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Stuck cable for the first time!

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  • Stuck cable for the first time!

    Howdy gents! I've had a helluva last two weeks hot desert sun and tough jobs. Not much time to post. So I ran into my first stuck (and I mean first stuck) cable last week with the K-60. Mostly because of my schedule I had to leave it for a few days but the house was empty so they were ok with it. I wound up clearing the blockage at 160'ish with 7/8" cable. When I went to retrieve it, it just wasn't gonna happen. The machine was making noises like I've never heard before, it would turn off then run in reverse on its own, no matter how much i tugged and I pulled it just wasn't coming out. After a few hours of this I had to call it and get to some other jobs. My first option (I was t prepared to dig up the main that easily) was welding a piece of 7/8" sectional to a 11/16" connector and try using the spartan 2001 and torque it out....well, even this didn't work and only kinked a sectional cable really bad (looks like I finally got that sacraficial Ricks reverse auger piece now, lol). So after looking for a cleanout a little closer to the curb with no luck, and after mucho hrs. Of probing the sewer line out, I had to call my former shop to bring out the camera. The bossman sent out a rookie told him to just me run the camera as its the same stuff I used to use while there (they now have 3 MyTana large reels but two were out for repair and this one only had 90' after a few terminations, I'm glad I'm going with Ridgid) So after maxing out the camera (remember I'm out 160') I pinpointed the cleanout I was looking for (I was 2' away when I stopped probing, figures). So the first issue was a huge root mass on my cutter that locked it up. I proceeded to run the jetter and then recamera at which point all the root was gone and my cable began to free spin (thank goodness) But the cable would still not come out (it would free spin, but it wasn t budging). While running the camera here's what I noticed. From my access point to the blockage was 165', the line had 7' of drop and 9 (45*) bends and 3 (90*) bends with three separate quick drops and tapers of about 2' each. This house took the blue ribbon of a roller coaster of pipe. So after consulting with Ben (gear junkie), sorry Rick I didn't have yur phone number. I ran a bunch if dish soap down the line and used a piece of unistrut to allow the cable something solid to self feed out. Well, after 2 more hours of this....I got all my cable removed and I can still say that I've never lost a cable, or had to dig line out in all my years of running drain equipment! I don't know if this happened as a result of the limits of the K-60, I'm sure the 2001 would've had a difficult time as the amounts of bends was just flat out rediculous. Between this job and the very next one where I spent 3 days under a house digging up sewer main 2' deep with a small hand gardening shovel at which point the customer flipped at the bill because I couldn't tell him how far I needed to go to get to new pipe.........I need a camera big time! I'm just making life more difficult on myself! What a learning week it has been

  • #2
    I'm Impressed ,You don't give up !! Semper Fi Brother !
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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    • #3
      Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
      I'm Impressed ,You don't give up !! Semper Fi Brother !


      I agree, don't ever let a job beat you....

      David

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dhal22 View Post
        I agree, don't ever let a job beat you.... David
        Yea! It definitely Beat me up, but didn't Beat me!

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        • #5
          The funny part was that ben called me to tell me your problem. I told ben to have you call me, but ben wouldnt give me your number or you my number. Not that it would have helped, but it would have been a little more confidence so as not to get you discouraged.

          the amount of illegal turns without a cleanout is what killed you along with the fottage. Been there done that on more than 1 occassion with my jetter and a $1000.00 nozzle., plenty of soap and vibration got it to come out of 8 cast iron change of directions.

          Ive helped my buddy out when his guys got stuck in the hills. Used 2 back to back k-60s to torque it out of the pipe. Keeping the cable spinning will allow the cable to auto feed out in the forward rotation direction.reverse will auto feed into the pipe.

          good call with the modified snake fork. I have 1 for my 1.25" drill cables.

          Call ben and have him give you my number. I guess you lost my card from the trade show.

          Rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            ahem.....I wouldn't give you Tim's number because it was 8 at night and he was still working AND you were going to tell him the exact same thing I said. Plus you said you had it, you said you just didn't want to look it up. As far as sounding discouraged, I never would've known by his voice tone. He sounded as upbeat as can be. Similar to someone else who's stuck. I'd be depressed as heck if I got stuck. I don't know how you guys stay positive.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Good one Shoot. Nothing tastes worse than getting beat. One thing we notice here is that whoever made your regs was pretty smart. Having cleanouts is one thing but bringing them to ground or just below is a no-brainer. If you guys knew how our morons think it is pitiful. Wish we had some of your regulations to work with...............!!!!!!!!!!!!

