Get a Grasp on Lost Objects

Get a Grasp on Lost Objects
Cloverleaf Tool sales manager George Goins (right) explains how to operate the Pipe GRIPPER Tool to a family plumbing tandem at the 2016 WWETT Show. The pneumatic tool is designed to help plumbers and drain cleaners grab objects and clear blockages in sewers and ventilation systems. (Photo by Craig Mandli)

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There are numerous ways to clear pipe blockages. Water blasters and powerful pressure washers can break up and push out material, while cutters can dislodge, chop or even pulverize roots or other obstructions. However, as most parents of young children can attest, occasionally something valuable ends up lodged in the sewer drain or ventilation system — a blockage that requires a more specialized tool to dislodge and even save the object. The Pipe GRIPPER Tool, featured in the Cloverleaf Tool booth at the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show, is just such a product.

The Swiss-made pneumatic tool is designed to help plumbers and drain cleaners grab objects in sewers and ventilation systems.

“This is a tool that’s strong enough to dislodge large, heavy objects, or gentle enough to rescue animals from inside the pipe,” says Gary Ulfers, president and owner of Cloverleaf Tool. “It can be used in 4-inch or larger pipe, which makes it a great fit for plumbers, industrial drain cleaners, municipalities or HVAC contractors.”

The tool uses 15 psi and can work up to 82 feet from the operator, with extensions available for longer runs. Sold in the United States exclusively through Cloverleaf Tool, it can navigate 90-degree bends in 4-inch pipe.

“I heard about this tool from a friend who works in the trade in Germany,” Ulfers says. “We actually went to Switzerland to see it in action, and came away extremely impressed. There’s just nothing like this over here.”

The tool is available with an optional camera, and is fed into the pipe using fiberglass pushrods, cable or sectional rods. It is 2.16 inches in diameter, 9.45 inches long and weighs 10 pounds. The tool features teeth-grabber pliers for a strong grip on even grimy, slippery objects. Cloverleaf began marketing the Pipe GRIPPER a few months before the WWETT Show, and according to Ulfers, there was a definite buzz.

“To tell you the truth, we ran out of fliers to give out,” he says. “I knew that this crowd would like it, but the interest exceeded my expectations. The response has been tremendous.”

Cloverleaf is a longtime exhibitor at the WWETT Show, and Ulfers believes the 2016 show had some of the best traffic flow he’s seen in a long time.

“Our big goal for this show is to get people picking up our catalogs and talking to us about what product lines we offer,” he says. “This show is really our target market. We obviously cater to a pretty niche business, and all those people are here.” 800/365-6583;


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