How Many High-Pressure Water Jetters do You Need in Your Service Truck?

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How Many High-Pressure Water Jetters do You Need in Your Service Truck?

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Although this might seem like a trick question to many drain cleaners and plumbers, there are two trends developing in the plumbing world that could change your answer. 

First, more and more contractors are telling me that most of the grease that is gumming up the plumbing in today’s world is located 10 to 15 feet down the drain from a kitchen sink.

Although many contractors still attack this problem with a snake, most have found that this is just a temporary solution. Yes, you can poke a hole in a grease clog with a drain cleaning cable to get the water moving again, but don't be surprised if you get another phone call in a day or two asking for a do-over. That’s because grease clogs have a tendency to re-form, so snakes are not the right tool for the job. 

What is? A high-pressure water jetter, preferably one with a very thin, flexible hose with moderate pressure and low gallons per minute flow. Kitchen sinks are not a situation where you want to attach a small hose to your trailer jetter, because backflow can be an issue. A separate, smaller jetter, portable enough to get under the kitchen sink, with at least 1,500 psi and under 2 gpm flow is perfect for this type of job. When it comes to kitchen sinks, small is the next big thing, and business is booming. 

Second, if you do plumbing service work and you haven’t heard of something called “I&I,” you should take a few minutes to check it out. It stands for inflow and infiltration, and it’s an issue that is only going to get bigger. It’s important because freshwater leaking into service laterals is choking our sewage treatments plants. Essentially, our laterals are leaking like sieves. 

The EPA estimates that around half of all the liquid that arrives at treatment facilities started out as clean rainwater that infiltrated service laterals. What happens when you mix a gallon of rainwater with a gallon of sewage? You get two gallons of sewage. This doubles the cost of transporting and treating waste, and it’s overwhelming our infrastructure and threatening the environment. 

However, there is an upside for service plumbers and drain cleaners. The EPA strongly recommends that you replace, repair or reline all leaking pipes to mitigate the problem. This effort could lead to trillions of dollars in repairs over the next 20 years. That’s trillion, with a T. All you need is a camera and a jetter on your truck. 

Why the jetter? Because you won’t be able to see the cracks, flaws and out-of-code connections that lead to I&I issues if you don’t jet the pipe first to remove the grease, sludge and debris that could impair your vision. In this case, a medium- to large-sized jetter would be the right tool for the job, something with a minimum of 4 gpm flow and 3,000 psi that can do an effective cleaning job on a 4-inch lateral. 

So, how many high-pressure water jetters should you have on your truck? I would recommend at least two. 

For more information, contact the Drain Brains at General at 800-245-6200 or by email – info@drainbrain.com.



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