The Right Nozzles Clear the Way for Great Pipe Inspections

The Right Nozzles Clear the Way for Great Pipe Inspections

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Cleaning a sewer lateral thoroughly is an integral first step in any lateral inspection. That’s why Chris Carlin doesn’t go cheap when it comes to investing in nozzles and cutters for his O’Brien trailer water jetter.

In particular, Carlin — owner of C. Carlin Plumbing in Erie, Pennsylvania — says he’s sold on the Lumberjack cutters and Ice Bear nozzles built by NozzTeq and supplied by PrimeLine Products. The Lumberjack is suitable for serious root cutting, while the Ice Bear, as its name implies, is adept at clearing frozen pipelines as well as grease and other materials, Carlin says.

“I know for a fact that if you buy good equipment, it does a better job and lasts longer,” Carlin says.

At about $4,500 apiece, the Lumberjack represents a significant investment. But the high-speed (up to 50,000 rpm), low-torque cutter has an expected life span of 7 to 15 years, depending on usage.

The high-speed capability allows cutters in the Lumberjack series to cut through everything from tree roots to concrete. The low-torque feature minimizes the odds of getting stuck, spinning off of a hose or damaging pipelines. Moreover, the sealed bearings self-lubricate and are water-cooled, promoting maintenance-free usage.

Ice Bear nozzles cost about $250 each, according to Carlin, who touts their flexibility. He says he can convert the nozzle into a forward flusher.

“I once was cleaning a line in a dentist’s office that was slab on grade (no basement), so I couldn’t bring the water back to the building. At 20 gpm, it would’ve flooded out the place real quick,” Carlin says. “So I switched it to forward flushing to get the job done.”

The Ice Bear especially proved its mettle during the last two winters, when temperatures dropped so low that catch basins were freezing up, along with roof drains connected to them.

“We went in with the Ice Bear and back-jetted them from the catch basins,” he says. “After we got a hole cut in the ice, water starts flowing and melts the rest of the ice. It makes for a lot of happy customers who were very concerned about the weight of all that ice on their roofs.”

C. Carlin Plumbing was previously profiled in Cleaner magazine. Check it out here.


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