How to Select the Right Cordless Drain Cleaning Machine

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How to Select the Right Cordless Drain Cleaning Machine

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It’s clear that one of the most important shifts in the power tool industry was when Milwaukee Tool introduced lithium-ion technology to professional power tools in 2005. This completely changed how contractors viewed cordless tool capability, paved the way for improvements, and provided the freedom of portable power in endless locations on the job site.

Recently, this technology has started to make its way into the drain cleaning industry. As cordless technology continues to introduce new proprietary features and functionalities in drain cleaning equipment, breaking down the previous barriers of corded equipment, the answer is clearer than ever. Cordless drain cleaning is a safer, more productive option.

How to choose the right solution

When choosing the proper solution for a job, it is crucial to understand the needs of the application. Before making any decisions, you should ask yourself:

  • Should I use a drum machine or a sectional machine?
    • Drum machines utilize one continuously fed cable into the line from the spinning drum. Meaning that all the cable is housed on the machine. This makes them easy to use and contains the mess coming back through the line, but they are often heavy and hard to maneuver.
    • Sectional machines utilize small sections of cable fed through the machine and into the line. For these machines, the cable is stored and carried separate from the machine. These solutions tend to be lighter weight than drum machines but are more process intensive to feed.
  • Where is the blockage and where can I access the line?
    • This helps to determine what piece of equipment you need. If the clog is in a toilet, you’ll want to use equipment designed specifically for that fixture versus if the clog is in a mainline, you’ll want to use a larger machine and cable to clear that blockage.
    • Alternatively, you need to consider access points. Ease of transportation is important because you may be entering a line from a tight indoor location, on a roof, or in another outdoor location.
  • What size line am I entering?
    • All cables are rated for different line sizes. You’ll want to ensure whatever cable you’re using is able to navigate through the line you’re entering through.

Milwaukee has cordless solutions to clear everything from fixture lines to sewer lateral lines. Below are some of the newest solutions launched recently.

For sectional machine users, Milwaukee has two new solutions for you to clean lines from as small as 1 1/4 inches all the way up to 8 inches:

  • M18 FUEL Sectional for 5/8- and 7/8-inch cable: This machine, for 1 1/4- to 6-inch drainlines has the power to clear heavy roots up to 150 feet out, providing over 50% more power than leading corded solutions even at the maximum distance. Weighing just over 27 pounds, it is also light, compact and portable.
  • M18 FUEL Sewer Sectional with CABLE DRIVE for 7/8-inch and 1 1/4-inch cable: This machine gives you the power to clear roots 200 feet out and utilizes 7/8-inch and 1 1/4-inch cables to clear 2- to 8-inch drainlines. It also features a CABLE DRIVE Automatic Feed and Retract feature that allows you to pull back the cable with the machine instead of by hand, ultimately reducing fatigue and increasing productivity.

For drum machine users, there is one new solution:

  • MX FUEL Sewer Drum Machine: This machine, for 5/8- inch to 3/4-inch cable, has the power to clear roots 200 feet for 3- to 8-inch drainlines. This machine features POWERTREDZ Lift Assist technology to help you transport this machine up and down stairs as well as in and out of your service vehicle.

While lithium-ion isn’t the only reason innovation has sparked in the drain cleaning industry, it was the catalyst for major change. Manufacturers like Milwaukee are redesigning these machines with a focus on solving the challenges you face daily in terms of portability, safety and mess containment. The entire industry is trending toward new solutions that increase efficiency and it’s up to you to ensure you’re choosing solutions that provide meaningful improvements to the drain cleaning process so you can make service calls with less hassle.


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