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  • Ice Jetting woes

    I worked on a place today that i'm likely gonna have to refer out to someone... But i'm gonna give it another shot tomorrow to try and make SOMETHING on it.

    an estimated 350ft 4" ABS with a few cleanouts inline (I seldom see mains in excess of 75ft).

    With a small steamer and a jetter, i've been able to thaw the cleanouts, and 3-12ft downstream of each.

    The steamer was too small for the amount of thermal mass I was up against... that's when I moved to the jetter hose.

    I failed to realize that my bosses PW was alot larger than the small electric I normally use it with.

    After making a small amount of progress, the hose blew out

    I cut and repaired the (almost brand new) hose and started again.

    Made a few more inches progress with the throttle as low as I could get it, and shorter cycles.

    The next blowout, was another 15ft of hose loss

    I've not had a great deal of luck jetting ice, but i'm gonna try it again tomorrow with the bigger, badder, spendy 10,000psi hose I got today.... That sucker isn't gonna bust.

    Any thoughts on jetting ice? One would think that i'd be the king of all things frozen (which I am frequently), but would love the insight of any of you.

    If all else fails, i'll call in a steam truck. I don't really want to as the guys that run them are pretty good at damaging stuff at times.

  • #2
    Re: Ice Jetting woes

    the question is that spendy 10,000 psi burst pressure rated for hot water?

    better check your hose before you waste another one.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Ice Jetting woes

      Just use cold water.
      as long as your water is 1 degree above freezing it will thaw ice.
      Hot water is faster but cold works just fine.
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      • #4
        Re: Ice Jetting woes

        It take time to remove ice. Pressure cuts though ice. Cold water is fine. Hot water is faster,but not a must. Make plan to remove all the water untill the line is open. You can spend hours jettting ice. The more jets that shoot forward the better.

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        • #5
          Re: Ice Jetting woes

          Agree with others;

          I jet ice all winter long. Still seeing frozen lines here; did two on Wednesday, have one for Monday that will probably turn out to be frozen.

          Suspect you had a temperature rating problem, not an overpressuring problem. Unloader should pop off long before hose blows unless it's been damaged on a previous job.
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ice Jetting woes

            new hose will take hot water

            Old hose was not rated nearly as high as I had always thought it was

            If I remember right the guy said my "old" hose was burst rated at 1200psi.

            What I don't know is why they've been selling me this stuff for jetter hose in the first place.

            The electric PW I use for small drains is 1800psi max, and i'm usually pulsing it; So I guess that explains why it seemed to work ok before.

            I am not in favor of messing around with high pressure in hose that is not designed for it.

            I am furious with my supplier, I could have been seriously injured... AND I could have gotten a "real" jetter hose from an online supplier for CHEAPER!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ice Jetting woes

              I have never come across a frozen pipe in my life! I would love to have a go at cleaning one out. My choice of nozzle first up would be the Screwdriver Nozzle. Has anyone who owns a Screwdriver Nozzle ever tried it on ice? Maybe we could design a pure 'Ice Nozzle'. I like the sound of it! Or, the 'Ice Pick Nozzle'!?

              Would it have to literally engage with the ice itself or rely on the front jets? Or both? We also made a Beaver Nozzle with 2 front jets at 15deg. I can see a trip to Alaska coming up!
              Regards, Bill

              The definition of Insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result."
              Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ice Jetting woes

                My employee has a small screwdriver and loves it for ice. Won't give it back to me. Funnily enough, he ground the 'screwdriver' feature off of it as it tended to catch at joints and bends.

                For ice I do two passes with different nozzles. The first pass is to pierce the ice to get drainage. This is best done with a small nozzle, with as much forward jet as you can get away with (as that does the cutting) and still have acceptable pull. Rear jets should be angled as close to straight back as possible to offset the large front jet. I like a short, round nose shape for this, though Noah flat loves the screwdriver.

                Second pass is to remove the remaining ice after piercing, usually an upside down horshoe shaped tunnel clinging to the roof and walls. For that I want some cleaning power to the sides, and mostly I want something of a physical size such that if I put it through the line there cannot be much left.

