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Removing fine roots in storm drain

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  • Removing fine roots in storm drain

    Hello everyone.

    I wanted to ask what would be a good way of removing fine roots out of a storm drain made up of 24 inch clay tiles. I have the k7500 with 5/8 cable and a 13HP/4gpm/3500psi 3/16" hose jetter (1/4"npt hose fitting) to use but not sure what attachment would be best to tackle fine roots. I have been told that i will be scheduled to perform this service once a year until the house is sold or i retire.

    I wanted to order a root ranger as it is talked about so much here but was afraid my cart jetter might not be able to drive it. I dont know where would be the best place to order a root ranger here in vancouver bc.

    I wasnt sure if tightly fitted c cutter would do it as the beginning sump tie in seems to be done a little goofy. I would suspect a big c cutter would have a hard time entering the beginning.

    I have my video uploaded to Dropbox. I kinda gave up with ridgid hq as it was giving me problems.


  • #2
    video doesn't work. Can you post it to youtube?

    root ranger will work great for you. I recommend you also get a 150' of 1/4 hose as the 3/16 is more suited for kitchen lines.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.


    • robertochekwong
      robertochekwong commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks so much Gear. i am now in the process of looking for 150' of 1/4". i just regret not getting the 1/4" in the first place.
      do you think going from 100 to 150 on 1/4 is much pressure loss or is it negligible?

  • #3
    by 24", you mean 24" long sections of 4" pipe, right? Because if it is 24" diameter your equipment is too small. 4/3500 will run a root ranger. it's right at the small end of what will work, but it'll work. I'd want a camera to check my work and make sure the roots are gone. I run 6/4000 and usually push it to 4200 or so on roots. I agree you need bigger hose; 3/16 will rob all the pressure before it gets to the nozzle.
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.


    • #4
      actually the video works fine, but it's 15 minutes long.

      Roberto, nice job on documenting the line. are you using any centering guides on your camera?

      Also it's been a long time since i used a non self leveling camera so i'm spoiled when watching others.

      a root ranger will destroy those roots in no time flat. your specs are perfect for a ridgid root ranger. yes, jump up to 1/4'' id hose and you'll have great results on the 60' of clay pipe. thise are all very minor roots compared to what i run across. make sure to either keep your camera several feet back from the nozzle or a couple feet ahead of the camera. never let the camera contact the blast of the root ranger. it will ruin your camera as the water will get past the lens seal.

      you will have to rotate the hose gently to allow the root ranger to scour the entire 360 degrees of the pipe. but it will easily clean those roots in the already pretty clean clay pipe.

      make sure to mark your hose every 5-10' to help assist you with footage. i use colored electrical tape and it holds up pretty well. also for safety use a foot valve to control flow and free up your hands. also mark the first 5' of hose with a warning safety color to warn you the nozzle is near. a root ranger will remove flesh as easy as it removes roots. trust me on that.

      in the future post your videos on you tube so we don't have to download the files. much faster and easier on the rest of the forum members.

      good job and post the video when you're finished. you'll be amazed at what your jetter can do with the proper nozzle.

      phoebe it is


      • robertochekwong
        robertochekwong commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks so much for your help. The funny happening here is that my wife said ever since I met Rick we are down almost 20K for tools in the last 12 months! I told the toys are what makes me happy though.
        Yesterday evening ive been scouring the internet for local suppliers for 1/4" x 150'. At first i was thinking 100' but 150' is the way i may want to go. I seem to run into 2 brands in vancouver, the black polyflow and the green piranha. I would like to get a hose that would go good for distance and have been reading hear some hose is just better than others?

        I felt a little regret not having self leveling especially after i read your response but i going to try to not beat myself to much over it and just make it back first on my mini and perhaps in 3 or 4 years go with the full size self leveling. My little kids and i are having fun playing with the color mini in the garage though. When it was brand new just one month ago, my 11 year jake used it to inspect my fillings and recorded them. I used the ball guides that came with the mini but felt it could use a better lift. Do you construct something on your own Rick to lift it a little higher? The last video i used one ball guide right at the front. Did i set that up wrong?

        sorry about the Dropbox video. my oldest son mitchell showed me how to use dropbox last week to send my video to client rather than me drop off a DVD. I will try youtube and compare the upload.

