Drain cleaning is a tough job, so you need equipment that works. Regular cleaning and maintenance is the key to ensuring your equipment is ready to go when you need it. But too often, drain cleaners and plumbers let busy schedules get the best of them, and before they know it, they have rusting, worn-out equipment that needs replacing or an expensive repair. Understanding common problems and learning how to prevent and address them can save you both time and money in the long run.
Keep it clean
Replacing worn or damaged parts is straightforward—the daily grind of cleaning and logging damage is where many drain cleaners fall short. When you don’t clean your equipment regularly, you set yourself up for some major problems. First, sewage corrodes metal, weakening your cable, drum and frame and making your entire machine more prone to breakage and failure. Not cleaning your camera head is also risky. Sewage can corrode the spring or camera body, making it thin or brittle, while pockmarks allow water to enter the camera head causing a short. In addition, water, whether clean or dirty, can rust your equipment and weaken springs and cables.
Unkink your cable
One of the most common equipment problems drain cleaners face is a kinked cable. A kinked cable is difficult to control and unpredictable. It is more likely to flail around and injure an operator or damage surroundings. When being wound back into the drum, a kinked cable will not stack correctly (if at all), which can then cause unpredictable behavior when spooling out of the drum. The best thing to do with a worn or damaged cable is repair it or replace it. A kink-free cable is safer for you, easier on your machinery and more reliable.
Protect your power source
Another major issue for drain cleaners and plumbers is damaged wiring or broken or missing ground prongs or GFCI connections. Aside from the personal risk of electrocution, frayed wiring can also damage your equipment. It can lead to spikes in current, which in turn can cause heat damage to internal components, like chips and drives. A small nick in a power cord can cook all of the internal components of your camera system, turning a small problem into a very expensive repair. In addition, insufficient power can cause your system to run sluggishly, and sluggish equipment is the last thing you need when trying to clear stubborn blockages.
Regular cleaning is step one for ensuring your equipment stays as hard-working and reliable as the day you bought it. Just 10 minutes of care at the end of every day will keep your cable machine, jetter and camera system running strong. Replacing damaged parts quickly is step two. With both of these methods working in tandem, you can feel confident going to work each day knowing your equipment will be ready to go.
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