Prediction: Drain cleaning equipment is trending toward lightweight and portable.
Since the debut of high-pressure water jetters over 30 years ago, it's fair to say that they've revolutionized the drain cleaning industry. First, they've put another arrow in the contractor's quiver when struggling to open a sewer line clogged with grease, sludge or sand. Second, working in tandem with pipe inspection camera systems, they've dragged the drain cleaning industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
Lately, it seems every drain cleaning truck I see has both a jetter and a camera system on board. When the contractor cleans a drain, they begin with the usual snakes and cables, but then clean up with a jetter. Afterward, when they camera the line, they can actually see the cracks, leaky fittings, illegal tie-ins and dips that professionals look for in order to provide long-term solutions to chronically clogged drains. Without the jetter, it's almost impossible to get the drain clean enough to “read” the pipe. Plus, if you're supplying the customer with before and after photos of the job, the jetter is indispensible. After snaking a line, the pipe looks open but still dirty. After a jetter, the pipe has been scoured so clean that it looks brand-new. Usually, it only takes one such before and after photo to cement your reputation with the customer.
From the beginning, jetters have come in all sizes and capabilities, from small electric units to trailer-mounted behemoths. For the last decade or so, the emphasis has been on supplying contractors with larger and more powerful units, specifically designed to clear more than just the soft grease, sludge, sand and ice that jetters were known for. When used with high-speed chain saw nozzles, bigger jetters are capable of clearing everything that a cable style machine can do.
However, with all that said, I think I see a trend emerging toward the other end of the scale. Unless I miss my guess, small will be the next big thing. When I say small, I mean ultra portable electric units that come in a carton smaller than the proverbial breadbox. Who would purchase these units you ask? Almost anybody; and that's the beauty of small.
Picture a jetter capable of cleaning the majority of the drain pipes inside a private home, restaurant, small business, apartment building, hospital, office building or institution. Then, ask yourself, who couldn't use a high-pressure water jetter like that? Whoever it is, they're on a pretty short list.
For more information, call the Drain Brains at General Pipe Cleaners at 800/245-6200 or visit www.drainbrain.com.