Hoffmann Brothers Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical & Appliance Repair in St. Louis, MO, has added RIDGID® K9-306 FlexShaft™ Drain Cleaning Machines to every new plumbing service truck they outfit after experiencing the tool’s versatility and time saving benefit.
“It’s definitely a time saver, simply just loading and unloading it, going from heavier machines to lighter, more compact machines, saving time right there, then add speed and cleanliness on to that,” said Christian Telford, Master Plumber/Drainlayer and Field Operation Manager at Hoffmann Brothers.
“You also just can’t get the thorough cleaning with standard equipment like you can with FlexShaft,” he said. “The ability of the expanding chains to maximize the pipe size allows for a full pipe cleaning, coupled with how clean the machine itself stays, you just provide the client with an overall better experience.”
Christian notes that the FlexShaft is 10 to 25 percent faster at cleaning drains and for a flat-rate fee company that means saved labor costs and the opportunity to complete more jobs in a day.
In business for over 40 years, the team at Hoffmann Brothers prides themselves on the quality and integrity they bring to every job. That means not only providing the best customer service to clients, but also staying on top of the latest technology and equipment to be at the top of their industry.
A couple of years ago they purchased a heavier and more expensive high-speed descaling machine that’s used solely for drain lining work. The cost kept it from being added to other service trucks. After learning about the K9-306 at WWETT and its enclosed cable drum for enhanced cleanliness they started using it regularly and quickly found out what a versatile tool it is.
One of the impressive uses the Hoffmann Brothers team has found for FlexShaft is root clearing.
“We were very pleased at how well it actually did with roots without binding up too much,” Christian said. “We’ve had heavy balls of roots that our sectional and drum machines usually have to make several passes. With FlexShaft you may have to make one additional pass to make a final polishing while running water, which by this time you have again saved time and given the client a thorough cleaning which is a huge win for both parties.”
They are also using FlexShaft on descaling job sites.
“Lining has become a very valuable part of our business, however one key part of this is being able to get the original host pipe as clean as possible. This means sometimes taking a 100-plus year cast iron pipe and descaling it, a very delicate and painstaking task,” Christian said.
Hoffmann Brothers decided to run the K9-306 through the course to see if it could meet up to their lining work quality standards and allow them to utilize it for their pre-qualification process.
“Not only did it meet our expectations, but we decided to also take it a step further and try to use it with reinstatements which puts some heavy pressure on the equipment, and it also met the challenge,” he said.
Christian said this was a great testament to the K9-306 as this was not why they originally purchased the FlexShaft. However, it opened the door for their specialized technicians who do the lining process to be able to not only perform their daily jobs with clients, but also perform pre-qualifications on perhaps the same visits. A great gain for the company and the client.
Hoffmann Brothers is now utilizing the FlexShaft for residential, light commercial, descaling, milling and reinstatement jobs.