Jetter Allows Plumber to Finish Quicker and Pick Up More Work

Cart-mounted jetting machine helps Pennsylvania plumber reduce callbacks on drain cleaning jobs, improve profitability.

Jetter Allows Plumber to Finish Quicker and Pick Up More Work

David Tipton, Frazier Plumbing, Heating & Air technician, uses the company’s General Pipe Cleaners J-3000 cart jetter on a job site.

Interested in Sewer/Drain Cleaning?

Get Sewer/Drain Cleaning articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Sewer/Drain Cleaning + Get Alerts

Even though it happened about a decade ago, contractor Barry Frazier — the second-generation owner of Frazier Plumbing, Heating & Air in Somerset, Pennsylvania — still vividly remembers one of the first times he used his J-3000 cart-mounted water jetter.

After spending a couple hours trying in vain to unclog a 4-inch-diameter drainline in a residential home, using a sectional drain cleaning machine, Frazier called in the heavy artillery: the J-3000, with its 3,000 psi of pressure and flow of up to 4 gpm. The results clearly illustrated that he’d made a great investment.

“That line, which went under the basement floor and out to a septic tank, was full of built-up grease and soap,” he recalls. “Try as we might, we just could not get it to flow properly with the drain machine. But we put the jetter hose in and we must’ve brought out 10 pounds of soap and grease.

“I remember saying to myself, ‘Man, this really does a great job,’” he says, noting that instead of just drilling a hole through the clog that would eventually close up again, the J-3000 (now called the JM-3000) thoroughly cleaned the pipe. “I haven’t been back to that house since then. That job really opened my eyes to the possibilities this machine could offer.”

Indeed, Frazier says the machine from General Pipe Cleaners has improved his company’s profitability. How? By reducing job callbacks, completing jobs faster and broadening his drain cleaning capabilities.

“With our other machines (drum and sectional units), we might get a callback two or three weeks after a job because we only punched a hole through a clog instead of completely cleaning the pipe,” he explains. “But the J-3000 knocks everything loose, so we get less callbacks.

“Plus, it gives us more flexibility by providing us with the kind of equipment we need to do whatever customers need,” he adds. “We can do jobs we couldn’t do before. Without it, we’d have to tell customers they need to call someone who has a jetter.”

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Some plumbers prefer to avoid drain cleaning work altogether. Frazier is not one of them. He says the company has been doing drain cleaning ever since his grandfather started the company.

“We were doing it back when I worked for him some 45 years ago,” says Frazier, who has 10 employees and works primarily within about a 20-mile radius around Somerset, located about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in southwestern Pennsylvania. The company runs six service trucks: four Chevrolet cargo vans and two Ford trucks with box bodies made by Reading Truck Body. 

The J-3000 features an electric-start, 13 hp Honda gasoline-powered engine; 150 feet of 1/2-inch-diameter hose; adjustable water pressure; a triplex water pump; on-demand Vibra-pulse that helps the hose move through pipe bends; and a Handy-Reel remote attachment with a foot pedal for remote operation. Frazier uses jetting nozzles made by General Spring.

As its name implies, the Handy-Reel, which carries 150 feet of 3/8-inch-diameter hose, is an especially useful feature. It allows contractors to work indoors without having to move the cart jetter up and down stairs. Instead, they just hook up the hose on the Handy-Reel to a fitting on the J-3000 hose, carry the reel indoors and go to work.

“We appreciate it,” Frazier says, noting the reel is much lighter than the jetter. “Customers appreciate it, too, because they don’t want the gasoline-engine fumes in their homes.”

In addition, being able to use the smaller, 3/8-inch Handy-Reel hose in conjunction with a powerful jetter allows technicians to jet out smaller lines for which the J-3000 otherwise would be too big, he adds.

Frazier also praises the adjustable pressure control. “We can cut pressure back to 500 or 1,000 psi for smaller lines,” he explains. “Sometimes you have to back off the pressure a little on big clogs because you don’t want to add so much water inside the pipe that it backs up on you.”

The Vibra-pulse feature also pays dividends by reducing operator fatigue. “The pulsations help it get around bends easier,” he says. “And sometimes we run into things other than bends, and the pulsating feature helps the hose get through.”

The company still uses a larger sectional drain machine made by General Pipe, as well as two drum machines, one built by General Pipe Cleaners and the other by RIDGID; the latter two are used mostly for snaking out small kitchen and bathroom drains. But the J-3000 provides the company with the capability to handle a wider array of drain cleaning jobs. “It’s been a great investment,” Frazier says. “It pretty much does everything we need it to do.”



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.