Assessing Old Machinery


If you have old drain cleaning equipment, you’d better make sure you check out the machines before you use them. Older machines don’t have the safety features of the newer drain cleaners.

First things first, you’ll want to inspect the equipment for safety. Here’s what to check for on old equipment:

  • Check the power cord to see that there are no cuts or frays. Bare wires on the wet ground can lead to electric shock.
  • Check that the grounding prong on the power cord is in place.Do not use an adapter plug. You will not be protected from shock if the ground prong is missing.
  • Replace the power cord with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) if one is not already in place.The GFCI protects you from shock if a short circuit should occur. Test the GFCI before each use.
  • Make sure a floor model has an air foot pedal.Many years ago, electric foot switches were used that did not protect you from electric shock if the switch was lying in a puddle of water. With an air switch, there is no electrical connection between the pedal and the motor.
  • If you are using a drill-type machine, replace the motor housing if it is cracked or damaged. If you have an older metal housing, make sure the grounding prong is in place or consider replacing it altogether.
  • Check that the forward/off/reverse switch is working properly. If the toggle is broken or missing, it must be replaced.
  • Make sure the belt guard is in place. Fingers can get caught between the belt and pulley.
  • Check that the drain cable is not broken or damaged.If the machine has been sitting for a while, the cable is probably rusty. Soak the cable in oil or consider replacing it. If the cable must be replaced, make sure to get a good quality inner-core cable. Inner-core cables are stronger and can withstand more torque and abuse.

Don’t use a drain cleaning machine unless you are absolutely certain that it is in good, working order. In the long run, it’s better to invest in a new piece of equipment than  put anyone at risk with unsafe equipment.

About DrainBrain

The Drain Brains at General Pipe Cleaners have been part of the drain cleaning industry since 1930. We offer you our combined experiences to assist you with your drain cleaning question or clogged drain problem. General Pipe Cleaners manufactures a full line of drain cleaning equipment including high pressure water jets, video pipe inspection systems, water leak locators, pipe freezers, pipe thawers, and more.
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