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Why are two shorter shafts better than one long shaft?

Two shorter shafts or one longer shaft for drain cleaning

Introduction

Most clients believe that getting the longest shaft possible is the best choice. We would like to recommend considering the alternative of getting two separate shorter shafts. There are a couple of reasons why we advise our customers to choose two shorter shafts instead of one long shaft, and in this article, we will cover them.

Advantages of having two shorter shafts:

  1. Convenience

The first reason is that for most jobs, you won’t need a very long shaft. With two short ones, you have less to carry; it is lighter weight and extremely convenient when you have to take your equipment to the top floors of a building or far from your vehicle.

The second reason is that with a shorter shaft, you will have much less to clean after most of your jobs.

  1. Location of blockages in pipes

Statistically, most blockages occur within 20 meters (65ft) from the access point, and it is thought that this is the result of Hagen–Poiseuille’s law. This law describes the pressure drop due to the viscosity of the fluid, which then results in a significant reduction in the liquid’s flow.

Most cleanouts are located 25 meters (80ft) apart, and as we mentioned, the blockages occur at a shorter distance, so there is usually no need for extremely long shafts.

  1. Backup shaft

If you happen to kink your long shaft while working, then you will have to repair it on the spot, carry another long shaft in your vehicle as a replacement shaft, or try to get a new one as soon as possible, which is usually impossible to do on the spot.

If you have two shorter shafts and one of them gets damaged, all you need to do is swap them. There is no need to repair anything on the spot; just get your second shaft from the vehicle and get the job done.

  1. The amount of torque

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, specifically to the tool end. Friction between the shaft and the sleeve, even when lubricated well, causes this loss of energy.

A longer shaft requires more torque and is heavier to push inside the pipe. Overall, two shorter shafts require less torque than one long shaft.

If you have two shorter shafts, one that is thinner and one that is thicker, then by attaching your thicker shaft to the drill, you have the ability to send more torque toward the thinner shaft, making the thinner shaft more effective over longer distances. The radial transmission from the thicker shaft offers more torque to a thinner shaft, which is more lightweight and increases the efficiency of the chain over longer distances.

Simple and secure connection

Connecting two shafts is extremely simple with our shaft-to-shaft connector. When you need the additional length, just use this connector to connect your secondary shaft, and you will be able to reach further into the sewer pipe. This shaft-to-shaft connector not only allows you to connect two shafts together but also lets you combine two shafts of different sizes. As mentioned before, if you have a section of pipe that requires a more flexible shaft, you can attach the thicker shaft to your drill end and the thinner one to the tool end.

Shaft to shaft connector for flexible shafts

Some people think this connection can easily break and they will lose the shaft down the drain, but if your set screws are set very tight, then there are very few chances that it can occur. We have created a short video on how to correctly connect your two flexible shafts together:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZYkIsAkt4k&t

If the set screws are not set tight enough and that happens, then you can use the grabber tool to retrieve it. If you are interested in learning more about this tool, please check it out at this link:

https://plumber-tools.com/chain-retrieval-tool

Conclusion

We always recommend having two shorter shafts instead of one long shaft. That way, more torque will be delivered to the tool end, you will have less to carry, and the secondary shaft might offer more flexibility if needed.

Another important advantage is that if you happen to kink or damage your shaft, you can just get the other one from the vehicle and continue working without having to stop and repair your long shaft.

Connecting two shafts is very easy by using our shaft-to-shaft connector. Please make sure to tighten the set screws firmly, which will make the connection secure.

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