Pipe cleaning cable: how to choose and use them correctly


Clean­ing sew­er pipes is car­ried out in many ways. A clean­ing cable or, as it is also called, a flex­i­ble shaft is the most pop­u­lar and not expen­sive option. With it, it is easy to remove old accu­mu­la­tions of debris and silt balls from pipes. The cable can be used for ris­ers, drains and a vari­ety of plumb­ing fix­tures.

If ear­li­er plumb­ing pipes were made of cast iron, now the main mate­r­i­al is plas­tic. The risk of clog­ging dur­ing oper­a­tion of such pipelines is much low­er than from met­al, due to the smooth inter­nal coat­ing. Despite this, there is still a risk of traf­fic jams. Accu­mu­la­tions of var­i­ous fab­rics and prod­ucts made of poly­eth­yl­ene thrown into the toi­let are a prob­lem that can only be solved with the help of mechan­i­cal action.

Varieties of flexible shafts for cleaning sewer pipes

Types of shafts offered by var­i­ous man­u­fac­tur­ers dif­fer in struc­ture, size and type of sec­tion. The only com­mon fea­ture in all vari­ants is the mate­r­i­al from which they are made. Spe­cial steel is not affect­ed by water, and is resis­tant to strong phys­i­cal stress.


Rig­ging types of hand rope

This is the most pop­u­lar type. Rig­ging is made from pieces of wire of small diam­e­ter, which are care­ful­ly inter­twined with each oth­er. All edges are com­pressed, which allows main­tain­ing the integri­ty of its shape dur­ing work of vary­ing com­plex­i­ty. Some experts unwind one of the ends, thus cre­at­ing a met­al brush that helps to quick­ly deal with sim­ple block­ages in sew­er pipes.

Impor­tant! For bet­ter rota­tion, there is a spe­cial han­dle on one side of the rig­ging cable.

The stan­dard dimen­sions of the prod­uct are 250–500 cm in length and 0.6 cm in thick­ness. Small dimen­sions, flex­i­bil­i­ty and elas­tic struc­ture are the main char­ac­ter­is­tics that the rig­ging type has.

In the form of springs or rope

Spring sew­er shaft

There are two types of such devices. The first is a con­ven­tion­al spring made of wire mate­r­i­al. The sec­ond con­sists of the same spring with a bend­ing core thread­ed inside (spring-wound).

Impor­tant! Spring types are avail­able in a spe­cial plas­tic sheath. It is nec­es­sary in order to ensure the pro­tec­tion of pipes and plumb­ing fix­tures being cleaned dur­ing the pro­ce­dure. Despite this, the choice of spe­cial­ists main­ly falls on the use of stan­dard rig­ging cables.


Spring-shaped devices have dif­fer­ent sizes. Often their length is about 60 m, and the thick­ness is up to 1.6 cm.

Pipe Cleaning Tapes

Clog Clean­ing Tapes

They have a flat shape, with dimen­sions of 30 m in length and up to 0.04 m in thick­ness. These tapes are used for clean­ing large pipes. Accord­ing­ly, they are not used for sew­er sys­tems of res­i­den­tial build­ings. The flex­i­bil­i­ty of this prod­uct is car­ried out in only one direc­tion, which makes it impos­si­ble to clean hard-to-reach areas. Such a tape is stored rolled up, which great­ly facil­i­tates the process of its trans­porta­tion over var­i­ous dis­tances.

Differences in professional products

Such devices look like ordi­nary cables with a spring wrapped around them. They are used to clean dif­fi­cult block­ages that can­not be removed using oth­er devices. The length of the prod­uct is 60 meters.

Impor­tant! The pecu­liar­i­ty of pro­fes­sion­al shafts is that as a result of ten­sion, stiff­ness indi­ca­tors increase.

Mechan­i­cal cable for sew­er­age

Types of pro­fes­sion­al shafts:

  1. Mechan­i­cal. The most pop­u­lar type. He received his demand due to ease of oper­a­tion and low price.
  2. Elec­tric. The func­tion­al­i­ty of such a prod­uct is high­er than that of oth­er types. With the help of a mechan­i­cal cable, block­ages of vary­ing com­plex­i­ty can be removed.
Elec­tric type of cable for sew­er­age

Achiev­ing the desired result with a hand cable is quite sim­ple, and all because of the addi­tion­al attach­ments that come with the kit.

Variety of special nozzles


Types of noz­zles for a flex­i­ble cable

In most cas­es, the shafts are equipped with a hook on one end, designed to catch debris in the pipes. Pro­fes­sion­al prod­ucts are dis­tin­guished by the pres­ence of a thread at the end, which serves to attach var­i­ous noz­zles. Often they are includ­ed with the pur­chase of a cable, but they can also be pur­chased sep­a­rate­ly in a spe­cial­ized store.

Impor­tant! The most famous ruff-shaped attach­ments are not sold in one set with a cable. They are often used when clean­ing sew­er sys­tems in a pri­vate house.

A tip on a cable called an auger

Clean­ing the sew­er with a flex­i­ble cable is car­ried out using the fol­low­ing noz­zles:

  1. Screws. Used as an alter­na­tive to “ruff”. The augers help to remove light deposits on the inner sur­face of the pipes.
  2. Hook. With it, you can pry off accu­mu­la­tions of block­ages that are wrapped around the noz­zle.
  3. Pick. It makes it pos­si­ble to remove fat­ty lay­ers in the pipes.
  4. Har­poon. Such a noz­zle has been devel­oped to remove sol­id block­ages.
  5. Sta­ples. With it, you can get rid of the lay­ers of dirt on the walls of pipes of large sizes.
  6. Slid­ing knives. Are applied to clean­ing of var­i­ous raids on pipes. Their pecu­liar­i­ty lies in the pos­si­bil­i­ty of adjust­ing the dis­tance between the two knives, adjust­ing them to the dimen­sions of the pipes.


