Drain Cleaning Machines, Drum Vs. Sectional by Sylvan Tieger


I have been asked which type of snake (sewer rod) is the best.

The answer is there is no BEST it all depends on the application at hand.

For example I happen to use drum machines where the cable is neatly stored in a a drum that rotates. This kind of machine is great for working in peoples home were you do not have the space (length) for a sectional machine, normally 6'-10'

The beauty of the drum machine is it keeps the dirty retrieved cable in a drum that can be cleaned outside the building with a garden hose and soap.

The drum type also allows you to work much closer to the main line being serviced

The drum can not only store the snake but if you add some oil in this drum your snake will be rust free.

The other feature I like about the drum machine is the fact I can add another 100' cable drum in less then a minute so I can have the extra length as needed.

A drum machine is really easy for one man operation with the automatic feeder and retractor.

Now for the bad news.

With the drum type once the cable breaks or tangles you're out of business with that drum until the cable is replaced or repaired.

The drum machines have nowhere close to the torque of the sectional counterparts nor the speed in moving in and out of the line FPM

With the drum machines, even though the book says you can use 3/4" and 1/2" cable, the 1/2" cable will not feed or retract properly no matter what you do to the automatic adjustment.

The 3/4" wires have no forgiveness when they hit a solid stoppage they just SNAP or kink and they have a problem going through some short radius fittings like a 3" trap.

The machine with a full drum can be quite heavy for one person loading on a truck OR carrying up a few flights of stairs but the actual operation is easy to master.

The drum machine automatic feeder has gears and other parts that have to be cleaned and serviced and routinely have to be replaced if you are hell bent on using various sized cables (3/4"-- 5/8" and 1/2")

If a cable does get jammed and you run the machine in reverse you can either tangle the cable inside the drum OR snap it inside the pipe OR twist it so your arm now becomes part of this cable.


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