Operating a drain-cleaning machine

These machines are powerful, and dangerous if safety precautions aren’t followed. Read and follow the instructions provided with the equipment.Position the machine 2 to 3 ft. from the cleanout opening, plug it into a grounded outlet or 12- or 14-gauge grounded extension cord, and make sure the switch on the motor is in the “Forward” position. Put on heavy leather gloves and safety glasses and make sure you aren’t wearing any loose clothes, belts or jewelry that could become entangled in the cable.

Position the foot-operated switch where you can step on it while you’re feeding cable into the drain. Practice starting and stopping the machine with the foot switch to get the hang of it.Keep both hands firmly on the cable and slowly feed it into the pipe as you stop and start the motor with the foot switch (Photo 7). Feel for an increase in cable tension and listen for the motor to slow or the built-in safety clutch to slip. All of these indicate you’ve reached a clog. Stop immediately when you sense a change. Photos 7 through 9 show how to operate the machine safely.

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