        Thanks for the tips about the camera to jetter distance. months back i read about one of your experience with a loss of a camera from jetting. i had that in mind but was going to ask you about the distance to keep apart and you read my mind. i actually did tape my 3/16 with yellow electrical which i learned here. after about 4 jobs i take my sharpie and rewrite my numbers back on the yellow tape. I marked every 5 feet up to 30 and every 10 feet after that.

        its the foot valve i havnt bought yet. I am embarrassed to say im using a high pressure ball valve but finding it not the easiest to use. i am going to switch over after making a bit back after the new hose and nozzle

        Just a question about the root ranger. for my set up would you get the ridgid root ranger or buy one made by another company that i read on a site. i believe it said its made in Australia? Its just a matter of getting it over the border from the states into canada. I just frown at the taxes and duty that is slapped on.

    • #5
      I'd go with the 150' of 1/4. I really like piranha slither if you can get it. Get the root ranger from AJ coleman and buy a new turbo nozzle sized at 4.5. The factory nozzle is sized at 5.5 and you won't reach full pressure with the factory nozzle.

      Don't worry about the non leveling. I don't have one on any of my camera and find the "flip screen" feature on my cs6 is enough. Plus the self leveling isn't as durable which was my entire reason why I didn't go that route.

      I used to like the ball guides but they suck when using on a wye on it's back. My favorite skid for looking at the top and bottom of the pipe is the star guides. I also have a delrin ball guide from python machinery(on ebay) that I really like because it keeps the camera out the water and doesn't get hung up in the wyes. The screws needed to be changed out however because the allen screws suck at getting out
      Buy cheap, buy twice.


      • #6
        roberto, i find that colored electrical tape works great. red is 10' , white is 20', blue is 30', yellow is 40' and green is 50'. then i repeat. those colors are sold in a 6 pack including black at most home centers in either 1/2'' or 3/4'' width. On a jetter hose they will eventually scrape away, but easy enough to re-tape before you have to break out a tape measure or 10' stick of pvc pipe. 1'' pvc will easily allow the hose to pass through and makes for a simple way to mark hose quick and easy. just make sure to ream the pvc ends so it doesn't nick the hose. write the numbers on the hose and then tape over them after you remove the pipe. this way the permanent numbers are protected by the tape and easily replaced as needed. also safety tape the first few feet of hose to prevent a pull out. even with a foot valve, that hose and nozzle can kill you in a split second. especially with larger volume machines. ball valves are ok to allow you to swap hoses on the fly, but in a true emergency, a foot valve is just as safe as a spray gun. and it frees up your working hands. plus a foot valve is great for getting the hose to jump a fitting. easier than pulsation and it can be done as needed without going back to your machine.

        do you not have a monitor that displays on screen footage? on screen footage makes it simple to go back in with a cable or jetter.

        i might have cost you 20k now, but give it some time and you can thank me for making 200k with those toys.

        my supply houses always ask why i don't buy much anymore from them. my answer is because you don't sell diesel for my jetter, or thumb drives for my camera. yes it takes big money to go big, ask cuda/ bryce, but just like monopoly, you start off in the baltics and work your way up to park place and boardwalk.

        wish me luck tomorrow as i have a 400' storm drain at a school / playgorund that is all mud. cut in a cleanout at 115' from a drain and it was 90% packed with mud and sand over years of non maintenance.

        phoebe it is


        • robertochekwong
          robertochekwong commented
          Editing a comment
          Good luck Rick on the 400 footer. I suspect it will be smooth for you to handle that situation!

          Im convinced a foot valve is the way to go. Im going to get a foot valve for my 150 x 1/4 set up. Using it to jump the bumps have me convinced.

          I actually forgot to toggle the screen footage. I reminded myself today to make sure i toggle it on for todays video.

          I m going to do the color tape on my 150 footer when i pick that up.

          Could i ask you for your opinion on this hose i am thinking about?

          Gear was mentioning Piranha Slither. Is this close to that stuff?


      • #7
        So rick you are not allowing the water to run down the street are you. My opinion of those roots, would be that you have multiple choices for spinning nozzles to remove those roots. Even a lesser quality dry spinner will work. A cable IMHO just takes to long to make a difference on roots.


        • #8
          Finally saw the video....the root ranger would be too easy on this job. I use the root ranger to clean 6" clay pipe of big massive roots.....I could clean this entire pipe in about 15 min of jetter run time easy.

          Also the flip feature would've worked perfect on this job. I also suggest to push out to the city connection and then pull back with very little water running . This will highlight the sags while allowing you to see the entire pipe. This also makes for a shorter and smoother video.
          Buy cheap, buy twice.