Plumber Learns That Reliability Is Better Than Novelty, Switches to General's Flexible-Shaft Solution

The next-generation Flexi-Rooter 100 is a go-to tool for SureFlo Sewer and Drain Cleaning

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Plumber Learns That Reliability Is Better Than Novelty, Switches to General's Flexible-Shaft Solution

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“You could say I was regularly on Amazon’s ‘frequent order’ list for repair and replacement parts,” says Seth Mikulin, recalling the poor reliability of his old drain cleaning machine. 

That’s why the owner of SureFlo Sewer and Drain Cleaning in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, added the “next-generation” Flexi-Rooter 100 from General Pipe Cleaners to his equipment mix.

Rugged, reliable Flexi-Rooter 100 redefines high-speed, flexible-shaft technology. And it immediately proved faster, safer, more thorough, and more versatile than SureFlo’s “first-generation” disappointment. 

Reputation for dependability 

For nearly a decade, folks in northwestern Pennsylvania have trusted SureFlo for a wide range of scheduled and emergency services: snaking, hydro-jetting, camera inspection and location, line replacement and more. 

“Customers trust us to solve problems fast,” Mikulin says. “So equipment reliability remains extremely critical to our business reputation.” 

Flexi-Rooter 100 met – and exceeded – his needs.

Spinning at up to 2,200 rpm (10 times faster than drum machines), Flexi-Rooter 100’s stronger, stiffer flexible shaft combines the superior, straight-line cutting power to open solidly blocked 4-inch lines with the flexibility to traverse narrow 2-inch lines. 

“We’re even using it more than our conventional cable machines,” he says. “It handles most drain cleaning troubles, from root problems to grease and sludge stoppages, 85% to 90% of the time.” 

The shaft safely spins within a tough, protective sheath. So with no rotating drums, General’s leading-edge machine remains safer and easier to handle. 

More productive 

The integral variable-speed motor with foot pedal control also lets one operator use both hands safely to guide the flexible shaft through the line. 

By contrast, Mikulin’s clumsy, drill-powered “first-generation” design needed two workers for safe, efficient operation. 

“That’s hardly manpower-productive.” 

Not so with General’s game-changing machine, Mikulin says. 

“When looking into a clean-out, I can have a flashlight in one hand, the flexible shaft in the other, and still securely control machine action with the foot pedal.” And like many drain cleaning professionals, Mikulin says Flexi-Rooter 100 lets him “feel a lot about a stoppage by working the cable itself, on roots, for example” – further boosting performance. 

Enhanced efficiency 

Flexi-Rooter 100’s two-part cleaning array features General’s unique ClogChopper cutters combined with carbide chain cutters for a formidable, clog-clearing combo. 

Revolutionary ClogChopper cutters rip through tough clogs with six self-sharpening blades that dig into encrusted debris and root masses, easily grinding up stoppages, scale and crystallized urine. The spherical design maneuvers around tight bends and traps. 

“The front cutter bores into blockages, and the chains scour pipe walls clean,” Mikulin says. 

General’s shaft design is field-repairable, too. 

“I constantly monitor the cutting end for damage, cable fraying, for instance. If that happens, I just cut off a small part of the end, and reattach the cleaning array – simple.” 

He also considers General’s air-actuated foot pedal control easy to swap. Mikulin always carries a spare. 

Synchronized camera operation 

With both hands free to guide the shaft into the line, operators can also simultaneously use Flexi-Rooter 100 with a sewer camera system to pinpoint troubles and instantly inspect results. 

“You can definitely use a camera with it,” Mikulin says. “Now we can hear, feel and see progress during drain cleaning work.” 

Root removal is a “big business opportunity in our area. With a sewer camera monitoring Flexi-Rooter progress, you can actually go root-by-root, or chew into a whole root ball, with excellent accuracy.” 

Another profit center 

By removing the ClogChopper portion of the cleaning array, Mikulin can turn Flexi-Rooter 100 into a cost-effective pipe prep and milling machine. 

“We can even descale small, 2-inch laundry lines for plumbing, drain cleaning, maintenance and rehab work” – further enhancing SureFlo’s equipment ROI. 

General’s versatile machine also helps clear grease and other “soft” stoppages. 

“Flexi-Rooter 100 churns-up the clog and gets water flowing,” Mikulin says. “Once that happens, we can, if necessary, hydro-jet any remaining problems with our General JM-3055 water jet.” 

And on solid stoppages, he adds, “If we can’t get those with Flexi-Rooter, we bring in the heavy artillery – like General’s heavy-duty Speedrooter 91 cable machine.” 

In fact, their Flexi-Rooter 100 is just one, admittedly vital, part of SureFlo’s larger arsenal of General drain cleaning and inspection solutions, which also includes: 

  • I-95 sectional or drum mounted cable machine 
  • Root 66 sectional or drum mounted cable machine 
  • DRZ-PH versatile sink machine 
  • Multiple Kinetic Water Ram portable, air-powered drain cleaners 
  • Gen-Eye POD and Gen-Eye X-POD Plus sewer camera systems 
  • Gen-Ear LE water leak detection system 
  • Multiple Hot Spot digital pipe locators 

Easy to maintain and transport 

Flexi-Rooter 100 is also easy to clean and maintain. “You never know when you’ll meet your next white-carpet basement,” Mikulin jokes.

General’s compact, lightweight design is easy to transport and maneuver, too. 

Flexi-Rooter 100’s durable metal frame includes 10-inch wheels and a folding handle to facilitate transport to and from jobs. A safety slip clutch helps protect the flexible shaft. 

“It’s great on stairs – a true one-man operation,” Mikulin says. “It quickly negotiates doors and narrow spaces. And it easily loads and stores on service trucks.” 

The machine comes complete with 50 feet of 5/16-inch flexible shaft, suitable for cleaning and milling most 2- to 4-inch pipes. An optional 25-foot extension is available, to increase reach to 75 feet. 

General also offers a broad assortment of chain cutters for a wide range of workplace requirements. 

Flexi-Rooter 100 remains a key factor in SureFlo Sewer and Drain Cleaning’s services, and its success. 

“We apply only the most advanced technology and techniques to drain cleaning, diagnostics and repairs,” Mikulin says. “Flexi-Rooter 100’s versatility, reliability and performance help build our excellent reputation.”

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