Advice for K-380 use...
Hey, guys, Y'all seem to know what you're talking about, so here goes. My Ridgid K-380 drain cleaner currently has 75 feet of 3/8 inner-core cable. It was shipped with 4 interchangeable cutter heads (spade, double blade, bulb and something else...) I used them for several jobs, and had acceptable results. I only use this machine for lines up to 3", and usually through roof vents and cleanouts (although sometimes through trap adapters.) Many times I have to run floor drains, so I must negotiate a trap. I had almost given up with this machines' cutter heads, as I couldn't successfully get through a 2" trap with any head. I have since removed all evidence of the interchangeable system, and kinked the end of the cable, as plumbers and draincleaners have been doing since the dawn of time. I have practically doubled the efficiency of this machine in doing so!!! So my question is...why offer these heads as a feature at all? Was I mis-using them? By the way, I am a plumber/drain cleaner (service) by profession, and have been doing so for many(9) years. what gives?
a 2'' trap is difficult to negotiate with cutters. a built in bulb auger will work. a bent cable end is a known way to negotiate a trap, but a poor way to "clean" a line. yes it will clear a stoppage, but not clean a line. that's the difference between a good job and a job that will get by.
today i did 3 jetting jobs and 2 camera jobs. i know for a fact that the lines are clear and clean. on the 3rd. job, the other plumber that hired me, camered the job. so that too is clean.
no i don't camera every job. maybe only 10%. i come in when others have failed. so i can tell you that if you don't use some form of cutter, you're not doing a proper job.
if you have a proper clean out, you can get past the trap issue. also a loose wound leader will help out too.
I too have just had the experience as Helenaplumber with difficulty/impossibility of negotiating a 2' floor drain with the K-380. I also tried a drop head bulb with no better results.
You mentioned in your reply to Helenaplumber's post that " a loose would leader " would help. Could you explain to me what that is and where I can purchase one if they are available ?
You should be removing the trap or installing a cleanout for a 1 1/2" - 2" Line. If you must negotiate a trap - no blade is the easiest way to get through, but rick is right - it will only get the line open not clean it. Now with 3" and 4" floor drains, you should be able to get through with a single cutter head on those as long as you are using 1/2" cable. 3/8" is really for 1 1/2 - I usually use 1/2" for 2" lines and up on inside small clogs.