Flexible shaft drain cleaners are an efficient and effective tool for maintaining and cleaning plumbing systems, especially useful in scenarios where pipe configurations are complex and access is limited. Our flexible shaft set consists of the flexible shaft, a protective sleeve, and friction rings.

What makes a good quality flexible shaft?

The life expectancy and quality of a shaft depend on selecting the right design. A flexible shaft is made by winding several layers of high quality spring-grade wire around a single mandrel. Each successive layer is wound onto the shaft at an opposing pitch angle. The quality of a shaft is determined by the wires used, their number, the diameter, and the annealing temperature. Properties such as flexibility, torsional stiffness, power transmission, and performance under different speeds are influenced by the selection and adjustment of these fundamentals.

Meeting these basic prerequisites is the guarantee of long, consistent and reliable performance.

  • The flexible shaft is designed to reach obstacles in tight working environments whilst spinning at speeds ranging from 500-3500 RPM.
  • The shaft spins in a self-contained housing called a sleeve, which makes it safer, and cleaner to use than a rooter cable.

With the correct drain cleaning chain attached, your shaft will outperform a jetting machine when it comes to root removal or descaling of lime scale, urine scale or removing tuberculation.

Shaft thickness

  • The thickness of the shaft depends on the amount of bends that you would like to pass through. The more bends you need to get through, the thinner the shaft should be. However, the thinner the shaft is, the less torque the shaft delivers.
  • The 6mm (1/4″) flexible shaft is most suitable for 50 mm pipes and can manage to get through multiple bends, but has limited torque, so it is more suitable for blockage removal than descaling. (The 6mm will descale a pipe, but it would take longer to achieve results.)
  • The 8mm (5/16”) flexible shaft is our second most flexible shaft. It has the ability to pass through multiple bends, and has more torque than the 6mm (¼). This shaft is most suitable for pipes with a diameter of 75mm (3”) to 100mm (4”), and will work with blockage removal chains as well as descaling chains.
  • The 10mm (3/8″) flexible shaft is less flexible than the 8mm (5/16) shaft, and yet more flexible than the 12mm (½”). This shaft will navigate through fewer bends than the 8mm (5/16) shaft, but will offer the user similar torque to the 12mm (1/2″). This shaft is suitable for pipes ranging from 75mm (3”) to 150mm (6”).
  • The 12mm (½”) flexible shaft is our most rigid shaft. This shaft is popular for failed liner removal since it offers the highest torque ratio. The shaft is perfect for descaling and blockage removal of lines ranging from 100mm (4”) to 200mm (8”).

Shaft length

  • Most clients insist on getting the longest shaft possible. Yet, on average, most of the blockages occur within 20 meters (65ft), and most clean outs are located 25 meters (80ft) apart. However, this is something that you would know more about since you have better knowledge of the layout of your average plumbing pipework in your region. When you choose one of the recommended shafts, please be sure to keep this in mind.
  • The longer your shaft is, the less torque is delivered to the other end, since there is a slight loss in energy passed through the shaft.
  • Consider purchasing two shorter shafts with a shaft connector so that you have less to carry around on site, and when you need extra length, you could simply connect an additional shaft. In this way, you could also connect a thinner shaft to a thicker shaft to give you flexibility when needed as well as the torque to drive the thinner shaft.