Residential and Commercial Sewer and Pipe Maintenance

Residential and Commercial Sewer and Pipe Maintenance

Chain and cable machine clean drains in high-rise apartment complex

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Additive helps keep business drainline clear

Problem: In May 2015, the manager of Bode Central healthy shake bar in Howard, Wisconsin, sought a solution for a drain that was backing up into a quick wash sink. Customers complained that the restaurant had a smell. The drainline would plug up, and the restaurant would have to close early to clean the mess, resulting in a loss of business and compromised sanitary conditions.

Solution: In June 2015, the 50-gallon indoor grease trap received a thorough cleaning. Liquid Trap-Cleer from Lenzyme was dosed at 2 ounces every evening, taking an employee about one minute to do. Trap-Cleer is designed to keep the system flowing properly and consume much of the grease. 

Result: A follow-up appointment in August 2015 indicated that the system went 10 weeks without backing up, with only a small amount of grease buildup in the trap. The smell was completely gone. In January 2018, after treating for a two and a half years, the manager says the system is operating perfectly. There is no smell, and the lines stay clean. 800-223-3083;

Chain and cable machine clean drains in high-rise apartment complex

Problem: An early 1960s-era, 32-story high-rise apartment building in Philadelphia had slow-moving drains, and many were backing up. Building management had been searching for a fast and efficient process to clean the drains, with an emphasis on minimal disruption to tenants. The 5-inch, vertical cast-iron stack carries kitchen sink waste from kitchen lines only. With only three access points to work from — the second floor mezzanine level located in a crawl space, an empty unit located near the center of the building and a mechanical room located on the roof — it was going to be a challenging task.      

Solution: A degreaser was poured in at the roof access point and allowed to soak in and drain as far down as possible prior to using the Picote Solutions Maxi Miller with Original Premium cleaning chain. A vacuum truck located at the bottom access point was hooked up. In order to create maximum suction, each sink drain on that line had a plug installed. A jetter was used at the bottom to help loosen all the debris and black grease that was falling to the bottom and the lowest point of the pipe before the connection to the vac truck. 

Result: In the end, the pipe was cleaned and restored with maximum flow to each of the tenant’s apartments. 219-440-1404;

Jetting tool handles long distances and inclines on municipal job

Problem: Mike Martin of Plumbers Depot in Hawthorne, California, had a difficult municipal sewer cleaning job in which much of the long uphill run was calcified, necessitating the removal of hard deposits up to 1 inch thick without damaging the pipe.

Solution: The Warthog WHR Hybrid Switcher sewer jetting tool from StoneAge allowed operators to switch between two sets of jets while the tool is in the pipe: powerful pulling (or thrusting) jets in the rear propel the tool down the pipe, and cleaning (or descaling) side jets cut roots and remove buildup on the walls. It is specialized for users with 3,000 psi/50 gpm pumps using 1-inch hose to clean 6- to 18-inch pipes in hilly terrain.

Result: Martin attributes his success to the built-in interchangeability of the nozzle head. “I was able to cut roots, remove calcium, and climb distances that we have never been able to in the past — we traveled up to 800 feet,” Martin says. “With the Warthog, you don’t have to worry about doing any damage to the pipe due to the fact that you’re cleaning all the material, removing all the calcium from the walls of the pipe, utilizing water.” 970-259-2869;

Combo and easement machines end root issue

Problem: The city of Statesville, North Carolina, needed equipment capable of removing heavy root growth to keep sewer lines flowing.

Solution: To tackle its root problem, Clyde Fox, general supervisor, combined the advantages of the city’s Vacall - Gradall Industries AllJetVac combination sewer cleaner along with an easement machine and chain cutter. The easement machine with a rubber track undercarriage effectively extends the Vacall’s power to remote off-road locations that are not readily accessible by the truck. “With an easement machine, the jetting hose can reach beyond 600 feet, giving you another 600,” says Pat Barrett, salesman for Rodders and Jets Supply, which provided the city with the Vacall.

Result: “I had a big root clean-out problem, and I found out the Vacall delivered a higher level of performance to power the chain cutter down in the 24-inch mainline,” Fox says. “The Vacall delivers 87 gpm at 2,000 psi, so it does a good job chopping up heavy root networks and washing them away.” 330-339-2211;


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