Passion, Experience and Equipment Keep This Drain Specialist in High Demand

Fred Ruff relies on a reliable and hardworking jetter to keep up and handle the demand for his services

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Passion, Experience and Equipment Keep This Drain Specialist in High Demand

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Fred Ruff was 18 years old when he started plumbing. Since then, he has spent the better part of his career tackling any and all jobs related to plumbing, sewer and drains. He took that experience and focused on the portion of the industry he enjoyed the most, and started his own drain business, Drain Chief, in Forest Hill, Maryland. With over 25 years in the industry, Ruff stills considers drain cleaning to be one of his life passions. Ruff continues to do a little bit of everything but specializes in anything drain related. 

“I’ve worked with a lot of the local septic companies troubleshooting issues they are having; like if pipes are clogged from the outlet of a septic tank, and I’ll jet it,” he says. “I do a lot of residential too, from tree roots jetting and hydrojetting to smoke testing.”

It’s safe to say that Ruff is busy, very busy in fact. His expertise from years in the industry provides him the ability to diagnose problems quickly and his top-notch jetting services have kept him in high demand doing jobs that others in the area can’t.

The old saying that your business is only as strong as its weakest employee doesn’t apply to Drain Chief, because Ruff is a one-man show. With a booked schedule and people relying on his services, it’s the strength of his equipment that is essential to keep his business up and running. Because any downtime from broken equipment would mean jobs aren’t getting done and his schedule would be backed up even more, he knew he needed a reliable and hard-working jetter to keep up and handle the demand.

Trust in the people and the equipment

Ruff met with a variety of jetter manufacturers before an internet search led him to Jetters Northwest. After talking with the sales representative there, he decided to purchase an Eagle 200/4009 trailer jetter. “I talked to Steve and I really liked him,” says Ruff, referencing Steve Jones, sales director at Jetters Northwest. “Everything he said, he told the truth. Then he told me about the service with John, and John’s a smart guy when it comes to troubleshooting stuff.”

It was that trust that sold Ruff on the products of Jetters Northwest. “I don’t know, there was just something about them I liked, and I trusted them, and I had to because they are the furthest place that I could buy a jetter from,” he says. “They were good to deal with, helped me spec it out and they let me customize the way I wanted it. Anything I wanted, they did it.” 

The Eagle 200 pushes 9 gpm at 4,000 psi and has impressed him with its performance. “With that jetter I was able to clear an 18-inch corrugated storm drainpipe with a double Root Ranger nozzle, probably 150-feet — squeaky clean,” Ruff says. This was only one of countless situations when he has been impressed by the abilities of the Eagle 200 trailer jetter. “It’s not the biggest machine but it’s great, I love it. I have it with me right now. I’m at a place troubleshooting a rain leader that’s flooding this warehouse.” 

Sticking with what works

With bigger jobs like storm drains common for Ruff, he is thinking of upsizing his equipment in the near future and isn’t looking anywhere but Jetters Northwest to do so. “I’m thinking about upgrading to their 4018 with the dual engines,” he says. “Most times I won’t even have to run two engines, unless I’m doing something I need the flow for.” This equipment upgrade would add versatility and allow Ruff to handle a broader range of job sizes. 

Business is good and with his schedule full for the foreseeable future, the only thing holding him back from purchasing right now is time. “It’s on my list and they gave me a good price, I just haven’t had time to even look at anything.”

Ruff also acknowledged that the people at Jetters Northwest have always been there for helpful customer service and give him an authentic answer, and that’s important to him and his business. “If I have an issue or don’t understand something, they know those jetters,” he says. “All the people there are a great help; they are honest people.”

Find out more about the Eagle 200 trailer jetter and other jetting equipment at

Visit the Jetters Northwest Storefront


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