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  • when to jet and when to use a cable

    I have never used a jetter machine. I have been told I should invest in one for cleaning septic lines. I was hoping that someone would educate me on jetters and let me know pros and cons of jetters, when to jet vs. using my drum machine, and which jetters and accessories are important.

    I can google it but would like to know some real world info.

    Mainly, I work in 4 inch septic laterals with my 3/4 inner core and smaller leading from and in the house I use the little rigid 400.

    Thanks,

    Karl

  • #2
    Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

    karl, welcome to the forum.

    the advantage the jetter has over a cable machine is the ability to throughly clean out a pipe from different size openings into larger size lines. also the ability to clean and wash out sludge.

    even roots can be throughly cut out with the right nozzle and jetting machine.

    remember that for blades to throughly cut and clean a line, they need to be scraping the pipe walls and shearing off the debris/ roots the entire distance. with a jetting nozzle, there is typically no blades involved and water pressure will cover the pipe walls 100%. 3000-4000psi will do a lot of cutting and cleaning of the pipe and debris. but like anything else, a little jetting machine is like using a garden hose on a house fire. for that you need the fire truck. just like snakes and machines are sized for the pipe and type of stoppage, so is a jetter. a big machine/ trailer can be throttle down for small pipe and revved up for large pipe. but a small machine should only be used for small stuff.

    based on your 4'' lines, i would think a 3000 psi at 4 gpm would be fine. typically 13 hp cart will do that. much smaller and you might as well pee into the line.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

      I think you should go with about a 5.5 GPM machine if you don't want a big trailer. The higher the pressure the better. At 5.5 GPM you could run both a 3/8" Warthog nozzle for heavy grease or moderate roots, or you could run a Root Ranger (Rick's favorite root nozzle). You would almost always be able to run the jet off of the customer's garden hose supply, and the extra flow would help you flush heavier sludge out of the septic lines.

      We have a couple 4 gpm at 4000 psi machines that we use for clearing stoppages and grease out of 4" lines, but it can take quite a while to jet an entire drainfield that is heavily sludged with only 4 gallons of flow. That's where we use a trailer at 18 gpm. Also, you can get a 1/4" Root Ranger I think, Rick can help you out there for sure, but the 1/4" Warthogs are not as effective as the 3/8" ones are because the 3/8" Warthogs are a slow rotation nozzle which allows the jetter streams to dwell longer on an obstruction for better cutting action. The 1/4" Warthog works good for grease, but not too great on roots.

      Remember, it's this simple. Pressure (PSI) cuts, flow (GPM) flushes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

        My jetter is a an old pressure washer with 3,500 psi and 4 gpm. I use 1/4" x 150' of hose. I jet drainfield lines fairly regularly. My machine works well for me. I recently got the Root Ranger and can't say enough good things about it. You wan't to get a good reel (mine is a POS and I hate it). A foot pedal to control on off is a great tool as well. Some people use a valve on the reel and that works for them but I'd rather use the pedal. The pedal can help you negotiate a corner as well.
        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

          I recently purchased a 5000 PSI, 21litre a minute jetter from Bill and can't speak highly enough about it. It is great for blockages and also fantastic if there is silt/mud/grease in the line. Once you get the Root Ranger in it does a great job. I recently purchased a Root Ranger to go onto my hand lance for those jobs were you may have roots at a broken pipe or where the inspection opening is and you can see the roots, you can blast them with the hand lance. It does just a fantastic job.

          I had been sitting on the fence for two years about using a jetter and then contacted Bill for some advice and ordered it through him. Now that I have been using it for six months I would be hard pressed to get the Ridgid 1500 out, it is heavy to move and use. My latest purchase from Bill has been a remote control that is great, just to be able to turn it on and off from a difficult location was well worth the money. I also tend to use the mini reel less and just take the main hose to the pipe that needs jetting.

          Simon

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

            As far as the part of your question about when to jet and when to cable, my answer is get a jetter/nozzle combo that will handle roots, set your rate, then always explain the advantages of jetting vs. cabling to the homeowner and try to upsell them on jetting every time. If they don't want to pay the extra for jetting then cable. The only time I would say cable before jetting would be in Orangeburg, but even then I know some guys are saying they will still jet in OB ahead of running a cable.

            Simply put, you can charge more for jetting. If you have a jetting setup that does the job use it as often as possible as long as the HO is willing to pay for it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

              am I the only only one who does not charge more for jetting?

              jetting is typically faster, easier, and does a better job... why charge more for something fater and easier for me that just seals my rep when it stays fixed?

              I would charge extra for the extra time if I had to open it with a cable first, then set up and jet, but that is rare for me. I sometimes do vanities both ways, but typically jet first, then cable after to get the hair. I do it that way because it is cleaner; wad o nice clean damp hair, not puking black everywhere. Still usually out in under an hour.
              Last edited by Ace Sewer; 08-04-2011, 01:24 AM.
              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                The only times i prefer to cable is if jetting will cause a flood or for getting tampons out of the drain as I feel the cable is better for retrieving them and sometimes the jet just shoots under them and the blockage is still there.

