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What's the best setup?

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  • What's the best setup?

    Hey guys,

    I've been visiting this site for awhile now. Finally signed up!

    I'm a licensed plumber in Ontario, Canada. I've mostly done commercial work. Zero drain cleaning, as we always sub that out.

    I've been researching for awhile to try and learn what's the best set ups for drain cleaning.

    There's just so many options and opinions, it gets overwhelming.

    K60? K50? Sectional, drum? Etc Flexshaft?

    I'm just starting out with this endeavor, so I don't need jetters etc yet. Lol.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    You can never go wrong with a k-50 5/8'' sectional machine. i'm a big fan of the k-60 5/8''- 7/8'' sectional cable , but recently they upped the design to a k-5208 that will also run the 7/8'' and 1.25'' sectional cables. so that would be my choice now.

    My Rick Whackers are holding their ground and causing the jetter and sectional to take a long deserved rest.

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      If I where starting out again I choose the K-5208 over the K-60 for main drains, the k-50 is a versatile tool for 1 1/2 to 3" drains love mine and for the small drains a k-45. drum machines are bulky and heavy ( especially up and down stairs ) to cart around ( my opinion) though I own many and as you gain experience in drain cleaning you can add more tools to your arsenal. good luck.


      • #4
        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        You can never go wrong with a k-50 5/8'' sectional machine. i'm a big fan of the k-60 5/8''- 7/8'' sectional cable , but recently they upped the design to a k-5208 that will also run the 7/8'' and 1.25'' sectional cables. so that would be my choice now.

        My Rick Whackers are holding their ground and causing the jetter and sectional to take a long deserved rest.

        The problem with making your own and it gets stuck and you need to dig 8 feet in the yard with a backhoe, you can be sued and you will lose right away because it's not approved equipment. You will have to buy them a new lawn a new basement floor, new pipes etc. There's a court case where the plumber who lost because of the improper cable size or bit or something like that(It's vague).


        • PLUMBER RICK
          PLUMBER RICK commented
          Editing a comment
          It all comes with experience and track record. Over the last 44 years I can count on 1 hand the cables I got stuck and on 2 fingers the cables that wouldn't come back. Out here you could be sued for anything. Fortunately I have insurance and have never needed to use it. I'll take my chances with my Whackers. With hundreds and hundreds of Whacker cleanings and only lost 1 chain. I'll take my chances.


        • Drain-slayer
          Drain-slayer commented
          Editing a comment
          From all the storys you tell sounds like you need to move out of Canada or start doing something else.

        • Pro Service
          Pro Service commented
          Editing a comment
          Drain-slayer You haven't heard 3% of all the side show stories since I opened my circus plumbing company. I posted them in another place.

      • #5
        After 20 yrs I?ve used pretty much every style machine and for the past 10 yrs my set up consists of a K60 (7/8 cable), K400 (3/8), K45af (5/16), Erickson (1/4?), 2 toilet augers and a 75? flex shaft. My drain calls usually take 10-60 min. I?ve been wanting to buy a k5208 for lines that are 100? plus. I mostly do residential, some restaurants. I have a Spartan 300, k7500 that are collecting dust in my garage because I have no need for that style machine anymore, just to heavy.


        • #6
          Hey guys it's been awhile!

          As I mentioned in my earlier Post, I'm a licensed plumber. Almost 10 years experience in i.c.i.

          Is drain cleaning something you guys think a plumber like myself, can just sort of learn on the fly so to speak?

          Obviously, one with little draining cleaning experience would not be able to do is as proficient as most of you, is it still doable? I trust my knowledge of plumbing drainage systems.

          I'm looking to slowly start doing my own thing in the side, and clearly drain cleaning is going to be one of the most requested services.

          I know it takes years to be as good as someone like Rick, so take it easy on me guys. Lol


          • #7
            This is kind of funny, my story is the exact same as yours and we're from the same place! So I decided to make an account today just to comment on this but will continue to contribute in the future. I just started a drain cleaning business and my first purchase order was: K-50 with all possible cables, head attachments and accessories available for it, the MicroReel and MicroDrain, the K-6P toilet auger with attachments, and finally some other random smaller tools. I'm also partially learning on the fly, I have an extensive background in plumbing (minus drain cleaning) and also steal additional knowledge on drain cleaning from friends and forums like this (which I really appreciate exists). Eventually I'll be getting the Seesnake Mini with a CS6X and the K-5208, but I didn't hit the lottery so it's one thing at a time for now.


            • #8
              I started out drain cleaning on drum machines. I used the K-7500, K-3800 and some Duracable units. They are easy to manage and setup. I transitioned to sectional machines several years back. They take a little bit longer to setup but they do a better job of cleaning. Yes, I've verified this with thousands of video inspections.
              That's not to say the drums can't get it done. They can, just not as fast. The faster spinning really does a good job with grease and sludge. There are times I'd still prefer to through with a drum machine, like with a line full of feminine hygiene products. That extra torque makes those just a tad bit easier so I don't have to pull the cable back for cleaning as much.
              As others have said, the K-50 is great for branch lines when you need the extra length a handheld spinner can't reach. I haven't tried the K-5208 but if it's anything like the K-60 then you can't go wrong there.
              What types of drains do you think you'll do mostly? What kind of access points are in your area? How long is the typical line there? The answers to these questions should help us steer you in the best direction.


              • #9
                Hey man sorry I havent been on here since I made my original greeting post. So I've been working away at it for a year and a half now lol. Loving the K-5208 other than how it treats my back and also the weight of a reel full of 1-1/4" cable when you're trying to carry it without hugging it (even the ****ing guide hose is heavy). That combo plus a tool box fulls of heads is what I pull out most of the day, along side the seesnake of course. I do only residential, from the GTA all the way to Niagara falls. The only time I've ever had outside access to something is when it was an outdoor plumbing system already, like a weeping system or maybe a stairwell floor drain. I'm always inside the house going through some kind of clean out. Typical sewer lateral length here is 50-85 feet (4 inch), sometimes up to 120' which is great because I can almost always use my micro reel with the small handheld monitor that sits on top for camera inspection and do perfectly fine. So much easier using that in small spaces. Also I've never had a problem with torque on the k-5208, it seems like nothing will stop it. Once in awhile I break out the k-50 for some secondary lines like a kitchen sink, usually it's just grease anyway. I enjoy drain cleaning other than two things, one is the lifting of the heavy equipment constantly. The other most important is the exposure to highly dangerous bacteria and (occasionally) chemicals. It seems no matter how clean you try to be it will still end up on you in some way, even if just a bit. I find it funny the guys worried about the possibility of covid yet they face organisms 100 times deadlier that are guaranteed to fling onto their shirt, arms and face everytime. Happy drain day friends.


                • #10
                  Best by far k-50...! I have a My Tanna I like as well for bigger jobs.. But my go to is the one and only.. k-50..!