How To Use RIDGID FlexShaft Machine with SeeSnake Camera

December 1, 2021

The RIDGID FlexShaft Machine, the latest high-speed drain cleaning innovation, boosts jobsite productivity by providing wall-to-wall clean while having an in-pipe camera for inspection. Since it is designed to complement and work in conjunction with the RIDGID SeeSnake cameras, eliminating blockages are now made easier and faster.

The FlexShaft machine is intended to clean drains, and if properly used, it will not cause any damage on the drain that is in good condition. However, if the drain is in poor condition and has not been properly maintained, the cleaning process may not be effective or could cause damage to the drain. Therefore, it is better to determine first the condition of the drain using a SeeSnake Camera.

To reduce the risk of damaging the drain due to improper use of the FlexShaft, follow these steps. This will ensure safety as it will also lessen the chance of injury due to twisted or broken cable, cable ends whipping around, machine tipping, chemical burns, infections and among others.

  1. Set up the FlexShaft Machine by placing it on the ground with the drill shaft vertical. Machine should sit squarely and firmly on the ground. Do not operate with the drill shaft horizontal. This will reduce the risk of tipping. Also, be sure that the area you’ll be working at is free of bystanders and other distractions.
  2. Securely attach the drill chuck to the hex of the drill shaft and then set its drill speed in the 1800 to 2500 RPM range. Afterwards, place the direction selector in the FORWARD (FOR) position.
  3. Pull cable assembly from the machine and feed it into the drain. At least 1' (0.3 m) of cable must be in drain so that the chain knocker will not come out of the drain and whip around when the machine has started.

Directly route the cable assembly from the machine cable outlet to the drain opening, minimizing exposed cable and changes in direction. Do not tightly bend the cable assembly as this can increase the risk of twisting or breaking.

If you’re using a SeeSnake camera to view the drain cleaning process, it can be fed in at the same time. Typically, the cable assembly and the camera push rod can be gripped and advanced/retrieved at the simultaneously. Be sure to keep the camera at least 1.5’ ( 0.5 m) behind the chain knocker and do not allow the spinning chain knocker to hit the camera head/push rod or else, it can be damaged.

  1. Assume a proper operating position to help maintain control of the cable assembly and drill. Take note of the following:
  • Make sure you can quickly release the drill switch.
  • Your gloved hand must be on the cable assembly to control and support as the cable assembly is fed into the drain and blockage.
  1. Check if at least 1' (0.3 m) of cable assembly is in the drain.
  2. Confirm that the drill directional switch is in the forward direction, and depress and release the drill switch, noting the direction of the drill chuck. Drill rotation should match the FOR arrow on the drum.

Do not rotate the cable in reverse except as specifically described in these instructions. Running in reverse can damage the cable.

  1. Place one hand on the cable assembly and other hand on the drill grip.
  2. The FlexShaft Drain Cleaning Machine utilizes high rotational speed and low torque to clean drains. Its cable assemblies are more flexible than other types of drain cleaning cables. In addition, it is best used by applying light pressure and slowly working the chain knocker into the blockage. It’s important to let the speed of the chain knocker clean the drain. Do not force chain knockers into blockages as this can cause the cable to knot up or cause other damage.
  3. Only rotate the cable/chain knocker when the chain knocker is at least 1' in the drain. To rotate the cable, firmly grip the drill handle and depress the drill switch. The person controlling the cable assembly must also control the drill switch. At any time, release the drill trigger to stop cable rotation. When clearing blockages, operate the cable at full speed for best cleaning.

But in some cases, you may opt to rotate the chain knocker in FORWARD or REVERSE for a short time while advancing the cable assembly can help it negotiate the drain and blockages.

  1. Once the drain is open, if possible, start a flow of water down the drain to flush the debris out of the line and help clean the cable assembly as it is retrieved. This can be done by turning on a faucet in the system or other methods. Pay attention to the water level, as the drain could plug again.
  2. Once the drain has been cleaned, retrieve the cable and feed back onto the drain cleaning machine. Be careful as the cable may lodge in a blockage while being retracted.
  3. Watch for the sheath marking as the cable assembly is retrieved. Release the drill switch when the chain knocker nears drain opening. Do not pull the chain knocker from drain while it is rotating as it can whip around and could cause serious injury.
  4. Pull any remaining cable assembly from the line by hand and push back into the drum. Once done, you can already prepare the machine for transport.

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