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  • K-400 with which cable?

    Hired our first journeyman plumber last week and now I need to equip our HVAC service truck fleet with a lightweight but capable drain cleaning machine. The idea being that our HVAC crews will be first out for most stoppages and when there is trouble we will bring out the big boy, with the big truck and the big equipment.

    I am thinking the K-400 is just about right because it is versatile, light weight (sort of), capable of 1 1/2-4" and reasonable in cost. Which cable would you recommend for the average residential/light commercial drain stoppage?

    Also, if you have a preference for another machine in this application I would love to hear your thoughts there also!

    Thanks for your advice!

    Cat. No. Model No. Description Weight lb. kg 3/8"
    10mm
    87577 C-31IW 50' (15m) IW Cable 18 8.2 87582 C-32IW 75' (23m) IWCable 26 11.8 87587 C-33IW 100' (30m) IW Cable 34 15.4 91037 - Repair End for IW Cable 0.5 0.2 1/2"
    12mm
    87592 C-44IW 50' (15m) IW Cable 27 12.2 87597 C-45IW 75' (23m) IW Cable 39 17.7 91042 - Repair End for 1/2" IW Cable 0.6 0.3
    spodelee

    Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

  • #2
    Re: K-400 with which cable?

    K-50
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: K-400 with which cable?

      The 380 and 400 are just homeowner toys
      You`ll get someone hurt if they don't know how far to push one of em

      Get some real machines and some hands on experience before you try to market your plan or you just might go under before you figure it out.
      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: K-400 with which cable?

        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
        K-50
        I considered the K-50, but had ruled it out because I see the K-50 and K-60 as machines for journeyman level plumbers. In fact, I bought a K-60 for the journeyman truck. I see the K-400 as simpler to operate for the apprentice plumber and probably cleaner when used by a lesser skill set.

        Still think the K-50 is a better fit?

        Thanks again!
        spodelee

        Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: K-400 with which cable?

          Now I am no expert, but I own a K375, and it is a nice machine, but it is not a main line machine, (it is not a root machine), (I have done roots with it and nearly got it stuck and thought I was going to lose the cable, but finally got it untangled and was able to get them only two hrs), but it is a in house machine not a main line machine, and my guess is the k400 is no different. (in my opinion I would not rate it for more than 3" pipe) with the 1/2 cable it would do soft stoppages in 4")

          In my opinion I would probly go with the smaller cable, as really a 2" line is all I would want it in unless it just a soft blockage, (the smaller cable would make bends easier in the smaller pipe IMO). yes it would do soft blockages in 3" and possibly 4" but if you tie up the cutter you could easily flip the cable in the pipe. (I have both sizes of cables as it was clear the lighter was not up to the task of roots, and heaver blockages in larger lines, but I ran across a good used K750 and I do not think I have ever used the 1/2 cable in the K375. (the larger 1/2 cable was going to be my stop gap attempt to make the machine into some thing it really was not designed to do).

          the k400 comes with wheels the k375 did not, I took a old lawn mower and use the wheel and handle and made a similar unit to the k400 out of my k375 but the handle does not collapse.

          and changing cables in the drum is not the fast or necessarily a easy process, it does not have a pig tail like the K750, (or my K375 does not) and to change the cable you have to jsut remove a clip in side the drum and refasten it. but it seem to be more challenging than it sounds.

          (what I have come to an opinion of is if I need the larger cable then I need the bigger machine K750).

          Like I said I am not a day in day out sewer rat, I do some drain maintenance for a few customers, I currently have a K750 and the k375, and a Milwaukee drill powered hand unit,

          but if I was starting over with my collection of tools for drains clearing, I think I would consider, the K60 that most ever one seems to like very well on the board here, and one of the drill powered canister units, (I do not remember what is liked better of the Ridgid brand by most on here), for sinks and that type of problems.
          as if I remember correctly K60 will take two different cable sizes and is capable of main lines and the weight problem is simplified, and after dragging a K750 up and down some steps, you will want some thing that can be broke in to pieces for transport IMO.

          you would have a machine (K60)that should be able to do a large percentage of the jobs you encounter, and not take up hardly any more space, and with the drill canister unit my guess you will be in a better shape to take on what you encounter.

          (when I worked maintenance in a large school campus the K400/k375 would have been a good machine for in the dorms and so on),
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: K-400 with which cable?

