Every rental operation with drain and sewer cleaning equipment knows it is a profitable, non-seasonal rental item. A standard mix of drain cleaning machines will include a toilet auger, 25-foot manual, 25-foot electric drill unit, a ½ inch by 50 foot electric, and a unit for cleaning main sewer lines.
Aside from the main sewer machine, there are really no decisions that need to be made; the standard mix of machines will work very well. A main line unit offers a couple of options: a 100-foot electric continuous cable machine or a sectional drain cleaner. The popular 100-foot electric unit is well suited for rental and is commonly rented by home-owners as well as contractors. This type of unit is not only popular, but is required for certain applications where space is limited.
Rental operators are also aware that 100-foot electric units can require cable repairs and replacement cable costs caused by customer abuse or improper operation. This leads to a discussion of the sectional drain cleaner, which can give you a variety of advantages.
A sectional drain cleaner utilizes 1 ¼-inch diameter cables in 8 foot or 10 foot sections. A cleaning tool is attached to a section of cable, fed into the line as far as possible, and attached to the machine. The operator then stands behind the unit and turns on the power to spin the cable in the line. Sections of cable continue to be added until the blockage is reached and cleaned. The operation is simple and actually less strenuous than manually feeding a 5/8 inch or ¾ inch diameter continuous cable into a line and back into the cage.
A sectional drain and sewer cleaner offers advantages including:
Safety — The operator never handles the cable while it is rotating. The danger of being injured from a cable under severe tension is eliminated.
Applications — A sectional machine can do everything a 100-foot continuous unit can do and then some. The sectional unit will clean 3- to 10-inch diameter lines up to 200 feet.
Cable maintenance — Continuous cable machines require kinked or broken cables to be repaired before the machine can be rented again. The sectional style machine is never out of service because of cable problems. A sectional cable that is damaged can simply be set off to the side; your customer can continue the job without interruption.
Ease of transport — One person loading and unloading makes the sectional unit very user friendly. A drive unit with a fold down handle weighs only about 70 lbs. The sectional cables can be looped together and placed in the trunk of a car or back of a truck.
Cleaner power — A sectional drain cleaner spins the cable at twice the RPM's of a continuous-cable machine. This makes the sectional unit extremely effective on cleaning tree roots and other more difficult blockages.
Maintenance costs — Since individual cable sections can be added or replaced at any time, cable cost and repair time can be significantly reduced and better controlled. Cable inspection and cleaning is also faster and easier.
There are several key advantages to renting the sectional style machine. The only limitation when using this unit is that it requires 6 to 8 feet of working space. Other than that it can be a trouble free and profitable item for your rental fleet.
Mark Speranza is vice president of sales for Electric Eel Mfg. Co., Springfield, Ohio.