Investing in a quality jetter: a brief guide
Many dream of owning a business. Being your own boss and in control of your time means you are in charge of your work/life balance. Though it does also mean you’ll need to oversee additional business aspects like marketing and accounting, the tradeoff can be significant. You’ll get to keep working directly with clients, and you’ll be able to invest in the tools you want.
If you’re already the owner of a drain cleaning business, 2022 is a prime opportunity to grow your operation and expand your work.
In the drain cleaning space, starting your own operation or growing your business requires a relatively small initial investment. One tool that can completely change the game for a new or even a seasoned business owner is a quality jetter. Less than $10,000 invested upfront can purchase a good portable jetter, accompanying nozzles and a camera, meeting your initial needs. Beyond that, consider a cable machine or flexible shaft machine for jobs where additional flexibility and versatility is needed.
In this blog, we’ll explore jetters and what to know about making an investment in one.
A brief guide to jetters
Having a thorough understanding of the different components of a jetter will help you decide what machine is best for you:
- Motors: Consider what types of projects you’ll be working on most. What size of pipes will you be tackling, and how much power will you need? For residential jobs, look for a motor that has enough oomph to push the nozzle a long distance through small lines. For example, our M20 is a smaller, highly portable unit design for 1.5” to 4” pipes, and is great for softer obstructions you’ll come across in an average residence. It’s also effective on frozen or grease-choked lines. However, bigger jobs call for big power. When choosing a larger jetter, look for a motor that can deliver sufficient water and pressure for sustained periods. Remote control of the motor is helpful as well. On 3” to 10” lines, our new MV84 could be a great fit. Its power rivals that of some trailer jetters, but it’s sold at a much lower price point.
- Pumps: Depending on job difficulty will affect the amount of power you need from your jetter’s pump. What types of jobs will you be working on the most? For instance, our MV84 is capable of delivering 8 gpm at 4,000 psi, great for jobs involving roots. It can also be used for kitchen clogs, though a smaller jetter would be more agile in that setting. Also consider the durability of the pump on your jetter. All of MyTana’s products feature high-quality triplex pumps with temperature protection and pulsation to help in tricky situations.
- Pump housing: Along with thermal protection, it’s important that your jetter’s housing be rugged and sturdy. Brass housing is ideal if you work in colder temperatures. Neither brass nor aluminum housings are frost proof, but brass is more durable. Brass is also better for higher-pressure pumps.
- Nozzles: Jetters and nozzles go hand in hand. Nozzles will most likely be an additional investment to your jetter, and you’ll want to have enough sizes and options to tackle different jobs. Using a nozzle that is sized for your motor and pump is vital to a successful job. A nozzle that is too large diminishes cleaning pressure, while a nozzle that is too small adds wear and tear on both the motor and the pump, shortening their life span.
Though it may be a relatively small cost upfront, you’ll be investing in a jetter for the long haul. When properly cared for and maintained, jetters can last 15+ years. It will be a constant companion in your work, so you’ll want something that meets your needs. We recommend considering four areas:
- Portability: A jetter you have to constantly fight to maneuver will quickly become frustrating. Jetters are powerful machines, and therefore heavy and occasionally cumbersome, but understanding your options will ensure you eliminate as many headaches as possible. When selecting a jetter, consider the overall package. Does it come with a cart for transport, and is the cart easily maneuvered through a residence? If you often do bigger, commercial jobs, a truck-mounted jetter could be a fit. These require a larger investment but offer a level of power certain jobs require.
- Construction: Having a jetter crash and burn just a short while into using it is frustrating and costly; you’ll also potentially not be able to work while fixing it or getting a replacement. As mentioned earlier, pay close attention to motor and pump quality, frame construction material, ease of access to controls and parts during maintenance, ergonomics, and nozzle sizing and design tolerances.
- Maintenance: If you have basic mechanics and repair knowledge, you can likely manage any small issues with your jetter yourself. Pumps usually require a basic rebuild kit, and many mechanical hang ups can be worked through in your own garage. Again, properly caring for your jetter and performing regular maintenance means having a solid tool that can last you well over a decade.
- Support and Service: When you buy a jetter, consider the company you purchase from. For those times that a needed repair is out of your skill set, do they have support available? For MyTana customers, we have a US-based team you can reach out to answer questions and provide guidance on using and repairing your equipment.
There is a world of opportunity available in drain cleaning for those looking to be their own boss. The last few years have seen a boom in multi-family homes in the U.S., and we currently have about one plumber for every 600 people – meaning there is plenty of room for your skills to solve challenges for your community every day. Now could be the time to grow your business, add to your team and increase your capabilities. With a reasonable upfront investment in a jetter, nozzles and camera, as well as proper maintenance, you can see success for years to come.