EPL Solutions’ Diagnostic and Drain Cleaning Tools Prioritize Customer Needs

EPL Solutions designs diagnostic and drain cleaning equipment tailored to solving the real problems contractors encounter in the field

EPL Solutions’ Diagnostic and Drain Cleaning Tools Prioritize Customer Needs

John Bartucciotto - CEO of EPL Solutions

Years in the industry:  34

Years with company:  16

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EPL Solutions was born out of necessity.

Founder and CEO John Bartucciotto began his career as a journeyman plumber in 1989 and eventually owned a subcontracting company, Electronic Pipe Locators (EPL Inc.), specializing in utility locating, leak detection, video pipe inspection, jetting and drain cleaning services. He started designing his own equipment when he found himself dissatisfied with some features of existing options.

In 1999, Bartucciotto built his first digital video recorder for sewer pipe inspections. In 2005, he designed the Gvision S/2000, the inspection camera monitor that eventually launched EPL Solutions in 2007.

“When other contractors expressed interest in my monitor, I decided to build more for others and realized the industry’s need,” Bartucciotto says.

Cleaner recently spoke with Bartucciotto about the history of EPL Solutions and what differentiates its diagnostic and drain cleaning tools in the market.

Cleaner: Tell us a little about the history of EPL Solutions.

Bartucciotto: EPL Solutions started with the Gvision S/2000 monitor. I originally built it for my company EPL Inc. because the other camera monitors were inefficient in direct sun glare, bulky and heavy. When other contractors expressed an interest in the invention, I turned to manufacturing and sold my subcontracting company in 2012 after servicing the Southern California area for 19 years.

Cleaner: What differentiates your range of diagnostic and drain cleaning tools from the competition?

Bartucciotto: Our products are designed from an end user’s perspective. We want reliable products to get the job done in the most efficient manner. The Gvision brand started as a simple, ruggedized monitor with a direct sunlight (TruView) LCD screen and an external DVR for digital recording. Before the market introduced Wi-Fi recording, we created a monitor that would record directly to an iPhone, iPod Touch and later on the iPad using the charge and sync cord that comes with your Apple device. It’s still a popular monitor and we’ve continued that feature in the Gvision V5 Pro. Our customers prefer DirectConnect recording to Wi-Fi recording for its ease of use and reliability. Most recently, we’ve integrated the latest Wi-Fi streaming technology in the Gvision M1 and V7 to allow for viewing and controlling the monitor remotely via Wi-Fi to an Apple or Android device. Because Wi-Fi can be unreliable, all recordings are stored on the monitor’s internal SSD. You can easily share recordings with customers using your phone, tablet or USB drive.

Our newest product is SpeedCut, a high-speed descaling, reinstatement and drain cleaning tool. Our proprietary 10mm SpeedShaft cable is ideal for 2-to-8-inch pipe at lengths up to 150 feet. The DC brushless motor design — 2 hp and 0 to 3,200 rpm — does not have a mechanical clutch and only requires 110 volts at 13 amps at peak loads. Our SpeedConnectors allow for quick and easy tool attachment changes, especially for chain cutters. The built-in cable oiler provides easy maintenance and prolongs cable life.

Other popular tools are our sewer sondes and sonde carriers. Our sewer sondes have a max depth of 30 feet measuring only 3 1/2 inches by 3/4 inch. The sonde carriers are designed to securely fit on duct rodders and sewer cables with an integrated connector and jetting hose with an integrated nozzle for various flows and pressures.

Cleaner: What sort of needs do they address? Tell us about your best sellers and what applications they best serve.

Bartucciotto: The Gvision monitor was designed to easily share video inspections and view in direct sunlight (TruView). It is weatherproof and includes an optional internal battery. The Gvision V5 Pro uses DirectConnect to record directly to an Apple device or USB thumb drive. Our USB drives can then be plugged into any modern smartphone or tablet to easily share or store your recordings in your database without the need of recording over Wi-Fi. Our Gvision TruView LCD allows the operator to leave the camera reel and monitor on the ground while doing a video inspection from a roof vent access and view the screen in direct sunlight without shade. The TruView LCD was designed for wide viewing, enabling the operator to position the Gvision monitor for viewing from the sides, from above, or from below. The TruView LCD is also resistant to harsh chemicals and can be cleaned with glass cleaner, Simple Green or a degreaser. Of course, accidents can happen to your equipment. The rugged design of the Gvision has been known to survive falls from two-story buildings or being run over by heavy work vehicles. The Gvision is weatherproof against rain and freezing snow. For working in areas where power outlets are not available, the Gvision has an optional internal battery for up to six hours normal use. With power management, you can get up to 12 hours on a single charge.

The SpeedCut was designed for high speed and torque without a mechanical clutch. Incorporating an anti-flip 10 mm SpeedShaft cable creates a powerful and flexible machine for faster descaling and reinstatements. SpeedCut incorporates a slim, heavy-duty X-frame design for working in small areas and weighs less than 90 pounds, making it compact and maneuverable. The SpeedCut’s handle mount holds and locks the control box in place when positioned upright and allows the operator to easily dismount the control box for convenient placement. Because of low power requirements, SpeedCut is less likely to pop a breaker while powering from a household outlet. SpeedCut also uses a clamshell mechanical foot pedal for easy operation and allows for handheld operation.

The sonde carriers are inline with the cable and jetter hose allowing for navigating turns. The size of the sewer sonde will negotiate a 2-inch cast iron P-trap when attached to a sewer cable using a sonde carrier.

Cleaner: What’s the most common problem you see your customers facing?

Bartucciotto: Not understanding the technology of the equipment and tools.

Cleaner: What’s the philosophy behind development and innovation at EPL Solutions?

Bartucciotto: We listen and understand the users’ needs by not only talking, but also going out in the field with them, working side by side. Only then can you truly develop and innovate.

Cleaner: How do you see the pipe inspection and drain cleaning industry evolving?

Bartucciotto: Regarding video pipe inspections, it will be about durability of camera heads improving, improved push cable performance, and improved locating depth.

For jetting, 5 gpm to 9 gpm at 5,000 psi or greater is where the market is headed because of water shortages. For jetting nozzle intensity, it will be about high pressure at low flows. For example, 10 years ago root cutting was best with a 1/2-inch hose and 14 gpm to 18 gpm at 4,000 psi. Today a 1/4-inch nozzle on a 1/4-inch hose at 7 gpm and 4,000 psi has more cutting power. Why? A jet stream that is more intense like a laser beam has more cutting power.

For high-speed chain cutters, they’ll continue to get safer and easier to operate. There will be accessibility for cleaning a larger pipe from a smaller access. For example, a 4-inch sewer line could be descaled from a 2-inch opening. There will be improved reinstatement tools.

Cleaner: What’s new for EPL Solutions in 2023? What can customers expect in the future?

Bartucciotto: Improving our current products. We have a new mini camera reel system we launched at the WWETT Show earlier this year with increased flexibility in smaller pipe while having a longer push in 4-inch mainlines than the industry standard.

In addition, we will be launching a new camera sonde with a more powerful transmitter than anything currently available. We will also be launching new SpeedCut reinstatement tool attachments and new 6 mm and 8 mm SpeedShaft cables.

Cleaner: What do you want your customers to think of when they hear the name EPL Solutions?

Bartucciotto: That we put the customer’s needs first and we are a solutions company. Part of our job is to keep up on our own education. Our customers depend on us to know the how and why so they can get the most potential from their products, which is important to us. We want to build something we’d be proud to use ourselves. In the end, it’s about our customers’ successes.


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