Two Drain Cleaning Machines Add Up to More Productivity

Drain machines finish jobs faster, which equals more work and more money for Alabama plumber

Two Drain Cleaning Machines Add Up to More Productivity

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Plumbers like Clint Singletary understand that the path to better profitability is paved by increased productivity. Do jobs faster and you make more money. Full stop.

So it’s easy to see why the owner of Singletary Plumbing in Birmingham, Alabama, invested in two Renssi Finland Oy drain machines to prep pipes for lining, one of many services offered by the company, established in 1984.

The RCM-15 is designed to scour smaller pipes from 3 to 8 inches in diameter and the bigger RCM-36 can handle pipes from 3 to 12 inches in diameter. Both units feature flexshaft technology — the cable is enclosed in a nylon sheath that prevents it from spinning around inside a pipe during cleaning.

That explains much of the Renssi units’ appeal for Singletary. Without a cable gyrating wildly inside a pipe, he can attach an inspection camera to the cable and watch as he cleans, as opposed to repeatedly pulling the camera and the cable in and out of a pipe to gauge what’s happening, he says.

“It makes it very easy to clean specific spots in a pipe because you can see what you’re doing, compared to cleaning the pipe over and over as you push it in and pull it out,” he says. “It’s more efficient, too. When you get out there 100 feet, it takes a lot of time to push and pull the camera and then the cable in and out repeatedly.”

The flexshaft technology also improves customer service by making it easy to show customers how the cleaning is progressing.

“It allows them to actually see things such as root infiltrations,” he says. “We can show them live on the video screen what we’re doing and show them a blockage was removed. It really speeds up our process. That allows us to be more competitive price-wise, and it increases our bottom line by getting jobs done and moving onto the next one faster.”

The lightweight, easy-to-transport RCM-15 is designed for cleaning pipes from 3 to 8 inches in diameter and is well suited for pipes with tight turns, Singletary says. The unit weighs about 58 pounds and features an aluminum frame with a telescoping handle. It comes with 50 feet of approximately 3/8-inch-diameter cable and measures 26 inches long by 28 inches high by 11 inches wide. It’s powered by an electric drill gun that’s included with the unit.

“One person can pick it up and easily carry it up and down stairs,” Singletary says. “But it’s still powerful enough to do what you need it to do.”

The heavier yet still portable RCM-36 is made to clean pipes from 3 to 12 inches in diameter. It weighs about 282 pounds and its aluminum reel carries 118 feet of roughly 1/2-inch-diameter cable. It measures approximately 22 inches wide by about 34 inches long by nearly 47 inches tall. The unit features a 1,500-watt electric motor and generates up to 2,800 rpm of cleaning power, a foot-operated pedal and two lockable swivel wheels in front and two larger wheels in back.

Singletary bought both machines in December 2019. A representative at Pipe Lining Supply recommended the machines when he purchased a lining trailer and a Quik-Shot pipe lining system from Pipe Lining Supply.

Both machines proved their mettle on a very challenging job in March 2021 when a local school district hired the company to line a failing 5-inch cast iron drainline at one of its schools. Employees cleared a 300-foot-long stretch of the tuberculated pipe that was almost completely blocked with built-up iron oxide deposits, Singletary says. The job took about nine days to complete.

“We took a Renssi chain head in there and removed all the scale and buildup, which is necessary to do a good lining job. We primarily used the RCM-36, but also used the RCM-15 to handle pipe bends and for reinstatements with a Renssi attachment.”

Singletary says he’d never heard of Renssi drain machines until he visited Pipe Lining Supply. 

“They got my attention because they seemed to be a very good value,” says Singletary, who has seven employees and runs three service vehicles. “The machines seem to be well engineered by a company that’s not necessarily all that well known to the industry here. But it should be. If you’re looking for flexshaft technology, this is the way to go. They provide a very good return on investment.” 


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