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              • #8
                Now now Ben and Rick! I feel like we all three worked together on this. I called Ben and and Ben called you Rick hahaha! No worries though I learned a bit more of the learning curve with the K-60. I was never stressed though, I'd've just dig up the main and removed it (I WAS NOT gonna leave all that sectional cable in the line especially with 75' of it being general innercore) but I didn't want to ruin a long record of never losing a cable in a line is all. Fortunately my former boss didn't charge me for the camera, he of course couldn't resist giving me crap for getting my cable stuck. Otherwise I was tempted to take Ben up on his offer of pickin him up and grabbing his camera and jetter and tackling it together (that was awesome again Ben, thanks). You would've loved the humid 109* weather!

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                • #9
                  BEN you know another person with a stuck cable? you need a better class of friends

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
                    BEN you know another person with a stuck cable? you need a better class of friends
                    OUCH! Oh by the way Rick, your card was in the bag that had all the brochure's and other cards that I acquired from the flow expo which all got completely ruined days after the expo when my water heater supply line burst in the middle of the night and squirted accross the garage and soaked that bag turning everything into mush!

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                    • PLUMBER RICK
                      PLUMBER RICK commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ben will text you and me our numbers.

                      Rick.

                  • #11
                    ben you better find some people that know how to use a drain cleaner. I don't know anybody with a stuck cable. only amatures get cables stuck. if I had an employee that got a cable stuck I'd fire him........... and take away his birthday.

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
                      ben you better find some people that know how to use a drain cleaner. I don't know anybody with a stuck cable. only amatures get cables stuck. if I had an employee that got a cable stuck I'd fire him........... and take away his birthday.
                      Yup! I guess ya got me there saysflushable! I am a rookie as I only started running drain equipment in like 1998 so I guess I'm only in my 16th year of my apprenticeship. In fact, it was so great having you by my side to actually see what happened. But hey I guess we all have a little armchair quarterback in us. In the end it all came out just fine, I didn't have to dig and had I had my own camera the whole job would've only taken about 4 hours, plus anybody running a sectional in that line would have had a hard time as it was the worst roller coaster of pipe laying I've seen! But hey, if your the type of boss who would overlook the great aspects of a solid employee over getting a stuck cable....good for you!

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                      • #13
                        it takes a long time to get good at this game, take me for instance. today I got a cable out of the ground that was breaking itself in in the pipe since the 15th of last month.
                        sometimes they need to get seasoned like that.

                        I even let it tie itself into a knot while in the pipe.

                        Not an easy feet with 1.25 innercore cable but I have mad drain cleaning skills, it wasn't a boeline knot like I was trying for but a good knot none the less.
                        I was disappointed I could get it out with a come along hooked to my van and about 6 to 8 hours of monkeying around.

                        I thought I did a good enough job that I would require digging. Nope not this time I'll try harder next time though.
                        Last edited by saysflushable; 09-01-2014, 07:47 PM.

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                        • #14
                          And for all my hard work the people seemed to think I didn't know what I was doing. They don't understand the art of letting a cable age properly in a drain. actually they were cool people, they may never call me back again but they were cool with everything

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
                            it takes a long time to get good at this game, take me for instance. today I got a cable out of the ground that was breaking itself in in the pipe since the 15th of last month. sometimes they need to get seasoned like that. I even let it tie itself into a knot while in the pipe. Not an easy feet with 1.25 innercore cable but I have mad drain cleaning skills, it wasn't a boeline knot like I was trying for but a good knot none the less. I was disappointed I could get it out with a come along hooked to my van and about 6 to 8 hours of monkeying around. I thought I did a good enough job that I would require digging. Nope not this time I'll try harder next time though.
                            So what yur sayin' is you actually also got yur cable stuck recently? I took yur last few comments about being a rookie and Ben needin a new class of friend as you bein a dic! Let me say that I'm now biting my tongue for that quick lash out. I figured you were just givin the noob (me on this forum) a hard time. This site really needs some of those smiley icons that help indicate tone! Well, good job on getin yur cable unstuck, 1-1/4" at that. If I were able to get my truck near the clean out I'd've prolly gone that route myself. I was int the same boat as you when I told the customer about lettin the cable sit a few days and let the roots soften up around the cutter, it actually bought me an extra day to get a huge job wrapped up so I could focus on getting unstuck.

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