11 Beefed-Up Water Jetters Every Plumber Needs

If you’re in the market for the best waterjetting tool, look no further. Here’s what you need to know to find the one to fit your needs.
11 Beefed-Up Water Jetters Every Plumber Needs
Truck-mounted Ramjet from Vactor Manufacturing

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For those blockages that are just too tough to clear with a cable drain cleaning machine, the next best tool is a water jetter. 

“In the past cable drain cleaning machines were all that was available,” says Marty Silverman, vice president of marketing for General Pipe Cleaners. “They do a great job of cutting roots and debris and retrieving objects out of the drainline, but they have always had a hard time with certain kinds of stoppages.” 

The main type of stoppage that was difficult to remove was grease, according to Silverman. 

“The cable goes in and whips around, but it doesn’t clear the grease out, instead the grease closes up behind the cable,” Silverman says. This is known as a self-healing stoppage. “Stoppages like these were a problem until jets came along.” 

High-pressure water does the job

Water jetters use high-pressure water to cut the grease off the walls of the pipe and the water flushes the line clear. Jets also do a better job of clearing sand out of the line and dealing with a stubborn wintertime stoppage — ice. 

“When you have to deal with a frozen line a cable can’t cut through the ice, but water can,” Silverman says. “It doesn’t even have to be hot water to melt the ice. At 4 gallons per minute, you can melt the ice at about a foot per minute, even with cold water.” 

Silverman says those looking to purchase a water jetter have a couple things they should consider. The first should be what kinds of lines need to be cleared — specifically the length and diameter. Generally, longer lines and larger-diameter pipes require more pressure and water flow. 

“Also, you want to look at where the drain is, inside the building or outside on the street,” Silverman says. “Inside the building you might go with an electric jet, but you’re limited on pressure and flow rate with electric jets.” 

One such option is the Electric Platform Cart Series from American Jetter. The portable system offers safe propane power up to 40 hp and 20 gpm. A self-powered cart houses the entire jetting system, and a powered hose reel can carry up to 500 feet of 1/2-inch hose or 600 feet of 3/8-inch hose. 

Another option, according to Silverman, is a gas-powered jet. “You can get a separate hose reel so you can leave the fumes of the gas machine outside but use the power of the gas machine inside,” he says. “Just pull the hose inside and use the smaller reel to clear the line.”

For clearing large, remote lines of grease, sediment, ice and other soft blockages, check out the JM-3080 Jet-Set water jet cart drain cleaning machine from General Pipe Cleaners. The unit generates 3,000 psi at 8 gpm with Vibra-Pulse to propel nozzles through long lines and tight bends.

Another option is the MV80 Jet Pro Cart from MyTana Mfg. Company that delivers 8 gpm at 3,000 psi, and is powered by a 24 hp Honda engine. A redesigned steel cart is more compact and the repositioned controls for the pressure unloader and pulseable valves are easy to use. 

If you’re looking for a smaller jetter, the Eel Jet EJ3000 gas jetter from Electric Eel cleans 2- to 8-inch lines up to 300 feet with a 13 hp overhead valve engine gas motor with a robust but small frame that provides 4.7 gpm at 3,000 psi. 

And let’s not forget the Model KJ-3100 portable water jetter from RIDGID for ultimate maneuverability on hard-to-reach jobs. This unit offers 3,000 psi working pressure to handle large commercial and industrial applications. It propels a highly flexible and lightweight hose through 2- to 10-inch lines, providing increased flexibility without reducing any of the strength.   

Jetter evolution

Although overall jetter technology hasn’t changed considerably over the years, pumps and nozzles have seen a few transformations to meet a growing demand for more power, safety and maneuverability.   

“Pump manufacturers have beefed up their designs so they are more durable and can handle freezing without major damage,” Silverman says. “Nozzles have changed and are more efficient. We use high-efficiency nozzles.” 

Silverman says the electric-powered machines are the most popular of General Pipe Cleaners’ jetters. 

“Our big advantage is we’re able to maintain the same pressure and flow rate whether the pulse is on or off,” Silverman says. “In a small jet you don’t have as much pressure or flow, so you really need help to get the hose around the bends. The pulsation of the hose helps it vibrate and overcome the friction in the line and puts the hose farther down the line.” 

Ready to tackle bigger jobs and clean longer lines? Check out these trailer- and truck-mounted waterjetting powerhouses: 

  • The Performance line of trailer-mounted jetter/pressure washer combo units from Amazing Machinery is designed for easy trailering, and the large water supply tank allows technicians to jet anywhere.
  • The O’Brien 7000-T hydrojetter from Hi-Vac Corporation includes all of the features of the O’Brien 7000 series trailer jetter but is designed for true truck-mounted applications. 
  • The Easement Machine heavy-duty, all-terrain rubber-tracked power carrier from KWMI Manufacturing is used in conjunction with a high-pressure hydraulic sewer cleaner. Its maneuverability allows access to easements, ravines, wooded areas, wetland areas and more.
  • The Model 184 jetter from Mongoose Jetters has a tubular steel frame, corrosion-resistant pre-painted sub assemblies, state-of-the-art controls, a heavy-duty hose reel, high-quality diesel engine and a run dry pump.
  • The compact Soldier hydrojetter from Spartan Tool has pressures up to 3,000 psi at 12 gpm. It comes with noise-dampening engine shrouding on the 27 hp gas engine, a complete antifreeze system and 200-gallon water tank, and can clean up to 15-inch lines. 
  • The truck-mounted Ramjet from Vactor Manufacturing uses a Jet Rodder water pump to break up blockages and flush out debris in sanitary lines. Armed with up to 2,500 gallons of water in a stainless steel tank, it delivers flows of 60 to 100 gpm at 2,000 or 2,500 psi. 

For complete product listings and manufacturer contact information, visit www.cleaner.com/product-focus/2014/08/august_2014.


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