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  • Milwaukee M18 Switch Pack

    Gidday lads.

    I have finally received that Milwaukee M18 Switch Pack I'd been going on about for so long.

    I did promise, good or bad I'd report back on my experience & will start recording usage soon as part of my experience & review.

    While I was waiting for the arrival of my machine, the Rep let me hang onto his one, which has 50' of 3/8" cable. I have done dozens of jobs with his machine so my hire out charge on his unit has basically paid for my brand new one - mind you, he hasn't asked for his one back yet, so I'm still using his lol.

    While I was using his, it has allowed me to find some issues that I can hopefully prevent occurring with my new one.

    Notably there is a plate on the rear of the drum that seems to rust extensively - this will be because the drum case captures water during the drums use & after when it drip dries & then the moisture rusts out this plate. I have sprayed my two drums with Lanolin heavy duty sealer to try keep water out & will ensure drum cases are drained whenever possible.

    The other thing to note is Milwaukee cables. My friend uses the M18 Drill Snake & he had the drop-head completely unscrew from the connector in the line first time. It appeared they are screwed in with a little lock-tight or something. I have posted photo's of the gapping between the cables & where they don't appear to screw up 'home' to their end connectors.

    I haven't had one come undone myself, but I will definitely be switching cables to a long standing manufacturer.

    The unit I bought comes with 2 drums each loaded with 50' of 5/8" open wind cable - the cable wire is the same thickness & exact wind as Ridgid's 5/8" cable for the K-50 so can be used in my part of the world on 1-1/4" up.

    Another thing to note, is the U-Bolt that secures the back of the cable to the drum is a bit of a joke & when you have a bit of cable played out, you guessed it the cable rotation can be stopped with one hand so I'd recommend replacing or adding a second securing clamp to fix this (easily done).

    Hopefully with sealing the drum plate, beefing up the drum cable clamp I will continue to have excellent results.

    I mainly use this machine for internal 1-1/4" to 4" lines. I'm lucky to have roots in my drain at home (don't want to fix the drain as they're good for testing) & will be trying a larger cable just to test the limits of this machine.

  • #2
    Again, I think that the M18 Switch Pack is a over engineered POS.

    I'm testing some of the smaller (1/4 - 5/16) Milwaukee rust resistant cables in my K-45's and so far I like them.

    Are the Milwaukee sectional cables also the rust resistant type?

    Comment


    • JFDI
      JFDI commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't forget to double check those end connectors aren't unwinding, probably more a risk on Milwaukee's cleaning heads than the cable, but after the head came undone on the 1st use for my friend, I just thought I'd remind you.

    • AssTyme
      AssTyme commented
      Editing a comment
      I rarely use anything other than the standard bulb head types of cables in my K-45's.

  • #3
    The Reps know absolutely nothing about the SP or cables really. The 5/8" open wind is a slightly greyer colour so not sure what they are coated with.

    Whether its over engineered, I can't say, I think the cable drum clamp is poorly done, as well as the grade of mild steel (probably recycled) they used in the drum - just wish Milwaukee had used stainless instead of mild steel on the drum.

    I do heaps of blocked commercial drains, I mean heaps & find it so so easy just throwing the SP over one shoulder & carrying the drum - nice & balanced, no power lead, fast set up, powerful, cleaner to use & boom waste pipe or floor drain cleared & on to the next job.

    I ordered my SP before really getting into Flex Shaft & I do like using the SP for waste pipes & FS for clearing blocked toilet lines if its a short distance as FS is really quick. I've used the SP for toilets, but need to throw in proper 5/8" drum cable for large lines as their sectional 5/8" cable is is like Ridgid's - just too flexible for larger lines. I use the 5/8" mainly on 1-1/4" to 3" lines.

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by JFDI View Post
      The Reps know absolutely nothing about the SP or cables really. The 5/8" open wind is a slightly greyer colour so not sure what they are coated with.

      Whether its over engineered, I can't say, I think the cable drum clamp is poorly done, as well as the grade of mild steel (probably recycled) they used in the drum - just wish Milwaukee had used stainless instead of mild steel on the drum.

      I do heaps of blocked commercial drains, I mean heaps & find it so so easy just throwing the SP over one shoulder & carrying the drum - nice & balanced, no power lead, fast set up, powerful, cleaner to use & boom waste pipe or floor drain cleared & on to the next job.

      I ordered my SP before really getting into Flex Shaft & I do like using the SP for waste pipes & FS for clearing blocked toilet lines if its a short distance as FS is really quick. I've used the SP for toilets, but need to throw in proper 5/8" drum cable for large lines as their sectional 5/8" cable is is like Ridgid's - just too flexible for larger lines. I use the 5/8" mainly on 1-1/4" to 3" lines.


      Commercial and restaurants are a PITA dealing with parking, multiple stories, people in my way, long runs, not knowing where the cleanouts are or chit piled on top of them, filling out paperwork to get paid, etc...

      I turn most down they are probably around 1% of my work.

      Comment


      • JFDI
        JFDI commented
        Editing a comment
        My commercial work must be more relaxing. Sure if its a high rise building there's rarely a spot available in the basement park & thats why I took the chance on Milwaukee's lightweight battery powered drum machine - it just makes my commercial work all that much more easier, especially now that I'm beginning to use Flex Shaft indoors for the more heavy duty jobs or where clearing stacks in a light well.

        Off course my jetter gets used the most for outside 4" lines (especially the domestic stuff) as it usually takes less than 60 seconds to open a line with it. Once I've finished developing the Flex Shaft, I'll begin to use it more & more I think, but just like Rick, I'll only use the camera if I really deem necessary or client wants a inspection.
        Last edited by JFDI; 07-30-2018, 12:36 AM.

    • #5
      Awesome review! Thanks

      Comment


      • #6
        I said I would report on the good & bad.

        Ran machines 1/2" cables through a 4" floor drain to unblock a PVC toilet line under the building thats been giving issues at the local university.

        I ran all the first drum out 48' & then hooked the cable in the drain to the other drum of 1/2" cable. I had no hook ups or anything, but when I retrieved the cable it unclipped in the floor drain trap. I put my hand into the trap pulled the first 50' cable out to find the Ridgid style connector had flared out like a flower opening to the Sun.
        Last edited by JFDI; 07-08-2019, 05:17 AM.

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by JFDI View Post
          I said I would report on the good & bad.

          Ran machines 1/2" cables through a 4" floor drain to unblock a PVC toilet line under the building thats been giving issues at the local university.

          I ran all the first drum out 48' & then hooked the cable in the drain to the other drum of 1/2" cable. I had no hook ups or anything, but when I retrieved the cable it unclipped in the floor drain trap. I put my hand into the trap pulled the first 50' cable out to find the Ridgid style connector had flared out like a flower opening to the Sun.
          The cable has a female end in the drum? It's not attached into the drum either?

          Comment


          • #8
            There is an approximate 2-3' anchor cable in the drum so when you feed out all the cable, you can detach it from the drum, drop in the second drum into the machine & hook them up to continue feeding down the line. The nice shinny cable is what was in the second drum & the connector in my hand is on the back of the first cable that detached the connection as it cable back through the 4" trap.
            Last edited by JFDI; 07-09-2019, 05:19 PM.

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