Originally Posted by josephny
What makes it so difficult and dangerous? My super is pretty strong and handy, and has watched this done a number of times. How can I help him do it safely and effectively?
I spend Between $100 and $300 each time a main line gets clogged, which happens a total of 4 to 8 times per year for all buildings combined.
I thought it would make sense to buy a $500 tool to avoid that ongoing cost and the delay in getting it cleaned out.
The K-400 says it's good for lines up to 4" -- what about it will be inadequate?
Thanks very much!
I am not going to say you can't do it or even that you shouldn't do it. Obviously everybody that uses a drain auger has a first time. If there are people out there using these with regularity, then an reasonably intelligent and cautious person should be able to learn how to use one properly.
all I am saying is it can cause some serious injuries if the auger wins the fight.
You ask what makes it so dangerous:
think about how it works. You take up to a 100' length of semi-flexible tube/cable that is spinning and you put a cutter head on the end. The cutter head is going to attempt to stop the thing from spinning and the motor is going to keep spinning it. Especially if the cutter grabs solidly on a broken pipe or a tree root, it will stop hard. The cable/tube will wrap up, that is, it will twist itself into a spiral rather than simply a long relatively straight cable. The spiraling is storing energy plus it can cause the cable not inside the pipe to continue to wrap up on itself.
If that happens, you now have a big twist of the cable spinning around with a powerful motor driving it. It does not stop instantly if you cut the power.
In the time it takes to stop, you could have a finger or an arm or a shirt sleeve caught up in the cable. Not a fun place to be.
That spinning mess moves a lot faster than you might realize. It can whack you in the head before you even notice it if you are not paying close attention.
Like I said; it's not that I am suggesting nobody should ever use one of these. It's that due caution and care and understanding of what can happen must be used when operating one.
In your situation, I would think it would be a good investment but as with all power equipment and you as an employer, there is a great deal of liability in using such a machine. As long as you are willing to accept that liability, then go for it.
I do not know if the retailers or manufacturers offer any training for their machines but if they do, I would suggest accepting their training.