            Originally posted by BHD View Post
            Now I am no expert, but I own a K375, and it is a nice machine, but it is not a main line machine, (it is not a root machine), (I have done roots with it and nearly got it stuck and thought I was going to lose the cable, but finally got it untangled and was able to get them only two hrs), but it is a in house machine not a main line machine, and my guess is the k400 is no different. (in my opinion I would not rate it for more than 3" pipe) with the 1/2 cable it would do soft stoppages in 4")

            In my opinion I would probly go with the smaller cable, as really a 2" line is all I would want it in unless it just a soft blockage, (the smaller cable would make bends easier in the smaller pipe IMO). yes it would do soft blockages in 3" and possibly 4" but if you tie up the cutter you could easily flip the cable in the pipe. (I have both sizes of cables as it was clear the lighter was not up to the task of roots, and heaver blockages in larger lines, but I ran across a good used K750 and I do not think I have ever used the 1/2 cable in the K375. (the larger 1/2 cable was going to be my stop gap attempt to make the machine into some thing it really was not designed to do).

            the k400 comes with wheels the k375 did not, I took a old lawn mower and use the wheel and handle and made a similar unit to the k400 out of my k375 but the handle does not collapse.

            and changing cables in the drum is not the fast or necessarily a easy process, it does not have a pig tail like the K750, (or my K375 does not) and to change the cable you have to jsut remove a clip in side the drum and refasten it. but it seem to be more challenging than it sounds.

            (what I have come to an opinion of is if I need the larger cable then I need the bigger machine K750).

            Like I said I am not a day in day out sewer rat, I do some drain maintenance for a few customers, I currently have a K750 and the k375, and a Milwaukee drill powered hand unit,

            but if I was starting over with my collection of tools for drains clearing, I think I would consider, the K60 that most ever one seems to like very well on the board here, and one of the drill powered canister units, (I do not remember what is liked better of the Ridgid brand by most on here), for sinks and that type of problems.
            as if I remember correctly K60 will take two different cable sizes and is capable of main lines and the weight problem is simplified, and after dragging a K750 up and down some steps, you will want some thing that can be broke in to pieces for transport IMO.

            you would have a machine (K60)that should be able to do a large percentage of the jobs you encounter, and not take up hardly any more space, and with the drill canister unit my guess you will be in a better shape to take on what you encounter.

            (when I worked maintenance in a large school campus the K400/k375 would have been a good machine for in the dorms and so on),
            Thanks for your input, I really apprecaite it. The K-400 would be used for in-home stappages but not on mains. When the first out tech determines the stoppage is in the main, the big truck will be dispatched with a K-60, seesnake, hydrojetter and qualified labor on board.
            spodelee

            Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: K-400 with which cable?

              K50 for these reasons
              -takes up less space than a k400
              -more durable-these things last 15+years
              -safer for the inexperienced operator, let go of the handle and the cable stops spinning
              -because the cables are sectional and your techs will kink them, a 7 1/2' section of cable is cheaper than a 50' drum cable.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: K-400 with which cable?

                Originally posted by spodelee View Post
                I considered the K-50, but had ruled it out because I see the K-50 and K-60 as machines for journeyman level plumbers. In fact, I bought a K-60 for the journeyman truck. I see the K-400 as simpler to operate for the apprentice plumber and probably cleaner when used by a lesser skill set.

                Still think the K-50 is a better fit?

                Thanks again!
                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                K50 for these reasons
                -takes up less space than a k400
                -more durable-these things last 15+years
                -safer for the inexperienced operator, let go of the handle and the cable stops spinning
                -because the cables are sectional and your techs will kink them, a 7 1/2' section of cable is cheaper than a 50' drum cable.
                Thank you for that very specific input and with that I am convinced... but I think if we are going to go sectional, then we might as well go straight to the K-60. So it will be (1) K-39 & (1) K-60 (with different size cable sets) on the first-in trucks as well as on the big truck. This way we will have only one machine to train on (not counting the K-39). Maybe we'll look at a big drum machine for the big truck down the road a bit.

                I didn't realize until this afternoon that a K-400 can be had at Home depot for $400 - proof enough for me that it's intent isn't really for professional use. Damn I hate that place!
                spodelee

                Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: K-400 with which cable?

                  Originally posted by spodelee View Post
                  I didn't realize until this afternoon that a K-400 can be had at Home depot for $400 - proof enough for me that it's intent isn't really for professional use. Damn I hate that place!
                  Correction - $499 not $400. Either way, too cheap for every day use.

                  HD crap, crap, crappity crap...
                  spodelee

                  Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: K-400 with which cable?

                    lee,

                    a k-60 with both 5/8'' and 7/8'' will get you 90% of what you come across.
                    the k-39pf will take up the slack on the small stuff. 5/16'' x 25-35' cable.

                    rick.

                    did you really think i'd say anything else
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: K-400 with which cable?

                      Originally posted by spodelee View Post
                      So it will be (1) K-39 & (1) K-60 (with different size cable sets) on the first-in trucks as well as on the big truck.
                      Smart man. I don't care what everyone else says about you; you're alright in my book.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: K-400 with which cable?

                        Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                        Smart man. I don't care what everyone else says about you; you're alright in my book.
                        LOL - Thanks and I can only imagine; "that hack with a license", etc... I understand though because if I were in their shoes I would feel the same. It's important to pay your dues and spend time in the trenches!

                        I really appreciate all that are willing to help!
                        spodelee

                        Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: K-400 with which cable?

                          definately a 50 or 60 (i'd go with the 50 if they are staying out of mains) and a 39. avoid the toys and use real tools

                          steve
                          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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