RIDGID K-45 Drain Cleaning Machine
Posted by Mark Hunter - February 03, 2011
A couple of stats straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak:
"The K-45 family of drain guns are the professional's choice for cleaning small secondary drain lines from 3/4" to 2 1/2". Available in manual and AUTOFEED versions, each provide you with:
- Variable Speed Operation Fully variable from 0-600 RPM to give you complete control in every situation.
- Leak Proof Inner drum prevents leakage to keep job site clean.
- Other Features
- Quick acting slide chuck to lock cable.
- Inner drum design virtually eliminates cable flip-over and allows for quick cable change out.
- Premium quality, compression wound inner core cable combines strength and flexibility to resist kinking."
Ok, so that the official RIDGID blurb out of the way. What is the K-45 really like?
For starters it's deceptively inexpensive, and what we mean by that is the machine pays for itself very quickly. The RIDGID guys estimate that two call-outs of any well-known drain cleaning company would pay for the K-45.
That means it's an ideal piece of powered kit for any school, hospital, hotel or small business. It's also ideal for plumbers who want to be able to expand the range of services they offer.
We recently travelled with RIDGID in their 'showcase' truck to South Lanarkshire College. The plan was to get some of the 1st and third year plumbing students into the truck to have a look at the tools, then give us some feedback on what they though was good, bad or indifferent about what was on display.
Bearing in mind RIDGID brought along their best toys, including pipe wrenches, pipe cutters, pipe joiners, SeeSnakes and other detection tools. Yet it was the K-45 that seemed to capture the imagination of the young trainee plumbers.
They seemed to "get" what RIDGID was doing with this tool; making it clean and easy to quickly unblock toilets and drains. And where there's muck, there's brass...
What about how the tool actually works?
Ridge Tool's Mike was in charge of demoing it for us. In their training room RIDGID have set up various stations that are designed to allow you to put their tools through their paces, and that includes a series of pipes and drains that can be 'artificially' blocked, then unblocked using draining cleaning tools like the K-45.
Mike gathered a chunky fistful of paper towels and stuffed them down into the 45-degree bend of the demo pipe.
The bottom part of the pipe is transparent so that you can see how the tools deal with the blockages, therefore we had a good view (see the video) of how the auger on the end of the line spun its way onto the paper towels, burrowing deep into the blockage.
Then, without having to reverse the soft-start power handle, Mike depressed the "back" arrow on the paddle control. The auger was then, in a slow and controlled way, wound back into the sealed drum housing.
In no time at all the blockage was removed from the pipe.
One of the key benefits of this system is that you aren't having to touch the cable at any time.
Why is that important?
Well, do you really want to have touch a filthy, crud-covered drain cleaning cable? Of course not. Hence the benefit of the auto-feed feature of the K-45.
The K-45 also comes with a kit of attachments for the line, including a variety of cutters designed for hacking their way grease plugs and even plant roots. So, the K-45 is ideal for paper blockages in a pipe, but also heavier duty, dirtier obstructions.
So, are RIDGID revolutionising the art of drain cleaning? We'll let you guys decide; let us know in the comments.
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