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  • Drum Drain Machine Theory

    I have been looking at online instruction manuals for various Drum type machines, because I had problems with a machine, and I think it was put together incorrectly from the factory.

    The machine was the Central Machinery 66506, sold by Harbor Freight, a 1/2x50ft open drum machine that they sold for around $290. (apparently it's now discontinued or at least not shown online) It always tends to flip and kink the cable inside the drum when most of the cable is out of the machine.

    The instruction manual for the unit is vague, regarding the direction that the cable is supposed to be wound inside the machine, but the picture accompanying the instructional text shows it wound in a counter-clockwise (left hand rule) direction when one is facing the outlet side of the drum. The unit has a short cable anchor, and this came from the factory with a rivet and a bolt fixing it to the drum, with the anchor cable leading away clockwise from the anchor point, as per the picture I attached.

    The user manuals that I have found, that are explicit on this point, seem to agree that most machines should have the cable loaded in a clockwise direction.

    My understanding is that most machines operate in FORWARD following the right hand rule, that is, if the thumb of your RIGHT hand is facing the direction the cables travel into the pipe, your right hand fingers will curl in the direction of rotation away from the palm of your hand. This is the same as standard screws, pipe threads, just about everything that doesn't have left hand threads.

    Loading the cable into the machine, by the right hand rule, clockwise when facing the drum, would seem to me to mean that when an a cable anchored to the drum, is torqued, the cable will tend to expand out against the inside perimeter of the drum. A cable that is wound counter-clockwise, (left hand rule) inside the drum, would seem to want to wind around the inner drum wall, if there is one, when it gets torqued.

    Regarding the cable itself, the cable that came with this machine is wound left hand, which means when the cable is torqued following the right hand rule, it will tend to tighten down on its core, which should have the effect of stiffening it.

    Are there machines that have the cables wound in the drum such that they are supposed to tighten around the inner drum when torqued?

    Is it possible that this Central Machinery machine was assembled with the anchor facing the wrong direction?

    Thanks for your help.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

    This machine is junk. The cable is not worth a dime. I know because I have one. I only use it for soft stoppages and no thing over 40 feet. I had to change the cable and it still is lacking has a drain cleaning machine.

    Do a little more research on this site.You will find that the best machines to buy are ridgid and spartan. If you check ebay you will see that these are on sale all the time. That should give you a clue that they are junk. If they were any good they wouldn't be getting returned so much?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

      Let me quote Marvin aka Rod Man

      Originally posted by rod man View Post
      when you buy the best you are only sorry once MARVIN
      Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
      A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
      Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
      Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

        Your problem was buying something from harbor freight. The only time I purchase anything from there is if it is a tool I will only use once. If I ever need a tool a second time some where down the road in my life. I buy Ridgid, Craftsman, Dewalt, Delta and Powermatic for most my tools. I rarely break them or they rarely fail on me. I have mostly used Ridgid, Spartan and Durable machines, they are good machines and I would recommend them to anyone. To be fair to other drain machine companies I have used them all you may want to ask Plumber Rick about it or not because he will tell you the only machine you need is a K-60.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

          to answer dans question, yes the k-60 would be the machine when you're only looking to buy 1 machine

          as far as that drum machine. yes the cables junk, but that could be swapped to a better cable and get better results. still the issue is the lack of a decent torque arm. that's the guide tub/ arm that the cable feeds into located in the center hub. if you had a longer torque arm, chances are that the cable wouldn't have a chance to flip. too much space between the current tube and the cable when you're putting it under a load.

          the machine is patterned after the general mini rooter and the mini has the longer torque arm

          of course the k-60 doesn't need any torque arm and is very forgiving for the novice cleaners

          see dan, there's always a k-60 angle to the problem

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

            Friend of mine just called me asked me about IC cable for the 7/8, a partner of his trashed two of the standard 7/8 cables with the K-60 in a root blockage in a 6" sewer. Well you all can guess what I said
            Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
            A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
            Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
            Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

