Drum vs Sectional snake

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by johnboy, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. johnboy

    johnboy New Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Hi, does anyone have experince with snake machines. I currently use a sectional snake machine, ridged 1500: 1/2,7/8,1-1/4, the problem is its hard to service homes with it. I'm looking for a smaller machine a little lighter to carry up and down stairs of homes, it could replace the 1/2 and 7/8 from my bigger machine. What are the advantages of a drum over a sectional snake machine.

  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    rigid K50

    If you have the rigid K50 that is about the best machine made

    for all around service......

    the small drum machine almost half the time never gets the job
    done and I used to always have to b ring in the K50 to do
    it all over again......

    its never a clean job. the only thing with a small universal wire

    orange machine with the little drill on the end is keeping things

    half way clean.....

    god , I so miss those days.....
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  4. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    I started with the electric eel and the Ridgid-Kollman and it seemed like the only thing you can do with those are outside jobs.

    Otherwise you are constantly in a 2 man job whereby a drum machine can easily be used by one person. Having to watch the cable trail on the floor worrying about catching the draps or cords or pulling the rug up is not my forte.

    I work in some high end homes and it doesn't matter if I worked in all mobile homes; I don't want to spend 2 hours cleaning up what the machine shot all over the floor and the walls and up against the doors/trim.

    Even with a drum machine that small 3-4 foot section sitting outside the machine spritz's crap all over the place.

    In regards to the handheld cable drill gun; I'm a pretty strong guy and all but that machine kills my wrists. AND, it seemed that I needed 3 hands to operate it.

    1. To hold it
    2. To guide it
    3. To pull the slack in or out

    Ever tried rodding a drain under a sink on your knees with that machine in one hand and your hand guiding into a trap turn-up? It's not easy at all.

    I run tubs/showers/kitchen sinks with a small drum machine. I can sit it on a kitchen sink countertop with a foam pad down to protect the formica/granite/corian and most if not all times I can corkscrew the basket strainer and open the drain using the contents in the sink as hyrdropressure to help me open the drain.

    The above doesn't always work, especially if you have a basket strainer that won't let you get the cable down through it. Otherwise you are shooting blind not knowing the exact moment you hit that clog. Some drain lines you cannot see how long they are until they open into a larger piping system.

    I've found that every time I am forced to go under the sink, I spend more time rodding since I can't mark the trouble spot and hitting a hard spot isn't the norm on soft clogs.

    I didn't write this to convince people to not use sectionals or handheld drill type drain machines; you cannot convince them to change. I was in a class years ago and the plumbers were divided no matter what the pros were to the other.

    I run with Spartan drain cleaning equipment. No complaints and I've owned for 4 and been using for 6.

    Just envision a new home with white carpet all the way to the second floor with back to back toilets with the vertical clogged and using a sectional cable. You'll need a painter, a floor guy, and a trim carpenter when you are done for the damage you create. Short of a truck full of canvas drop cloths and extra help which kills the profit margin.
  5. lovetohelpya

    lovetohelpya New Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    We've been using Spartan brand drain cleaning machines for over 30 years.
    The only thing you have to do is drain them after every job (the sewer machines) and you're golden.

    The hand-held drill machine (aka: The Hole-shooter) is our "noise-maker" - it's crap. Who wants to work that hard on a small drain line? For smaller lines, we use the Spartan model 100 (Rod-O-Matic) with 1/4" cable. Some companies put cutters on the end, but you're better off making it a whip by just bending the tip (1 1/2" and 45 degrees). It's what I use and I run about 4-5 small drain lines per day. Yeah, you may have to run it a second time if you didn't get all the way to the sewer stack, but that ends with experience. (Don't run too far into the sewer or you may get hung up on roots. That gets you up a certain creek without a paddle.)
    Ahem...fyi - run from the basket? No. Take off the trap and run it. Since when can you get a GOOD cable through a trap without massive frustration?!?
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Lately I have been using a friends K 1500SP.

    No drum machine can come close to the 600 RPM this thing turns. It eats up roots like no ones buisness. The K1500 turns at 710 RPM

    The guide hose keeps things clean.

    200 RPM is about the max for a drum machine. I had an old Spartan 1065 that I used for years but I am leaning towards the Ridgid Sectional machines now.
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