot was 18'.

      Orangeberg pipe was crushed the last 3 feet into the tank.

      I didn't get in the pit, I just directed and handed pipe and fittings but when the guy cut the orangeberg back far enough to put a new pipe connection on,

      An 8' log of corn/crap/everything! shot out of the pipe and filled the ditch. He puked, I nearly puked watching it and he had to get back down in the hole to tie a chain to the cable I still had in the line from the piping to the tank.

      When the trac-hoe pulled the cable it destroyed it because it was doubled up inside the tank. The rest I salvaged as I told the guy to disconnect it so I could pull it back.

      I believe I destroyed 2 cables, 30'.

      So knowing the condition of the piping to the septic tank, it was guaranteed I was getting paid but between the two junked cables, the owner played a dirty trick on me and told me that I shouldn't of smashed the base on the old toilet because "it was still good" and didn't feel like paying for the new one. What?

      I took it laying down even though he told me to buy a new one. ????

      I think the bill was like $440 and I had almost 30 hours in it. Toilet was under a $100 back then and I don't think my hourly was $24/hour just working for myself in the late 80's.

      That vile dirt was embedded into my hands for over a week. Cannot believe my gf at the time stayed with me through all that.
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      • #18
        Re: Stuck cable tales.

        Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
        I got my cable stuck today (5/16") in a lav drain and ended up borrowing a fellow worker's drill to get it out. Why do drain guys need drills, right? Plus, he helped me pull it back as I used my gloves to clean off the cable as it came out of the drain so it wouldn't splatter all over. I'll end up giving him $10 when I see him next week for his 10 minutes of help (I rarely carry cash on me).

        It's a good thing it got stuck when all my cable was in the drain or else I would of either had to cut the cable or pull the rest of the cable out of the K39 and put the drill on the end of the cable. I had a few splats on the wall, but after taking it out about 5 feet, I was able to put it back in the K39 and it came back on its own. Weird.

        Friday is honestly my unluckiest day so I think I got it stuck in the main stack somehow since I had hair on the end of my cable when I took it out and it drains awesome now. I guess I'll find out in a few days if I broke a hole through a pipe. When the walls were demo'ed, I didn't see any lead, so I can't believe I went through the pipe.

        Anyways, that was my first really big scare so far
        Friday was always my bad luck day too. I came back to the shop one Friday because I did not have enough line for the job and found my Dad laying dead by his truck dressed in his uniform. After that the truck would never start on a Friday even if I forgot what day it was. So I quiet working on Friday for 5 years but now I work without any problems on Friday except I miss getting pop's input on the business I guess that is one reason I am hear.