The TCM-4000 pipe cleaning machine from GI Industries is designed to clear lines from 1/2 to 24 inches in diameter.

“It’s so versatile — it can do anything from cleaning a sewage line to grinding a pipe out to get it ready for relining or reinstating,” GI Industries General Manager Brian Good says of the portable 45-pound cleaning machine. “It can go through straight pipe, curves, 90-degree bends — it doesn’t make a difference.”

The foot-activated system includes a flexible steel shaft cable encased in protective nylon for cleaning up to 150 feet of pipe. A three-way switch controls machine rotation: forward for drilling, reverse for polishing and neutral for air/water flushing. Air and water fittings enable the machine to be connected to a compressor or a waterline.

Related: Cover Story: Visual Assist

“That’s one reason why all the plumbers and maintenance guys love it,” Good says. “The major advantage is flushing with air and water at the same time the cable is spinning. That keeps your drill head or your cutting head cool, so you don’t dull the blade. It also dislodges the material and pushes it either forward or back, so you have a better cutting apparatus and cleaning of the pipe.”

A 3/4 hp, high-torque electric motor spins the drill or brush head at variable speeds from 0 to 850 rpm. The machine’s slower speeds are best for drilling and removing debris, while higher speeds are best for polishing surfaces in preparation for relining or reinstating laterals. A soft-start circuit reduces operator fatigue and machine wear while providing the operator more control of the system.

“When a guy steps on the foot pedal, instead of the machine going to the speed they want right away — which puts a lot of strain on the motor — the soft start gives the operator a chance to react if the cutting head is hung up, and it gives the machine a chance to come up to speed without doing any damage to the components.”

Related: Strike at General Wire Spring Ends

The field-repairable system has a welded steel cabinet and weight-saving aluminum cover. It can be used in harsh environments, including extreme heat and cold, and requires minimal maintenance: an occasional spray of lightweight oil down the throat of the driveshaft helps keep seals moist.

The cleaning machine comes with a pneumatic foot switch and 24-foot GFI power cord. 800/724-1944;

Related Stories

Want more stories like this? Sign up for alerts!