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Thread: Redwood's Retriever Rebuilding Secrets

  1. #1
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    Default Redwood's Retriever Rebuilding Secrets

    We've all been there when the retriever on our drum machine stops working and it takes that nice easy job sitting on a bucket and all of a sudden you actually have to work hard for a change...

    Yea cleaning them and keeping them greased is important and keeps them going nice for a while but the bearings in the retriever will always let you down one day at the worst possible time.

    I have 3 tricks I'm going to share with you that will make your retriever last a lot longer between rebuilds and not let you down nearly as often. The stuff in the drain line will eventually take its toll on anything but following these tips your retriever will last much longer between rebuilds.

    Grease is very important to having the bearings last. Make sure the grease you select is waterproof. I buy mine at the local West Marine store where they sell a grease used to pump into boat trailer wheel bearings. They use this stuff on boat trailers that back into the ocean with its salt water and sit with the wheel bearings submerged for at least 10 to 15 minutes while they load the boat on the trailer. This grease is good stuff!

    The next trick is to find alternative bearings to use in your retriever. This is a bit tough but once you figure out what part number you need its easy to order them. You will need to get your hands on a digital or a dial caliper to measure the bearings used in your retriever. You need the outside diameter of the bearing, the inside diameter of the center hole on the bearing and the width of the bearing. After that comes the hard part. looking through catalogs to find matching shielded stainless steel ball bearings. MSC Direct, McMaster Carr, and WW Grainger are all good places to check. Using shielded stainless steel ball bearings instead of the OEM steel ball bearings add phenomenal life to your rebuild.

    The last trick is to get a grease needle nozzle to put on your grease gun and use it to inject grease behind the shield on the bearing to fill it with grease.

    If you follow these tips you will spend more time relaxing on the bucket and a lot less time fighting with a retriever that quit when you needed it most like on a job when you are out at the end of the second cable on your extra drum...

    Enjoy!
    "99% of Being Smart...
    Is Knowing What You're Dumb At"


    411 Plumb | Click Here For A Free Internet Plumbing Directory Listing | Plumb 411

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    Cuda (07-05-2010), Reliance Sewer & Drain (03-18-2010), SewerRatz (03-18-2010), UnclogNH (03-18-2010)

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    One of the sure fire way to shorten the life of the bearings is to over tighten the knob. I get the best results by putting the feed lever in the direction I want the feed to move the cable, then start to tighten the knob till the cable starts to move, once its moving then just tighten it a half turn more.

    The above method is great for retrieving the cable during a sludge blockage. When you get the cable to start pulling back do not tighten it the half turn. When the cutter gets into the sludge it will stop retrieving while the cutter works that spot.

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    HouseTrap (03-18-2010), JERRYMAC (08-18-2010), Redwood (03-18-2010), Reliance Sewer & Drain (03-18-2010), rocksteady (03-18-2010), UnclogNH (03-18-2010)

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    A shop I used to work at had 1-2 fewer mainline machines than they did plumbers so they were always getting used by everyone. You'd go to pick one up and had a 50% chance that something wasn't busted up on it. Some of the lesser trained guys would think the tighter you made that knob, the faster the cable would go. All it really does is wear cables and bearings down. Also, they'd fire up the machine, throw it in forward, crank the knob down and head to the stoppage. Kinked cables galore! I bought my own machine after about 3 years of that and just laughed when I'd hear about somebody breaking something. Of course, I'd end up fixing it but at least my machine worked all the time.







    Paul



    http://rocksteadyplumbing.com/
    Rocksteady Plumbing
    805-237-7625


    "I wash my cables with sooper special zircon soap and lube them with zebra fat after every job." -Ace Sewer

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocksteady View Post
    A shop I used to work at had 1-2 fewer mainline machines than they did plumbers so they were always getting used by everyone. You'd go to pick one up and had a 50% chance that something wasn't busted up on it. Of course, I'd end up fixing it but at least my machine worked all the time.

    Paul
    Oh man!
    Sharing machines is bad news...
    IMHO there is no better way to ensure the machines are always in bad condition...
    There is no reason for the guys to treat the machines right!

    I'd consider sharing machines in anything bigger than a 2 man shop to be a red flag waving when looking for a job...
    "99% of Being Smart...
    Is Knowing What You're Dumb At"


    411 Plumb | Click Here For A Free Internet Plumbing Directory Listing | Plumb 411

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    I used to get pissed when I had to use another techs machine or someone used mine. You never knew when a soft spot in the cable was coming or a kink. It was rare that sharing a machine happened it was two man jobs we ran into this.
    MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
    "We Keep New Hampshire Flowing"
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    603-752-2145 Berlin NH, Area 603-356-6555 North Conway NH, area

    Wisdom is knowing what to do next, Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it

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    Last company I worked with we had to share our machines with another dept. Everytime it would come back the cable would be kinked, covered in grease or mud. Cameras would never work right or come back busted. I was always the one that got blamed for it. I told the supervisor I wanted my own machines and never had a problem after that. It was amazing I could use those machines for a year with no problems but everytime I let someone else use it, it would come back with the excuse "well it was like that when I got it".
    http://alsdrainservice.services.offi...m/default.aspx
    www.alsdrainservicesemissouri.com

    Hire a hack he won't be back, Hire a Pro and your good to go!!!

    Office 573-866-2274 Perryville Mo 573-547-7200 Cell 573-208-6200

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    It's so true Al To many hands on a machine is bad news.
    MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
    "We Keep New Hampshire Flowing"
    http://unclognh.com
    603-752-2145 Berlin NH, Area 603-356-6555 North Conway NH, area

    Wisdom is knowing what to do next, Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it

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    I also spray motorcycle chain spray lube on outside of bearings as well as force in my lube I use on boat trailer wheel bearings

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    ugh, I have to share machines at the shop where I work. Can't tell you how many times I've gone to load up the mainline drum machine to find the drum sitting half full of sewer juice. One day I'll have my own machines nobody else gets to use but me....dare to dream!

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    Quote Originally Posted by frisco kid View Post
    ugh, I have to share machines at the shop where I work. Can't tell you how many times I've gone to load up the mainline drum machine to find the drum sitting half full of sewer juice. One day I'll have my own machines nobody else gets to use but me....dare to dream!
    I recomend it fully! I searched for quite a while and bought mine used. It was the best $400 I ever spent. Just the time saved not dealing with broken equipment at the shop allowed me to make more money right away.







    Paul



    http://rocksteadyplumbing.com/
    Rocksteady Plumbing
    805-237-7625


    "I wash my cables with sooper special zircon soap and lube them with zebra fat after every job." -Ace Sewer

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