Versatile Augers Clean Drains Effectively

By Thomas A. Westerkamp  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Inspection Systems Troubleshoot Drains, Produce Valuable DataPt. 3: Managers Can Specify a Range of Hand-Held Drain CleanersPt. 4: Portable Cleaners and Water Jetters Maintain Drain LinesPt. 5: Inspection Cameras Play a Role in Preventive Maintenance ProgramsPt. 6: Drain-Inspection Recordings Provide Managers with Training Tools

A host of plumbing issues, combined with a growing array of product options, makes the specification of drain-cleaning equipment a major challenge for maintenance managers.

Successfully specifying this equipment requires managers to understand a series of non-equipment issues, including technician skill levels, specific plumbing-system challenges, and equipment cost and versatility.

To match department needs to product options, managers also need to understand the changes that have taken place in the latest generation of drain-cleaning equipment, including augers, inspection systems, hand-held and portable cleaners, and water jets.

Focus on Augers

Auger designs have expanded beyond the manual tools traditionally used to unclog toilets and sink traps. They now include a versatile line of interior drain-line cleaners. One new unit has a ¼-inch diameter by 50-foot cable that reaches four stories vertically and most locations horizontally to provide complete coverage of fairly sizable buildings.

The cable is made of stress-relieved steel that is kink-resistant and tangle-proof. The auger’s other components are made of non-corrosive aluminum and plastic, so the unit weighs a manageable 20 pounds. With a built-in, 20:1 gear-reduction drive, this auger develops 25 inch-pounds of torque at its tip at a speed of 150 revolutions per minute (rpm), with overload protection.

This combination of features provides enough power to clean effectively, and its controls prevent pipe and fixture damage and kinked cables. The small tip easily navigates around interior bends and through clogs, since it uses no cutting attachments. The unit offers written and video instructions, so both professional technicians and beginners can learn to use the UL-approved auger quickly.


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  posted on 12/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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