Septic System Inspection And Jetting

Septic System Inspection And Jetting
The Viztrac II AM240-200 pipe inspection camera from Amazing Machinery

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While pumping continues to be the bread-and-butter for most septic contractors, many have expanded their service offerings in recent years to provide drainline inspection and jetting service. Here are jetters, cameras, location tools, samplers and excavation equipment designed to help pumpers build their businesses.

Toolbox/Trailer Jetters

Compact trailer jetter

The compact 55 Series trailer jetter from American Jetter has a 150-gallon tank, large wheels and a removable trailer tongue for easy storage. User-friendly controls allow for easy operator learning curves. The unit is powered by gas or propane Kohler engines with up to 40 hp, flow ranges from 4 to 11 gpm and pressure to 4,000 psi. The powered reel holds up to 500 feet of 3/8- or 1/2-inch jetting hose with forward and reverse reel function and manual pullout. Options include an antifreeze system for cold climates and wireless remote for one-man operation. Low oil and water shut-off prevent engine and pump damage. 866/944-3569;

Truck-mounted jetter

The Model TM2712H truck-mounted jetter from Cam Spray can be fixed to a flatbed truck, in an enclosed or on an open trailer or in a truck box, and removed with a forklift. They are available in 11.5 gpm at 2,700 psi, 8 gpm at 3,800 psi or 7 gpm at 4,000 psi. Driven by a 690 cc Honda engine, it can jet up to 8-inch lines, or clean with the accessory pressure wash gun, hose and wand. It has 400 feet of jet hose and a DC-powered reel with 2:1 drive system and foot control switch, 300-gallon water tank with low-water shutdown, powder-coated frame, washdown gun and hose, and a four-nozzle set. 800/648-5011;

Truck-mounted hydrojetter

The O’Brien 7000-T hydrojetter from Hi-Vac Corporation includes all of the features of the O’Brien 7000 series trailer jetter but is designed for true truck-mounted applications. It has flow ranges of 18 to 65 gpm and pressure capabilities of 2,000 to 4,000 psi. 800/638-1901;

Convertible water jet unit

The 125 Series convertible water jet unit from NLB Corp. converts in about 20 minutes to any of eight operating pressures, from 6,000 to 40,000 psi. A wide range of flows (4.4 to 32.5 gpm) provides additional operating flexibility. It features a continuous-duty six-cylinder diesel engine (electric models are also available), and is trailer-mounted for transport to job sites, with four-wheel electric brakes, heavy-duty axles and full DOT lighting package. All operating controls, including pressure gauge, rupture disc and bypass valve, are mounted on a separate accessory manifold. 248/624-5555;

Truck-mounted jetter

The Camel Jet 1600 truck-mounted, high-pressure waterjetting system from Super Products utilizes three modular polyethylene tanks to carry up to 1,600 gallons of water. Its Lexan Containment System gives users additional safety protection from hose rupture or high-pressure water. It has a heavy-duty, triplex continuous-flow water pump to provide up to 80 gpm and pressure up to 2,000 psi. In addition to its single-engine design, the unit offers water pump and drive system options, as a well front- or rear-mounted 180-degree rotating hose reel with a 1,000-foot capacity. 800/837-9711;

Hot-water trailer jetter

Available with flow rates of up to 8 gpm and psi up to 7,000, trailer-style hot-water systems from Water Cannon function as industrial-grade jetters and high-power pressure washers. They have 200-gallon onboard water tanks and require no external power. They come with optional Honda or Kohler engines, and have two 250-foot hose reels, a trigger gun, wand and nozzles. Use the included pressure washing accessories for surface-cleaning jobs, and add extreme-duty jetter hoses for jetting jobs. 800/333-9274;

Push Cameras

Heavy-duty inspection camera

The Viztrac II AM240-200 pipe inspection camera from Amazing Machinery features 200 feet of durable 1/2-inch push cable with fiberglass rod inner core, a 20-inch cage reel and attached water-sealed case containing the controls, a high-resolution 7-inch LCD monitor and wheels to increase mobility. It also has a 1-inch powder-coated lay-flat frame with upright rolling stand; a 1 3/8-inch O.D. metal camera housing; nine dimmable high-output 5 mm LED lights; high-resolution color camera; scratch-resistant sapphire glass lens; high-grade 512 Hz sonde locator with an average range of 12 to 15 feet; and an integrated digital video recorder with remote control, compatible with most standard SD cards. 800/504-7435;

Rotation-head push camera system

The Valu-Pac IV push camera system from Cyclops Electronics Inc. has a rotation-head color camera that can inspect 6- to 24-inch lines with its built-in lights. It can be mounted on a heavy-duty transporter with forward/neutral/reverse capability, powered rewind, and auto-level wind to the reel, plus keyboard data and on-screen footage to the controller. An auxiliary light controller increases its capabilities to 48-inch lines. The package includes 500 feet of TV cable, camera controller with sound recording and light control, 15-inch LCD monitor and DVD recorder/player, 5- to 18-inch adjustable skid, 500-foot TV tow cable and mechanical footage counter. Options include large line wheel kits, weights and lift kit, increased traction wheels, a 150-foot pushrod and system analyzer. 830/249-9756;

