Debunking the myth that all plumbers still use Electric Eels/Metal Snake to clear Blocked Storm Water Drains and why you must use a Hydro Jetter when cleaning a Storm Water Drain.
When you hear someone say I've got a blocked drain they usually follow this statement up with “I need the plumber to come out with his electrical eel/metal snake machine” to un block my drain??
BUT when it comes to storm water drain lines it’s a whole different kettle of fish. The conventional methods of clearing a sewer drain line may still be performed by various plumbing firms, but those who have invested in the future of the plumbing industry know that the only way to clear a customer’s storm water line is with a Hydro Jetter.
As you will see in my video attached to this week’s blog there are various reasons why the electric eel/metal snake drain cleaning machine does not cut the mustard when trying to un block a storm water line.
Firstly: the fittings which are most commonly used when installing storm water lines have a very tight radius and the throat on these fittings is also very tight meaning that the rigid metal cable used on the traditional electric eels cannot get through these fittings without causing catastrophic damage.
Secondly: the pipe which is most commonly installed for storm water systems is of a very thin wall thickness meaning that the aggressive nature of the metal snake drain cleaning machine when in action can quite easily penetrate the walls of this pipe leaving un necessary damage to the drain lines.
Thirdly: the electric eel has only approx 23m of use able cable on the machine before either another location needs to be found to enter the drain or another roll of cable be introduced. With the Hydro Jetter you can get at a minimum 55m of hose into the drain and depending on the set up some Jetters actually are equipped with 120m of hose giving you well over 100m of usable high pressure hose before relocating or finding another point in which to access the drain lines.
The hydro jetting machine can be used with various sizes of hose allowing it to get into some of the smallest and tightest storm water fittings and push out any of the sediment or tree leaves. The flexibility of this hose when under a huge operating pressure of 4000 PSI and also when not pressurised allows it to get into places that no other form of machinery can enter. The benefit of this method is that the jetting heads are self propelled and selflessly guide their way in and around the many different directions in which a storm water system may have been installed.
When it comes to domestic storm water installations you are going to find that 90mm pipe and fittings in storm water grade material is the most common product used in today’s market. But that is not to say that in some domestic installation’s a customer hasn't increased the specification on their design to have the storm water lines installed in sewer grade pipe and fittings, although this is rare, it has been done in the past and has good benefits. The pipe is much more ridged, the fittings are larger and the available surface area in which the glue has to make its chemical reaction with the fittings is larger allowing for greater strength of the chemical bond and also a greater resistance to penetration from tree roots and breakage through ground movement.
Now given that a lot of storm water lines usually hold water (wet system/mozzie breeder) a build up of silt gathers at the base of the drain line. When the electric eel passes through the line it twists and turns through the pipe moving around the actual sediment build up but not actually as effective as a hydro jetter forcing huge amounts of water along the line giving a thorough descaling of the pipe system, which is just another big benefit of using the Hydro Jetting Machine to clear blocked storm water lines.
In order to keep your storm water drainage system flowing this winter make sure you get your storm water pipes hydro jet cleaned, like with most things in life if you maintain it the likely hood of ever having to perform major repairs is slim, BUT if you leave the problem for years and years it's inevitable that one day a section of the storm water drain will have to replaced and hopefully its not under a driveway or a paved path.
I hope that you have managed to get some useful information out of my blog this week and that the year 2015 is bringing you happiness, until next week happy plumbing, Aaron.
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Aaron Stewart owns and works in the business of Mayfair Plumbing & Gas Fitting from there offices now based in Adelaide, South Australia. Aaron and his team of licensed plumbers and design consultants are passionate about there work. In this blog they will bring you plumbing and gas tips gathered from around the globe over 20 plus years of experiences in the many different fields of plumbing. If you are looking for a plumbing firm who can do everything from design, construct, project management and scheduled on site maintenance contact the Mayfair Plumbing Group.