                I like a 3/8" warthog for a seecond pass. I have used some fixed nozzles in the past, and they can work, but the rotating offset front jet of the warthog speeds things up. When you have opened a path, but are trying to get a large nozzle thru, an offset front jet to cut the tunnel wide enough to get the tool into it so the rear angled jets can work helps speed things up.

                My biggest problem with the warthog in this application is that I like to run hot water when I have it available as that does speed things up a little. The hot water heats up the oil in the nozzle, speeds up the rotation, and tends to make the oil go away sooner. I often have to shut down to oil the tool.
                This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ice Jetting woes

                  I'd buy a 'piercer special' if you want tp put the time into making one. I envision a cylinder with a spherical nose, largeish front jet, diameter just large enough to provide a flat surface at the rear to drill rear jets at 0 degrees.

                  What I use now is a button tip, one front and six back at about 15 degrees. This works well. Don't know if the larger front jet you could use and still get pull would be worth the added diameter required to put the rears straight back to offset it.
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ice Jetting woes

                    Years ago I made a single 0 degree rear jet prototype and the thing absolutely screamed down the drain!! It was unstoppable and uneffective to a large extent because all it did was tore down the drain and took every branch line it could!

                    I did draw up a twin rear jet 0 degree rear with one large offset front jet. This may be good as a 'Piercer Special'? I will find the drawings and post them up to see what you guys think. Saves me a trip to Alaska!
                    Regards, Bill

                    The definition of Insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result."
                    Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ice Jetting woes

                      I think it'd be better with three or more back; 3 would balance it and make it want to go straight better.

                      Are you planning the offset on the front to be an off-angle? or a straight forward, 0 degree jet drilled off center? I'm not sure whether or even if one would be better than the other.

                      I think either might tend to make it want to turn a corner in a fixed nozzle... Is it possible to calculate the thrust from the offset and balance it by drilling the rears spaced not quite equally?

                      For piercing ice, my goal is to pop a hole in it using as little water as possible. Sometimes I must jet from the building out, and until I pop a hole my water will flood the building, so I have to set up a pump and blow it outside, or haul wetvac-fulls out, or manage it in some way so as to not cause damage.

                      Because of that, the piercer needs to bore through asap. So it is a balancing act of putting enough jet forward to cut, but still getting enough pull to get where you are going. A small diameter nozzle is key because it needs to bore a smaller hole through the ice (ice clogs are not typically point clogs; they will begin to freeze at one point, but will then freeze the entire line back upstream from that point. Not unusual for there to be 50'-100' of ice to cut before I get drainage). So if the diameter of the nozzle has to get bigger, as I think it does, to point the rears straight back, I'm not sure that doesn't offset any gains from being able to put more flow up front.

                      I've probably seen my last frozens for this season (except maybe for a few houses that are froze up now but unoccupied, and don't thaw on their own before someone comes to stay in them), so I doubt I'd be able to give you much feedback on a nozzle's performance in ice until probably mid-November.
                      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ice Jetting woes

                        was there for about 7 hours today

                        started back at the closest CO to the tank.... the new hose is pretty nice.

                        got to use hot water on the first 2, 3rd and 4th were too far away.

                        3 holes clear with about 600 gallons of water

                        about 40 feet into the first outside cleanout from the building, I ran into something that I could not clear... or even poke a hole in. I tried to jet it from the other side, but couldn't get the hose to start backwards in the SanT.

                        with a shop vac in the floor drain inside, I was able to keep the mess contained

                        carried somewhere over 350 gallons (lost count) down to the next cleanout

                        i'm dirty and tired from this one

                        Monday i'm gonna make another attempt to get it open, and see if I can get a camera in there and see what the problem is

                        i'm sure glad this guy's not on city water...... that'd be a heck of a bill
                        Last edited by radar_40; 04-18-2010, 06:35 AM. Reason: added a little more whining

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ice Jetting woes

                          Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                          Agree with others;

                          I jet ice all winter long. Still seeing frozen lines here; did two on Wednesday, have one for Monday that will probably turn out to be frozen.

                          Suspect you had a temperature rating problem, not an overpressuring problem. Unloader should pop off long before hose blows unless it's been damaged on a previous job.
                          That hose was just altogether under rated. I'm lucky I didn't get hurt using it.

                          The hose burst while using cold water on it's second use.

                          In hindsight, I should have known better.... but listened to what the "expert" said I needed.