Versatile inspection camera

The PortaVision pipe inspection camera system from HammerHead Trenchless Equipment comes with an iPad 4 to view photos, edit videos, and send files through email or the cloud. It provides freeze-frame snapshots and the ability to narrate an inspection through a built-in microphone. It requires 110 volts or can operate up to six hours on a single charge of the lithium-ion battery. The waterproof color camera is self-leveling, and has a scratch-resistant sapphire glass lens, light intensity control and a 4-inch centering guide, with 2- and 6-inch guides available. It holds 200 feet of pushrod with a ballistic-grade woven fiber jacket. The 34-pound case can be carried, or a built-in transport cart with extendable handle and high-clearance wheels can be used. An optional Trapeze 50-foot black-and-white mini camera is available for small drains, clean-outs, or pipe 1 to 2 inches in diameter. 800/331-6653;

Pan-and-tilt push camera

The Pan n’ Tilt Push Camera from Ratech Electronics rotates horizontally 360 degrees and 210 degrees up and down, allowing technicians to view the pipe condition easily and in more detail. An optional steerable gooseneck assists the camera. Combining this camera with a control unit gives recording capability using SD/USB drives, and allows MPEG video capture and JPEG image capture of pipe inspections. Features include a 512 Hz sonde, an on-screen text display overlay system, electronic distance counter, time, date and eight pages of memory. Standard Gel-Rod cable length supplied is 200 to 400 feet. 800/461-9200;

Digital recording monitor

The hand-held SeeSnake CS6 digital recording monitor from RIDGID captures still images and video clips and allows users to quickly and easily edit, archive and deliver reports directly to customers through USB thumb drives or via print, DVD and online. It has a 5.7-inch daylight-readable LCD screen, a water-resistant keypad for direct control of camera and monitor functions, an on-screen keyboard for basic titling and text entry, and microphone and speakers for adding voiceovers to and playing back over custom reports. It docks onto the SeeSnake Max rM200 camera system for transportation and storage, and is compatible with SeeSnake Reels. 800/769-7743;

Lightweight inspection camera

The Sparvision 200 pipe inspection camera from Spartan Tool is self-contained in a single unit for on-the-job maneuverability. Either an iPad Air or Android-based Nexus 10-inch tablet serves as the viewing screen, or a personal device can be furnished. It has 200 feet of ultra-slick pushrod and a color self-leveling camera head. It provides instant snapshots, an on-screen keyboard and Telestration drawing ability, and a 512 Hz locating beacon and distance counter. 800/435-3866;

Inspection system

The vCam-5 camera system from Vivax-Metrotech Corp. has a multicolor text writer, built-in locatable sonde, distance counter and one-touch image capture to provide accurate before- and after-inspection recording. It offers a choice of two interchangeable camera heads – a 1.8-inch D46-C self-leveling camera for 4- to 8-inch pipe inspection and a smaller 1.3-inch D34-C self-leveling camera for use in 3- to 6-inch pipes. The system includes a viewer with an 8-inch color LCD, digital recording to USB thumb drives, SD cards or the internal hard drive, full-function keyboard, internal microphone, AC/DC power, rechargeable batteries, distance counter and camera LED brightness control. 800/446-3392;

Locators/Inspection Tools

Septic inspection tracing dye

Concentrated septic inspection dye from BRIGHT DYES disintegrates rapidly in water and gives vivid, fluorescent color detectable in murky water, sewage or septage. It can be used to identify leaks, infiltration and exfiltration in plumbing connections, validate sanitary and septic hookups and performance, identify leachfield issues as well as sources of contamination in wells. It is safe, nontoxic, biodegradable and certified by NSF International to ANSI/NSF Standard 60 for use in and around drinking water. It is available in fluorescent yellow/green, red, and orange and nonfluorescent blue, in tablet, liquid or powder form. 800/394-0678;

Utility locating system

The UtiliGuard utility locating system from Ditch Witch features ambient interference measurement (AIM) that automatically scans the surrounding area for noise and recommends the best frequency among 70 options. It measures distances (depth) both horizontally and vertically to the utility to help users make more accurate locates of obstructed utilities. The system has a six-button, multi-language operator interface and a high-contrast LCD display to ensure visibility in all conditions, including direct sunlight. A dual-output feature allows users to connect the transmitter to two utilities at once, and the system is Bluetooth-enabled to simplify data transfers. Its housing has an IP65 rating. 800/654-6481;

Multifunction sewer/drain camera

The FB-PIC4188H portable multifunction sewer/drain camera from Forbest Products features a 130-foot cable with reel, a 10-inch LCD color monitor with DVR and microphone, a stainless steel color camera head with built-in 512 Hz sonde transmitter and a heavy-duty waterproof case. It has video and snapshot recording capability via SD card or USB flash drive. The 13-inch cable reel features a footage counter. 650/757-4786;