                Id be interested if anyone else has had trouble jetting tampons out of a drain as I have had that problem a few times and would love to know what i am doing wrong?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                  Originally posted by epc View Post
                  The only times i prefer to cable is if jetting will cause a flood or for getting tampons out of the drain as I feel the cable is better for retrieving them and sometimes the jet just shoots under them and the blockage is still there.

                  Id be interested if anyone else has had trouble jetting tampons out of a drain as I have had that problem a few times and would love to know what i am doing wrong?

                  do baby wipes count?

                  basically you need to push them forward and out. trying to jet downstream would mean you need to have 1 0r more forward nozzles to attempt to push them forward.

                  if you can jet reverse/ upstream, then it's much simpler to suck them out. a rotary nozzle or root ranger will blast them out towards you.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    do baby wipes count?

                    basically you need to push them forward and out. trying to jet downstream would mean you need to have 1 0r more forward nozzles to attempt to push them forward.

                    if you can jet reverse/ upstream, then it's much simpler to suck them out. a rotary nozzle or root ranger will blast them out towards you.

                    rick.
                    Thanks rick i spose I was thinking the jet should break them up and then the pressure of the water in the drain should help push the baby whipes or tampons out but if there is enough of them or they are just too jammed in there then I feel the jet pokes through and the tampons close the hole and stay stuck. Thats why I rather use a cable if i know its tampons as they will wrap arround the cable and be pulled out of the drain.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                      Hello Guys,
                      Purhapse I am not the best profesional, because we are diong drain cleaning since 2 years now.

                      But we have bought this year a jetter unit, before we just use the springs.

                      In spain the problem is the the drain lines have a lot of 90ยบ angles so 2 times we have had a spring that do not came out, so we have to dick, this was perhapse beacause we used the strong spring and not the standard one.

                      Now we are still using the springs inside the house and also because in spain we have a lot of roots.

                      We have jet sometime in drains with roots ( we jjust have standard nozzles) and after 1-2 days we have to come back to put the cable with the rootcutter.

                      I really would like if it is posible for all works to use a jetter, much cleaner and quicker.

                      Sorry for my bad english.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                        I personally think jetters are more for grease buildups. But I think if you have a big enough powerful enough jetter it will get through roots. But it's not worth the time and hassle when running a cable is so much faster. If you are worried about being clean, use a drum machine, or lay out tarps.

                        As for dealing with the 90s, make sure you are using the proper size cable for the line, as too big a cable will not make the turns.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                          a great root cutting nozzle is the ridgid root ranger. it's set up for 3000# and 4 gpm. anything larger and you'll have to get them from bill. he's out of australia and can supply a root ranger to your jetters specs.

                          the problem with tampons and wipes are they don't dissolve in water. so when a jetter hits them, they don't dissolve, they tend to collect they either need to e pushed out or pulled out with the water. reverse jetting is always easier if the line has proper access for reverse jetting. sometimes a jet hose can e run from a rear cleanout and then hooked from a front cleanout. swap the nozzle from the front to rear and then you can pull out the hose with the nozzle at the rear, which is a simple way to reverse jet without having the nozzle come up a toilet.

                          knowing your jetter specs and pipe sizes your running is important. also knowing your cable sizes, pipe sizes and machine should also help in preventing the cable issues you're having in the 90's.

                          any photos?

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                            a great root cutting nozzle is the ridgid root ranger. it's set up for 3000# and 4 gpm. anything larger and you'll have to get them from bill. he's out of australia and can supply a root ranger to your jetters specs.

                            the problem with tampons and wipes are they don't dissolve in water. so when a jetter hits them, they don't dissolve, they tend to collect they either need to e pushed out or pulled out with the water. reverse jetting is always easier if the line has proper access for reverse jetting. sometimes a jet hose can e run from a rear cleanout and then hooked from a front cleanout. swap the nozzle from the front to rear and then you can pull out the hose with the nozzle at the rear, which is a simple way to reverse jet without having the nozzle come up a toilet.

                            knowing your jetter specs and pipe sizes your running is important. also knowing your cable sizes, pipe sizes and machine should also help in preventing the cable issues you're having in the 90's.

                            any photos?

                            rick.
                            Jeez Rick, you're not going to offer to pack your bags and fly out for a demo? You must be getting used to this being a daddy stuff!
                            www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: when to jet and when to use a cable

                              Originally posted by Trent2 View Post
                              Jeez Rick, you're not going to offer to pack your bags and fly out for a demo? You must be getting used to this being a daddy stuff!
                              ah, how fast you forget. he's got 16 post and if you review them, i'm sure i've offered on more than 1 occasion

                              last time i was in barcelona was 7 years ago

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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