Specialty Cutting Ball Nozzle Handles Tough Clogs

Drain Mob’s go-to tool for quick and efficient tree root cutting or pipe descaling is the Enz USA CB90 nozzle

Specialty Cutting Ball Nozzle Handles Tough Clogs

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Billy Teeter believes in having as many options as possible to contend with a wide range of drain clogs. So when he needs to cut through tree roots or descale pipes quickly and efficiently, the owner of San Diego-based Drain Mob has just the tool for the occasion: the Cutting Ball CB90 nozzle from Enz USA.

The nozzle is an outlier in the industry, due to its spherical shape that includes built-in cutting blades and an unusual six-jet pattern that enhances cutting and flushing capabilities. But sometimes different is better, as Teeter learned the first time he used the CB90. 

Teeter was having trouble getting roots out of a 4-inch-diameter, clay-pipe lateral. The roots were growing upward at an odd angle from the main sewer line and into the lateral. He attached the CB90 to the 1/2-inch-diameter hose on one of the company’s five US Jetting 4018 water jetters (4,000 psi at up to 18 gpm), dropped it into a clean-out and went to work.

“It cut roots as thick as my fingers in one swipe,” he says. “It was tricky because of the weird angle the roots were sitting at. It was a weird situation that would’ve been a problem for other nozzles.

“It’s definitely a specialty-use head. It’s a great tool to have in our arsenal.”

The built-in and self-sharpening cutting blades, which are formed by channels in the carbide cutting ball, are designed to descale pipes from 4 to 6 inches in diameter. But Teeter says the nozzle has worked well in pipes up to 8 inches in diameter, too.

“The channels in the nozzle head act like a drill bit,” says Joey Flores, a Drain Mob technician. “It really works great on descaling cast iron pipes. That head spins really fast at a high water pressure.”

The nozzle’s spherical shape also enables it to navigate bends in pipes more efficiently, although it’s a tight fit in 4-inch-diameter pipes, Flores says. The nozzle measures about 3 1/2 inches in diameter and weighs just less than 5 pounds; it requires minimum flow of 16 gpm and will handle maximum pressure of 2,900 psi.

“It exerts a lot of pulling force on the hose,” he says. “We’ve had no issues with it getting caught in a line.”

Each of the nozzle’s three pairs of rear jets creates an X-shaped spray pattern that’s very effective at cutting through roots.

“It’ll take out roots in one pass — it’s unbelievable,” Flores says. “It gives you twice the cutting force compared to typical jets, where there’s usually just one jet stream in contact with the pipe at any one time.

But the CB90’s shape doesn’t lend itself to penetrating extremely compacted masses of roots. As such, it’s not suitable for all root clearing applications because it can’t do any cutting if it can’t get past the roots, Flores says.

The CB90 really displayed its mettle on a particularly difficult job: A 300-foot-long section of 6-inch-diameter clay sanitary-sewer pipe that was almost completely clogged with sand that infiltrated through a break in the line, Flores says.

“A job like that typically would require five or six hours of almost constant jetting,” he says. “But we finished the job in about two and a half hours. It was unreal — we’re probably talking about 2 cubic yards of sand lodged in there. Large amounts of sand are hard to move with a jetting nozzle. When you pull back on a wall of sand, it can be kind of like one of those Chinese finger-trap toys — the harder you pull, the harder it is to get out. But when we finally got the head upstream far enough and started dragging it back, it cleaned the pipe completely.”

The CB90 costs about $2,375. But Teeter — who established the company in 2017, has 13 employees and runs 11 service trucks — says it’s a sound investment that pays for itself quickly. He also recommends the Enz Bulldog and Rotodrill nozzles.

“Getting jobs done quickly and done right is everything in this business and using the right equipment is a big part of that,” he says. “I would definitely say it’s a good nozzle to have. I remember back in the day when there basically was one kind of jetter head. Then they kept coming out with more and more. Some work and some don’t, but this one definitely has its place on the truck.”



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