              Originally posted by Johnny V View Post
              My understanding is that most machines operate in FORWARD following the right hand rule, that is, if the thumb of your RIGHT hand is facing the direction the cables travel into the pipe, your right hand fingers will curl in the direction of rotation away from the palm of your hand.

              yes

              Loading the cable into the machine, by the right hand rule, clockwise when facing the drum, would seem to me to mean that when an a cable anchored to the drum, is torqued, the cable will tend to expand out against the inside perimeter of the drum. A cable that is wound counter-clockwise, (left hand rule) inside the drum, would seem to want to wind around the inner drum wall, if there is one, when it gets torqued.

              dunno, don't think it matters; regardless you have to load it the way the torque arm/guide tube points.


              Are there machines that have the cables wound in the drum such that they are supposed to tighten around the inner drum when torqued?

              yes, look for 'dual drum' machines

              Is it possible that this Central Machinery machine was assembled with the anchor facing the wrong direction?

              unlikely

              Thanks for your help.
              in general, if you are torqueing the thing up enough that you are flipping it in the drum, you are close enough to rats nesting it in the pipe that you ought to be glad it did what it did instead of knotting in the pipe and getting stuck. get a stouter cable, or a different machine/both (harbor freight offers a lot of equipment that can be useful as hammers or doorstops, but not much else).
              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

                http://www.ridgid.com/ASSETS/E6FD840...achine_Man.pdf

                look on page 11 on pdf, and one can see how they wound the K375 which is similar in design to the one you have, page 9 of the manual, figure 13.
                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


                • #9
                  Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

                  Originally posted by BHD View Post
                  http://www.ridgid.com/ASSETS/E6FD840...achine_Man.pdf

                  look on page 11 on pdf, and one can see how they wound the K375 which is similar in design to the one you have, page 9 of the manual, figure 13.
                  That's one machine I would never use. Just imagine the black pipe stew/juice flying and slinging around everywhere. I don't understand companies that design open reels. Sheesh.
                  Time flies like an arrow.

                  Fruit flies like a banana.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

                    Thank you all for your replies.

                    The guide tube on the Harbor Freight Machine is very short, and is oriented in a plane that includes the axis of the drum. That is, it shows no preference for clockwise, or counterclockwise winding.

                    Personally, I don't understand how a drum machine with a cable that is wound in the incorrect direction could deliver any torque. It seems that it would pull away from the outer wall where centrifugal force wants to put it, and get wrapped around the inner drum. The Ridgid K375 and the General Minirooter, both very similar machines, both call for clockwise winding going into the drum.

                    It wouldn't surprise me if the factory that made this thing assembled every single one of them backwards, or even that the person who designed it for them totally missed the nuance of design that differentiates the importance of winding one direction vs the other.

                    I think I'm going to reverse the direction that my machine is wound, then I'll get rid of it. Perhaps the next guy can have better luck with the machine than I did.

                    Thanks again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

                      The China Store is great for two foot forceps and stuff you know your going to bend after the first use. The only thing more scary than there tools is the odd balls that seem to be in that place in the middle of the day. Good tools make ya money. Try ebay or a pawn shop for used tools. If you look around you may find deals. Fastenal will let you set up account too. Net 90 days may make life easier too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

                        Originally posted by handybull View Post
                        This machine is junk. The cable is not worth a dime. I know because I have one. I only use it for soft stoppages and no thing over 40 feet. I had to change the cable and it still is lacking has a drain cleaning machine.

                        Do a little more research on this site.You will find that the best machines to buy are ridgid and spartan. If you check ebay you will see that these are on sale all the time. That should give you a clue that they are junk. If they were any good they wouldn't be getting returned so much?
                        How dare you call this machine just "Junk"
                        Without adding a hint of Crap or POS
                        Rod
                        MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
                        Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
                        http://unclognh.com
                        http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

                        Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Drum Drain Machine Theory

                          Originally posted by UnClogNH View Post
                          How dare you call this machine just "Junk"
                          Without adding a hint of Crap or POS
                          ok a piece of crapy junk

                          Comment

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