When deciding what drain cleaning equipment is right for a job, the first factor should be the diameter of the drain and the length of the pipe. Equipment size is determined by drain diameter, length and material. Larger diameter drains require larger diameter cable and cleaning attachments and more power, while smaller diameter pipes usually require smaller diameter attachments and enough power to get through blockages. The kind of clog and the type of drain also factor in. Diameter and length usually tell you which machine to go with for a job. Of course there are always jobs that may need more specific consideration. Determining the proper size equipment for the job is critical in cleaning a drain effectively.
If a machine too small for cleaning a large line is used, the cleaning attempt will be ineffective, and the line will either stay clogged or slightly open and ready to clog again. Using a machine too large for a smaller pipe will have difficulty guiding the heavier cable through the line. Many situations need cables that are 100 feet long or more to reach all the way through floor drains to the nearest sewer. Pipe diameter, length and material, as well as the nature of the clog, are important to know when deciding the best way to solve the problem.
The most common drain materials are plastic, malleable iron, cast iron and copper. Some larger drains are cast iron, cement or clay. Underground lines are often made of cast iron, plastic, or clay and are among the toughest drain lines to clear because of penetrating tree roots blockages. In such situations, it's important to use cable heavy enough and long enough, that has enough flexibility to get past tees and ells, and that features a cutting tool that will cut through heavy roots. If the cable is old or damaged, it can break off and require a retriever to recover it. Proper maintenance and routine inspection will help minimize cable problems. One good aid for identifying what the nature of the blockage is to employ a pipe inspection sewer camera. This will allow you to see the obstruction and choose the proper tool for your cable unit.
Regardless if someone is properly trained and comfortable using the equipment with a drain cutter; operators need to follow basic safety measures when cleaning drains and pipelines. Key safety factors include the following:
Below is a list of drain cutters and blades designed for use with cable system for drain cleaning. These are high quality tools for contractors or municipalities. They are designed to be replacements tools for your General Wire Cable Unit. We can also provide cutters and blades for other brands such as Ridgid, Spartan, or Electric Eel. Call for specific parts numbers if you have these brands.