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The Proper Equipment for Fixing Broken Sewer Pipes

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The Proper Equipment for Fixing Broken Sewer Pipes

The right attachments optimize cleaning while saving water, tank refills, work, and problems.

To handle high workloads and tough clogs, sewage pipe maintenance technicians need the correct gear. Buying a well-equipped vacuum truck is essential, but choosing the right attachments may boost performance and save time, labour, and water.

Vacuum sewer truck expert and consultant Haaker Equipment VP of Sales and Marketing Matthew Woods shares his favourite accessories and thoughts. Woods says these additions enable vacuum sewer truck personnel to work quicker and better on the most challenging jobs.

“The right accessory for the job cannot be overlooked in terms of operating safely, quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively,” adds Woods. Haaker Equipment sells vacuum sewage trucks, sewer cleaners, pipe inspection equipment, and parking lot sweepers to contractors, municipalities, and industries in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

1. Nozzles

As industry professionals know, vacuum sewer trucks employ hose nozzles to clean sewage, storm, and sanitary systems. For maintenance or pipe relining, nozzles guide pressured water to remove silt, sludge, grease, and mineral buildup.

Despite their varied configurations, the industry evaluates nozzles in three efficiency tiers: Tier 1 (30 per cent efficient), Tier 2 (50 to 60 per cent efficient), and Tier 3 (75 to 98 per cent efficient). Most sewer vacuum vehicles have many Tier 2 nozzles for various operations.

Companies like Haaker advocate upgrading vacuum sewer trucks’ nozzles to preserve water.

“Each Vactor truck comes with three Tier 2 nozzles, but we regularly recommend upgrading to a Tier 3,” adds Woods. As fresh water becomes scarcer, ultra-efficiency Tier 3 nozzles provide more efficient fluid mechanics to decrease water waste (GPM) and minimize operating pressures (PSI).

“Today, most vacuum trucks are still filled with clean, treated, fluoridated drinking water [from hydrants],” says Woods.

He recommends the Aqua Power 700 and OMG, from Spartanburg, SC-based KEG Technologies, are Tier 3 nozzles. Tier 3 nozzles are more efficient and have tight water patterns that clean the pipe wall and provide a forceful water stream to carry debris far and propel the nozzle.

With a superior Tier 3 nozzle, operators can clean more pipes with less water. Woods said the truck’s water will allow them to clean more sewage line square footage.

Reducing water use saves money by reducing truck tank refills and keeping personnel on task.

2. Sewer Line Cameras

Operators can inspect pipes without a CCTV vehicle with a camera or nozzle camera. A camera is needed to find pipe offsets, collapses, infiltration, and nozzle-trapping impediments. To verify pipe cleanliness, before-and-after photos or videos are helpful.

“Without a camera, sewer truck operators are going into the pipe ‘blind’ and don’t know what is down there or what they are cleaning,” adds Woods. Once personnel know what’s within the pipe, cleaning is easy. This information helps the operator choose the proper instrument or technique and finish faster.

Woods suggests using an Envirosight pole-mounted camera like the Quickview Air HD to swiftly check sewage lines from an adjacent maintenance hole to see if they require cleaning, repair, or additional examination. Wireless control and video allow live video sharing on numerous devices without cords.

The Quickview camera makes sewage inspections faster, cheaper, and more accessible. Woods said the pole-mounted camera prioritizes and allocates resource-intensive inspection and cleaning staff to keep operations operating smoothly.

Some manufacturers have created camera nozzles that record video while cleaning to facilitate sewage system inspection.

KEG’s KleenSight camera-nozzle technology lets personnel clean sewage and storm pipes while recording upright HD video, according to Woods—the camera head self-levels and illuminates. No cords or wires are needed—just a jetter hose. The camera records footage, automatically dates it, and timestamps it for Wi-Fi transfer to mobile devices or PCs.

The nozzle camera may detect roots in the pipe during regular cleaning. Woods says an operator may use a chain cutter to remove roots if the nozzle fails.

3. Chain Cutters

Tree roots impede sewer and storm pipes. Hard mineral deposits, grease, silt, and debris can cause blockages.

Chain cutter nozzles are needed for severe blockages. Most are hydraulically propelled, which lowers their cost, yet many can cut through thick roots or hard mineral deposits. Sometimes the unit freezes.

Water-powered chain cutter nozzles may cut thick bulk more efficiently. This method uses high-pressure water in the chain cutter nozzle chamber to spin the cutting chains.

The SuperNova 4000 Chain Cutter, a high-speed, high-torque, water-driven cutter, can remove heavy root obstructions, scale, rust, mineral deposits, hardened oil, and even concrete and cast iron taps. The chain cutter cuts offsets, pipe rips, and projecting taps.

4. Sewer Maintenance Tools

“Tools” that simplify and speed up tasks are another helpful accessory. Maintenance hole hooks/picks, telescopic claws, sewer brushes, debris baskets, tubing transition couplers, vac traps, etc.

“For sewer cleaning and maintenance, there are many special tools and accessories that crews use daily that facilitate safety and productivity,” adds Woods.

KEG Technologies’ dealers provide vacuum trucks and municipalities with specialized sewage cleaning gear and accessories.

Bottom line

Sewer pipe repair pros know that the correct accessories may speed up and enhance any work crew’s cleaning while conserving water.

Cleaning staff should spend time and work on accessories since they have so much to gain. Best-in-class options and effective utilization will boost performance and production.

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