RIDGID FlexShaft Applications In Poland
A small introduction to the FlexShaft technology by Damian Kwiatkowski
RIDGID FlexShaft machines represent the perfect solution to unclog and clean sewer pipes. These machines feature an ergonomic design, easy set-up, cordless convenience and use flexible shafts and chain knockers for fast cleanups.
The FlexShaft technology has been known for several years now and it is used in sewer services. It is, along with the WUKO high-pressure water cleaning and the electrically driven spiral solution, a basic technique needed in sewer maintenance work.
The RIDGID FlexShaft high-speed drain cleaning machines remove dirt and pipe blockages quickly and effectively. Used with a large variety of accessories, all FlexShaft machines are suitable for a wide range of applications and manage to clean legendary drain clogs. Convenient to transport and carry onto the job site, these machines offer a lot of satisfaction at the end of each cleaning activity.
All FlexShaft machines save the day on many specific occasions, and they are unrivalled by other drain cleaning methods. And this is what I am going to present to you now.
For professional drain cleaners using traditional techniques, FlexShaft offers many new possibilities that will help them get the job done faster and easier. For best results, use an additional water rinse, which allows the residues to drain away. This is why I love using FlexShaft instead of other drain cleaning solutions. FlexShaft allows me to use an in-pipe camera, inspect the cleaning in real-time, and stop wherever longer cleaning is needed. With the shaft spinning itself, all I have to do is keep the camera head in front of the spinning tip and remove the next batch of dirt, while rinsing with running water and pushing the debris down the drain.
Which are the blockages l use FlexShaft for? All FlexShaft machines are excellent when dealing with grease deposits in household kitchen drains, risers or levels in multi-family buildings, food service or industrial facilities. They are also great for removing clogs of various origins, such as post-construction materials, urinals or chemical scales. Finally, I use FlexShaft with simultaneous camera viewing to quickly and efficiently remove small overgrown roots and, sometimes, completely obstructed pipes.
The FlexShaft accessory I use most often is a carbide-tipped chain knocker. The head penetrates the blockage while the chain behind it breaks up the deposits. When reversing the shaft, and operating the chain backwards, the pipe walls are already clean.
But let’s make one thing clear: there are no "do-it-all" devices. Most blockages, like personal care products (paper towels, wet wipes, tampons or sanitary pads), are difficult or impossible to remove with a chain knocker. Why? The inserted tip of the chain knocker may get stuck in the blockage and there is no possibility of advancing further. Here, a sectional machine with a spiral, such as the legendary RIDGID K-60, or a high-pressure water jetter could work better.
RIDGID FlexShaft Family
The K9-12 and K9-102+ FlexShaft machines work with a 6mm core diameter shaft and cable lengths of 9m and 15m. I use them for small 50mm diameter pipes. In many cases, these machines help me unclog and clean 40mm drains without any trouble (it also depends on the number of bends and tees the drain has). When it comes to smaller-diameter pipes, I always make sure they are straight or just slightly curved. I have used the K9-102 more than once for pool or process installations in diameters of 25mm and 32mm, and it worked perfectly.
Where can you use them? Removing blockages and sediments in kitchen, sink or washing machine household drains is key. Therefore, I use them for this type of applications but also for urinals in public buildings. Sometimes I use these machines to clean kitchen drains in multi-family buildings where the access is done through a sink outlet on the premises.
The maximum diameter of the handled pipe can be 75mm but remember to work carefully. With a strong blockage, reach for a thicker cable as 6mm may not be enough. I do not recommend using these machines in larger diameters, the cable can loop in the pipe, bend or get serious damage.
The K9-204+ FlexShaft machine features a cable diameter of 8mm and a cable length of 21m. It works perfectly when I need to unclog and clean pipes and levels of diameters from 75 to 110mm.
Important advice: you can insert the roller through a smaller diameter pipe when a revision is not available (for example, through a 110/50mm side tee and work without restrictions). I also happen to clean larger diameters up to 160mm, but it is not always possible to break the deposits and leave the pipe perfectly clear.
Where can you use the K9-204+? I use it mostly in risers and levels of sanitary sewer systems. I also take it through roof vents, grease deposits in horizontal sections, and under the ceiling of basements to effortlessly clean all blockages. K9-204+ also cleans drains in catering or industrial facilities and it easily breaks up bottom deposits in horizontal lines and removes overgrown roots.
In conclusion, if you work in sewer service or building maintenance, the RIDGID FlexShaft machines are tools you can always rely on. I created this article to support new (but also actual) users with an introduction to the FlexShaft technology. I am sure that once you test these machines, job site satisfaction will be at the highest levels.
About Damian Kwiatkowski
Damian is a drain maintenance specialist in Poland and a huge FlexShaft fan. With years of experience in the field, Damian proves that the removal of all pipe blockages is possible as long as you have the right tools at hand. Damian was a guest of the 2023 RIDGID Europe Experience and he never ceases to amaze us with his passion and commitment to the trades.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH US, SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER AND DISCOVER OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS: HERE.