One of the types of noz­zles in the form of a knife

There are oth­er types of knives as well. Some of them are designed to trim plants and roots that have formed a block­age. There are also types that are spe­cial­ly designed to remove lime residues. But the most pop­u­lar are ser­rat­ed and spi­ral knives.

Purpose and selection of cables

The scope of pro­fes­sion­al cables is quite diverse. But in order to achieve the desired results on your own, with­out involv­ing mas­ters, you should know what sizes exist and their pur­pose.

Strong and reli­able flex­i­ble cable Sibrtec

Impor­tant! The most pop­u­lar cable for clean­ing sew­er pipes is Sibrtech.

Depend­ing on the size of the cable, it is used:

  1. At home, cables of small length and thick­ness up to 1 cm are used. They are used in res­i­den­tial build­ings and offices.
  2. To clean the gen­er­al sew­er sys­tem at home, it is nec­es­sary to choose devices with a thick­ness of 12–16 mm. They are the most sought after among spe­cial­ists, and are designed to clean ris­ers.
  3. For more com­plex struc­tures, indus­tri­al sew­ers, cables with a cross sec­tion of up to 2 cm are suit­able. The length can vary from 1.5 to 150 meters. More­over, such devices are used for clean­ing urban sew­ers with large pipes.
  4. For heavy block­ages, cables with a width of 16 mm and a wire sec­tion of 30 mm are used. In length, such prod­ucts can reach 60 meters.

The selec­tion of the cor­rect cable depends on the sec­tion of the pipe to be cleaned:

  • pipe sec­tion 5 cm — cable diam­e­ter 1–1.2 cm;
  • 10–11 cm — 1.4–1.6 cm;
  • 20 cm — 1.8–2 cm.

It is best to clean pipes made of plas­tic and hav­ing a width of up to 100 mm using a flex­i­ble cable 1–1.2 cm thick.

When choos­ing the dimen­sions of the device, one should take into account the angles and the num­ber of turns in the sew­er sys­tem. You also need to remem­ber that the thick­ness of the cable should decrease as bends with angles greater than 450FROM.

With a long sew­er sys­tem with pipes no more than 200 mm wide, it is rec­om­mend­ed to use a thick­er cable. Also in this case, spe­cial atten­tion should be paid to indi­ca­tors of the flex­i­bil­i­ty of the device.

Stages of work

Remov­ing debris in the kitchen


Con­nect­ing plumb­ing fix­tures to sew­er­age in res­i­den­tial premis­es involves the use of siphons. Before clean­ing the pipes, it should be removed. You also need to dis­con­nect the seal from the out­let pipe.

Impor­tant! Some cable designs make it pos­si­ble not to include the dis­man­tling of the siphon in the clean­ing pro­ce­dure.

After wash­ing the ele­ments, you can begin the main work:

  1. A cable for clean­ing sew­er pipes is placed in the drain hole by the work­ing part. If nec­es­sary, you can attach a spe­cif­ic noz­zle to it.
  2. Rotat­ing the han­dle of the device in one direc­tion, the cable should be slow­ly dri­ven into the hole, unwind­ing it.
  3. As soon as you reach the prob­lem area, you will feel that the prod­uct does not go any fur­ther. To get rid of clog­ging, you need to make an effort, from time to time tak­ing out the prod­uct and remov­ing adher­ing dirt from it.
  4. The destruc­tion of the plug can be deter­mined by the freer move­ment inside the pipe. After that, it is nec­es­sary to con­tin­ue to rotate the han­dle for some more time, ensur­ing the com­plete removal of the remain­ing accu­mu­la­tions of debris. Also, this move­ment will pre­vent traf­fic jams in anoth­er part of the sys­tem.
  5. After car­ry­ing out the above steps, you should check the results of the work. To do this, pour a large amount of water into the hole. It is best to use a warm liq­uid, as it can be used to remove the rem­nants of fat­ty deposits from the sur­face of the pipe.
  6. If the water drains well, you can pro­ceed with the instal­la­tion of the siphon, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly assem­bled it.

The used plumb­ing mechan­i­cal cable for clean­ing should be washed and dried well. Then care­ful­ly grease with oil and place in a fold­ed posi­tion in a dense paper pack­age.

Rope stor­age in spe­cial pack­ag­ing

Impor­tant! Rope stor­age in poly­eth­yl­ene may result in loss of prop­er­ties. There­fore, the cleaned prod­uct should be placed in a box or oth­er sim­i­lar con­tain­er.

With light clog­ging, you can do with the use of house­hold chem­i­cals. In the absence of the nec­es­sary funds, it will be enough to use soda. To do this, heat 10–15 liters of water. Then you need to dis­solve a pack of table soda in boil­ing water and pour it into the sink. As a result, fat­ty deposits in the pipes will be removed, and the block­age itself will dis­ap­pear.

Store-bought house­hold chem­i­cals also work well to solve this prob­lem. Mole is a great option. You can also use Tiret, Ster­il.

Hav­ing made the right choice of cable, you will cer­tain­ly achieve the desired result. It is only impor­tant to fol­low cer­tain rules.


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