Whats the biggest mistake you've made while drain cleaning?
Background: Still working as a pipe layer, bought some used equipment and a van. Did a few jobs for the construction Co I was working for under their insurance, I had none. Just starting out but not ready, just getting my eggs in a row.
Out of the blue I get a call to a restaurant for backed up main, no idea how this guy got my # as I haven't even started advertising yet. Same place I have done work at with a previous employer doing drain cleaning 3yrs ago. Owner then was told main needs to be replaced.
I show up and tell the current owner the history. I snake and get the line open. I camera and show him all the problems. (many dig up spot repairs, 3 different types of pipe, roots, bellies, shared with an abandon line, offsets..just a mess.)
So I stupidly decide to be a hero and remove more roots with an expanding cutter, and a cheap, used old one at that. Everything was going great and then all of a sudden I felt no tension on my cable. I pull it out and what do I see? right in front of the owner, Nothing! no expanding cutter. Just a female adapter, no blades the head fell apart, leaving 3 6"blades in the line. I put the camera back in and couldn't find a thing. So many bellies holding water. I never saw the blades again.
I expected to be called back in the next few days to face the music and pay to dig up their main (and restaurant down time). They never called back. A friend said he saw the local sewer dept popping sewer man holes in that area 3 days later. I was expecting a call but never got it.
I vowed that day to NEVER again use an expanding cutter, and to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER work with out insurance again.
The expanding cutter I was using was a cheap POS. I have since found a much better rugged set that I am comfortable using.
Anyway thats my DUMB A$$ move, whats yours?