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Ditch Your Drain Auger & Go Pro

Flexible Shaft Drain Cleaning: The Game Changer

It’s time to make the jump and move away from a drain auger, which many professionals have reported to be slow – here we’ll show you what it takes to replace it with modern high-speed, high power flexible shafts & chains.

Running aging, slow-running unclogging equipment such as drain augers is a thing of the past.

Over the past few years, the drain cleaning & plumbing industry has been taken over by flexible shafts & drain cleaning chains.

These modern drain cleaning tools enable you to provide flexible, professional and cost effective drain cleaning solutions. By attaching a stainless steel manufactured cleaning chain, with or without carbide inserts, and a various collection of nylon or carbide brushes to a high quality flexible shaft, you will be able to get through sewer cleaning tasks much faster and more efficiently.

Flexible shafts are generally available in a few common sizes:

– 6mm (1/4″)
– 8mm (5/16″)
– 10mm (3/8″)
– 12mm (1/2″)

This size selection offers solutions for most standard needs within the drain cleaning industry. The smaller sizes offer flexibility and ability to navigate various 90° bends and the ability to enter pipes through confined access positions with accompanying tools. The larger sizes offer rigidity and power for working inside larger pipe sizes and longer runs.

When choosing the right flexible shaft for the job, there is no single, simple advice. The pipes that drain cleaners work inside vary in size, shape and length and so should the solution to work on them too. The tools available for the flexible shafts should always match the shaft sizing. 

If you’re working with an 8mm (5/16″) shaft, you should always use chains and brushes with a matching size attachment points to make sure you’ve secured the tool on the shaft, and won’t end up loosing your tool of choice inside the pipe. This will lead into a costly & difficult process of removing the tool from the drain (while it is possible with tailormade solutions; such as the Captain Hook. Some of our customers use the Picote Grabber, however they report that it can be a little bit complicated to use. If you can afford the Picote Grabber then please go for it, but If you are working on a tight budget, the Captain Hook is the way to go and it is easy to use since it is has two rods that move in a rotating motion to easily grab items stuck in your pipe).

Ideally, your flexible shaft kit should always contain few key components:

– The flexible shaft itself in suitable size and length

– A cable cover installed on the flexible shaft, allowing your to operate the rotating shaft without risking physical damage to yourself, others or structures you work in.

– Friction bearings which are installed at both ends of the cable cover. These friction bearings provide a shield barrier for the cable cover against friction-caused heat from your drill or the cleaning tool at the end of your flexible shaft. If the cover ends up rubbing against your drill chuck running at 2000rpm without any shield, it may heat up and melt, causing the cover the stick onto the flexible shaft, effectively ruining the tool.

– Drive rotator shaft socket enabling you to use your cordless drill for rotating the flexible shaft.

– Shaft to Shaft Connector enabling you to extend your flexible shaft by connecting two same sized or different sized flexible shafts together.

– Brush Locks if you’re using nylon or silicone carbide cleaning brushes with your flexshaft. The brush frames are manufactured from POM or other plastics and while they are super durable, they might break under stress, causing the brush to detach from the flexshaft.

Please keep in mind that in order to get maximum service life out of your flexible shaft, you should maintain & service the shaft regularly. The shaft can be taken out of the cable cover, cleaned and lubricated to reach the best possible friction resistance and service capability.

When you’ve chosen your set of suitable flexible shafts and accompanying tools, you can finish off your kit with a professional Cable Carrier for clean, professional and neat storage and transportation of your flexible shafts. Although we do not recommend it, using a Cable Carrier also allows you to use your flexible shaft without extracting it completely, as our Cable Carrier has drive insertion points where you can bring out the drive end of your shaft from a tailormade entry point and run the flexible shaft with your drill even if it’s only partly outed from the carrier.

The reason we don’t recommend using your shaft this way is because we have seen that an unwound shaft is more efficient than one that is coiled up.

With a kit like this, you’ll look professional in front of your customers. Additionally, a thoroughly designed kit is also a pleasure to work with and it actively reduces any risk of harming your customers’ property by operating the drain flexible shafts indoor.

Thanks for reading. If you have any further questions regarding flexible shafts or any other drain cleaning tools and equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are always here for you.

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