                          The guy I showed the sample to told me that it was rated at 350psi working, with a burst of about 1200psi.

                          unfortunately, all I can get here is a button head.... I does bore in ice pretty well though.

                          For some silly reason, I didn't build up much of my own jetter stuff when I left the company that I used to do it alot at.

                          I need to get a few more nozzles sometime soon.... And maybe a bigger steamer... might have to just suck it up and let the steam trucks do it
                          Last edited by radar_40; 04-18-2010, 06:45 AM. Reason: spelling

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ice Jetting woes

                            I sympathize with you on 'trusting the experts.' I've learned that there are real experts out there, but there are a lot of guys who are just salesmen too. I let them show me what they like, then drive them crazy asking questions about it and what alternatives there might be. If I get knowledgeable, reasonable answers I tend to give them a chance. If what they are saying doesn't make much sense, or if I get an attitude, I tend to decide that I need to dig enough information out of them to decide for myself before I buy.

                            For nozzles, certainly Bill knows what he's doing. You might also want to talk with aquamole, or arthur products. Stone Age makes the warthog, expensive but worth it. I use the 3/8" size.

                            As to your blockage; I've never had trouble going backwards up a san-t. It's a little hard on the hose, but no big deal. You may be using larger hose than me. I use 1/4", which most peope would say is too small, but it does what I need it to, often where 3/8" or 1/2" wouldn't get to. Any chance of running all the way up to it from the tank?

                            It may be a multiple issue deal; an object or a broken line at the blockage that then held water so it froze. If it is broken, I find I can usually tell because of the tell-tale polishing that happens from the nozzle or cable working in dirt/gravel. You might want to try a cable after jetting the ice out to your problem area.

                            Camera will of course tell you what you are fighting if you can get a look at it. Don't know what equipment you have, but a SeeSnake mini will do a 4" san-t backwards, so you could see it from below. As much as you've jetted, you might have cleaned the water up enough to get a look at it from above, or might have got slow drainage enough that it will drain down by the time you get back.

                            I find that frozen pipe is one thing, but a frozen bend will hang me up for a while, and frozen turds/paper/tampon wads take a long while to cut through. Consider if you might have been at a bend and how long you worked on the spot.

                            Some tips for water management; I've more than once cut a cleanout down. Sometimes it's top is just a little higher than where I'm flooding, and if grade allows I can cut it down and spill at the cleanout instead of pumping or hauling wet-vacs. When working from a toilet flange, I will sometimes stopper the tub and dump my vac in there to store it until I pop it to save hauling it; sometimes you have enough room before you get through it, sometimes not. The cheezy homeowner pump-vacs work pretty well as long as it's clear water, and are way better than hauling the thing out every few minutes, but plug up quick with any paper. Also, the vac willl outpace the pump so you've got to pay attn.
                            Last edited by Ace Sewer; 04-18-2010, 01:34 PM.
                            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ice Jetting woes

                              More often than not, I can't get backwards in a san-t. With a cable or hose.

                              I don't know if it's the depth we typically bury pipes here, or a lack of skill on my part.

                              The new hose is about 7/16"OD (3/16"ID).... Not as flexible as the old one, but alot safer.

                              Tank is 350ft or more away from where the blockage is.... I can't afford THAT much of the hose I just switch to. I dunno if I could push all that hose uphill either

                              I'm gonna take the drum machine out there when I go again so it's an option if I decide to try it.

                              I don't own a camera... Yet

                              in fact there's only a few in town that I know of, and none of them are new.

                              I'm gonna have one come out if I can't clear it on monday.

                              Flood level of the CO a few feet below grade, so cutting it down is not an option. I try to avoid spilling sewage on the ground if I can avoid it anyway (I'm a little less picky if it's coming back "clean").

                              I've done the tub trick at a problem place I used to have to cleanout once a month until we could dig/replace the main. I try to avoid it myself, I didn't enjoy scrubbing out the tub when I was done... and there isn't a tub in this place (it's a shop).

                              I tried a pump vac, it was ok until I killed it.... I didn't like it enough to get another one.

                              My new found favorite vac is the "bucket head" from HD. It was $25, and i've always got a few spare "tanks" if i need them. It's easier to swap the head than be dumping all the time.

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