Working Safer and More Productively in Concrete

Using an MX FUEL battery-operated breaker and cut-off saw means the Plumbing Service Solutions team no longer dreads demolition work on pipe repair jobs

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Working Safer and More Productively in Concrete

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When third-generation plumber Rami Hinawi set out on his own to create his successful company, Plumbing Service Solutions, Inc., after being in the family business for more than 20 years, he brought to his new company one simple motto: When it comes to plumbing, there’s no job that is too big or too small.

The five-person Plumbing Service Solutions team out of Southern California not only tackles smaller plumbing tasks but also larger projects such as waterline and water leak repairs, gas line repairs or replacements, slab leaks, underground repairs and more. Oftentimes, when it comes to plumbing repair, there is work to be done in areas too hard to maneuver or unsafe to operate gas engines. A common issue that the Plumbing Service Solutions team faces is that the equipment normally relied upon for this type of work traditionally emits high levels of vibration and noise and is overly heavy.

When Hinawi first heard about a line of battery-operated light equipment called MX FUEL he was intrigued. “The versatility is what really caught my eye,” Hinawi says. “Given the types of projects we do, the ability to take this equipment almost anywhere seemed too convenient for me to not give it a try.”

Any plumber who has broken trenches to access plumbing systems or completed new pipe installations is well aware of the exertion needed for demolition. Frequently faced with this type of work, Hinawi made sure that the first MX FUEL solution brought on board was the MX FUEL Breaker. This battery-powered breaker puts out 50 ft/lbs of impact energy and 4.9 meters per second squared measured vibration — allowing it to hit up to 30% harder and with 70% lower vibration than the corded units Hinawi’s team had previously used. At just over 63 pounds, it is also lighter.

“One of the best things about this breaker is that my guys can use it all day and not feel like they got hit by a truck,” Hinawi says. “Our previous corded units were simply back-breaking — we dreaded demolition work. That’s not the case anymore.”

The ability to power the breaker off a battery and not be tethered to a cord also had its advantages for his team. “If we need to move to another section of concrete or maneuver a little differently or move to a tight spot, we can do so easily without cords getting in the way,” he says.

Hands-down, Hinawi notes that his favorite aspect of the MX FUEL Breaker was its speed of breaking and durability. “It completely blows our corded breakers out of the water.” While replacing a 2-inch cast iron line underneath a client’s kitchen floor his team used the breaker to break the concrete that was encasing the broken line. The breaker’s light weight and versatility allowed them to complete this job in a fraction of the time it would take had they used any of the other electric breakers they had used previously.

Instant start, zero emissions

Next, Hinawi focused on solving another problem his team frequently encounters — needing to cut up concrete inside homes for drainline repairs.

Under federal standards, 35 ppm is the maximum allowable concentration of carbon monoxide in an indoor location. According to the CDC, prolonged exposure to concentrations over 150-200 ppm can be fatal. This is why Hinawi and his team have always chosen to rent an electric cut-off saw when they need to cut through concrete indoors.

However, when he saw that Milwaukee Tool offered a 14-inch cut-off saw that runs off the same MX FUEL batteries as the breaker, he decided to give it a try. With no pull start, the MX FUEL 14-inch Cut-Off Saw can be instantly set up; with no engine, users don’t need to mix gas and oil and can work safer without emissions.

“With one of these MX FUEL cut-off saws in our truck, we can easily get in and get out when we need to make cuts indoors for drain repairs. There’s no need to spend time renting a saw. And with no emissions, it’s a much safer option for my team.”

“A few months ago we were replacing rotted copper waterline in a first-floor apartment. Due to the complexity, and costliness to the client, of rerouting the line through the ceiling, we decided to instead remove the existing carpet and cut the concrete with the MX FUEL Cut-Off Saw. The tool allowed us to cut the concrete without having to breathe emissions that would have been dangerous to my team and me in such a small, enclosed location. The effectiveness of the saw allowed us to complete the job safely and in a timely manner for our clients.”

With the ability to cut 6 linear feet in 5-inch deep concrete per charge, the saw isn’t a complete replacement for gas, but it’s perfect for the type of work Hinawi’s team needs to do.

“In our line of work, we don’t need to make continuous long runs of full plunge cuts into concrete slabs so we weren’t overly concerned with runtime. The benefits to my team are far more important. High-speed cuts, virtually no startup time, and absolutely no emissions means we can get through our job as fast, and as safely, as possible.”


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