Hot-water jetter allows pumpers to take on work they used to turn down.
When Fiedler’s Your Pumping Specialists purchased a Landa hot-water jetter, the timing couldn’t have been better. Owners Ted Popp and Jeff and Cindy Tiemann decided to make the investment after turning away numerous requests from commercial food customers for regular maintenance to prevent grease buildup.
The Royalton, Minnesota, business owners never anticipated how much they would need the jetter right after purchasing it in early 2014.
Lack of snow cover combined with cold temperatures set up a season of frozen septic lines, Jeff Tiemann says, and with the help of employee Art Betker, he and his son, Kenton, quickly learned how to use the jetter.
“We’d leave at 6 a.m. and get done about 9 p.m. to do seven or eight (thawing) jobs, seven days a week for six weeks straight. The other guys were pumping the tanks due to frozen drainfields,” Tiemann explains.
Working with a dealer who knew their needs, Fiedler’s purchased a jetter that could be easily wheeled on a ramp in and out of a service van. “The biggest thing in winter is to keep it from freezing,” Tiemann says. Overnight the jetter was in the van inside a heated shop.
The jetter heats the water with diesel fuel, and Tiemann and his son kept 70 gallons of water in the van. With 3,500 psi at 5 gpm and 150 feet of hose, the jetter is able to thaw frozen pipes with ease. They experimented with nozzles and prefer Landa’s CHN45 on 1/4-inch line. After clearing frozen pipes, Tiemann notes it is important to educate customers to run warm water for a while after jetting to completely thaw the pipe.
Though they haven’t had severe freezing problems since, the jetter has been a good investment, Tiemann says. Demand for maintaining lines, especially on the commercial side of Fiedler’s pumping business, has continued to grow, and Fiedler’s no longer has to pass the work on to other contractors.
“We are talking about maybe going to something bigger for more gallons per minute to speed up the job, and for trying to help mound systems not working correctly because they have zones that are plugged,” he says. “We have heard of others having success with this practice and look forward to implementing it in the future.”
Read more about Fiedler's Your Pumping Specialists in the December issue of Pumper magazine.