Built for Big Jobs

Manufacturers describe their largest and most powerful cable machines for clearing rough blockages in larger-diameter lines

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Cleaner asked makers of cable machines for drain and pipe cleaning to tell us about their biggest, toughest, meanest cable machines.

Here is a look at their most powerful systems, designed to tackle large lines and difficult obstructions.


The Model C drain- and sewer-cleaning machine from Electric Eel Manufacturing Co. Inc. cleans 3-inch to 10-inch lines for up to 200 feet. The unit runs up to 200 feet of 1 1/4-inch self-feeding dual cable in 8- or 10-foot sections. 800/833-1212; www.electriceel.com.

Direct drive

The DM175 cable machine from Duracable Manufacturing uses a direct-drive system with a 10:1 gear ratio for high torque. It has built-in stair climbers and a quick-change reel. The machine is recommended for use on mainlines and for larger industrial, commercial and residential jobs, including overhead and wall cleanouts, flood drains, grease blockages and roots. It is available with 18-, 23- and 27-inch reels. 877/244-0556; www.duracable.com.

Variety of lines

The Dahle D-150 drain cleaner from Dahle USA handles a variety of drain lines, turning 5/16-inch cable or 3/8-inch cable, both held in drum adaptors, through clogged 4-inch lines. The compact unit is high-speed, turning flexible cables at 400 rpm. 866/202-8333.

Smooth feed and retract

The Speedrooter 92 machine from General Pipe Cleaners includes a Flexitube spring distributor tube to enhance durability. It allows the cable to feed and retract smoothly even if the frame has been damaged and abused. A cord wrap added to the handle makes it easier to store the power cord and foot pedal.

The adjustable-height, swept-back handle also provides maneuvering leverage. The power cable feed drives and retracts 3/4-, 5/8- or 1/2-inch cables. Both large and small drums have a see-through inner cage to let users determine how much cable remains. 800/245-6200; www.drainbrain.com.

Smart motor

The Model 2001 cable machine from Spartan Tool LLC handles lines from 3 to 10 inches, up to 300 feet out. The unit, with a polished aluminum-alloy drum, has a smart-motor that automatically senses blockages and ramps up the power when needed. The device also has a motor safety brake that automatically stops the drum rotation as soon as the foot pedal is released. 800/435-3866; www.spartantool.com.

Instant-acting clutch

Designed for 2- to 8-inch lines, the K-1500 sectional machine from RIDGID is an all-around sewer- and drain-cleaning machine. An instant-acting cable clutch maximizes control. When the operator pulls the handle down, the cable spins at a constant 710 rpm. Releasing the handle frees the cable instantly, so there is no overrun to loop or break the cable.

The machine has 15-foot sections of 1 1/4-inch cable to clean lines up to 200 feet out. A clutch jaw change-out adapts the machine to run 15-foot sections of 7/8-inch cable for 2- to 4-inch lines up to 175 feet. It comes equipped with a 3/4 hp motor. 800/769-7743; www.ridgid.com.

Assorted blades

The Model GO 68HD drain cleaning machine from Gorlitz Sewer and Drain Inc. has a 3/4 hp reversible motor and separate 10:1 ratio gearbox. The unit clears roots, sludge, grease and debris in 3- to 10-inch lines up to 500 feet long. A blade assortment, 150 feet of 11/16-inch cable, cable connectors, splices, chucks and an electric foot pedal are standard.

The unit also has skid bars for added frame protection, large rubber wheels and a front handle. Rear rubber bumpers absorb shock when positioning the machine on its back. A tow ring helps it pull the machine up a ramp. Options include a power cable feeder, open steel reel and enclosed polyethylene drum. 877/446-7648; www.gorlitz.com.

Dual drums

The Pro Dual drum cable machine from Triple R Specialty has a 3/4 hp GFCI-protected motor and an electric foot switch on a 6-foot cord for hands-free operation. The belt-driven auto-feed dual system holds 100 feet of 3/4-inch cable and 75 feet of 1/2-inch cable. 800/356-9661; www.triplerspecialty.com.

Small footprint

The Model 7500 cable machine from Sewer Equipment Co. of America has 350 feet of 1.25-inch cable. The Model 7500B uses 1-inch cable. The footprint of both units is 20 square feet. 800/323-1604; www.sewerequipment.com.

Gasoline powered

Powered by a 4 hp Kohler gasoline engine, the Big Main (M98) mainline cable machine from MyTana Mfg. Company Inc. cleans 3- to 10-inch lines using 300 to 400 feet of 1/2-, 3/4-, 9/16-, 5/8- or 11/16-inch cable with automatic feed and retrieve. Units come with multiple blades, couplings, mounting blocks and slicing cores. Features include a foot pedal, reversing switch, built-in GFCI circuit and spring-loaded J-lock revolving arm. Threaded ends are standard. A dual gas-electric motor is available. 800/328-8170; www.mytana.com.

Steel cable drums

The single-operator Model 400 sewer rodder from Ken-Way Corp. cleans 3- to 10- inch lines using 50 to 130 feet of 3/4-inch cable, or 50 to 150 feet of 11/16-inch heavy-duty cable with inner core or non-core. Interchangeable steel cable drums enable cleaning more than 300 feet. The cables interchange with most other brands.

The unit has a remote air-powered foot switch, two 8-inch rubber tires, twin stair-climbing tracks and a complete set of special tools and accessories. The machine knocks down in minutes to fit into any passenger vehicle trunk. A power cable feed is optional. 800/533-0551; www.ken-way.com.


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