Pipe locator

The Gen-Eye Hot Spot pipe locator from General Pipe Cleaners has on-screen icons that lead the operator right to their target without a long learning curve. It can quickly locate inspection cameras, sondes, active power lines and utility lines. The auto backlit LCD display shows the way with arrows that point in the right direction. It is rated at IP65, is dust- and dirt-proof, and water-resistant. 800/245-6200;

Sensitive leak detector

The sensitive LD30 leak detector from MyTana Mfg. Company features a six-band frequency selector that helps match its listening range to the leak. Originally developed for the nuclear power industry, the unit comes complete with two sensors, various probe rods and a convenient case for protection when it’s not in use. 800/328-8170;

Frequency-sniffing line finder

The LineFinder LF2200 from Prototek locates any frequency sonde or transmitter box between 16 Hz and 100 kHz using its frequency-sniffing feature. It has preset support of 16 Hz (steel or ductile iron as well as cast-iron and nonmetallic), 512 Hz (cast-iron or nonmetallic) and 8 kHz (nonmetallic only) sondes. It traces underground metallic lines at four built-in industry-standard frequencies using an external transmitter box; other frequencies can be sniffed as well. It passively locates underground power at 50 or 60 Hz. Power frequency and scaling in English or metric units is selectable. The operator is guided through a series of LCD screens to locate both sondes and lines with accurate position, as well as precise depth. Locating is enhanced by handle vibration and LED feedback at key locating points, in addition to on-screen imagery. 800/541-9123;

Digital leak detector

The LD-18 digital water leak detector from SubSurface Locators reduces ambient, intermittent noises from barking dogs, passing cars, footsteps and people talking. Its digital electronics sample the sounds every few thousandths of a second, and if it detects an intermittent sound, it suppresses it instantly. Water leak sounds are almost always continuous noises, and the unit can identify the continuous leak sounds even in difficult conditions, for instance busy streets. 775/298-2701;

Smoke tester

The 5E Electric Smoker from Superior Signal Company enables technicians to perform a smoke test in minutes by connecting to any clean-out, roof vent, or directly to the septic tank. Just plug it in, turn it on, light the appropriate smoke candle and look for leaks. The blower forces smoke through cracks and leaks, and hard-to-find plumbing faults become easy to identify. It comes with heavy-duty, industrial-grade flexible hose, and is available in 110 VAC or 12 VDC. 800/945-8378;

Sludge Sampling

Core sampler

The CORETAKER MAX core sampler from Raven Environmental Products is used in septic tank and grease interceptor maintenance to view and check sludge and solids levels. Its link release mega valve takes up heavy sludge, and it features a large interior cavity for maximum flow through, stainless steel fasteners, internal O-rings and a durable 1 1/2-inch polycarbonate tube. 800/545-6953;

Large-diameter sludge sampler

The TruCore from Sim/Tech Filter is a large-diameter sludge sampler designed for use in the thicker sludge common to septic tanks. It allows samples to be taken quickly without creating excessive turbulence because there are no restrictions caused by valves, stoppers or flaps. With an inside diameter of 1 3/8 inches, the capacity per foot is almost 10 ounces. The straight-through design also allows the sample to be quickly returned to the tank. The unit is made of a polycarbonate sampling tube (clearly marked every foot) and PVC fittings. It comes as a single-piece 8-foot unit, or as two 4-foot units that slip together. Custom sizes and configurations are available. An optional customizable extension kit is available for deeply buried tanks. 888/999-3290;

Pressure Washers/Sprayers

Electric direct-driven pressure washer

Steam Jenny electric cold pressure washers from Jenny Products allow operation in enclosed areas where gas-powered machines can’t be used. They are powered by Marathon or Baldor electric motors, range from 1.5 to 10 hp, and are available with either single-phase GFCI or three-phase power requirements. They have industrial-grade triplex ceramic plunger pumps, and are available with pressure ratings between 1,000 and 4,000 psi, and flow rates between 1.5 and 4.8 gpm. They have a seven-gauge steel chassis, heavy-duty unloader valve, safety relief valve, thermal relief valve, high-capacity inlet in-line water strainer, an insulated trigger gun, a 50-foot hose with quick coupling, and a series of 0- to 40-degree-angle color-coded nozzles. All models incorporate flat-free pneumatic tires with ball-bearing hubs and a handle that can be positioned at either the front or back of the unit. 814/445-3400;

Excavation/Safety Equipment

Construction-class crawler excavator

The 86,200-pound R380LC-9A construction-class crawler excavator from Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas is powered by a low-emission, low-noise, 290 hp Cummins Interim Tier 4/Stage IIIB QSB6.7 engine. Complemented by Cummins’ VGT Turbocharger, the airflow boost continuously varies to precisely match engine rpm and load demands. It comes with a redesigned hydraulic system that provides super-fine touch and improved controllability. It features the Hi-mate Remote Management System, which allows operators and dealer service personnel to access vital service and diagnostic information from anywhere with Internet access. It boasts a bucket breakout force of 49,300 pounds, a maximum dig depth of 27 feet, and a 1.88- to 3.03-cubic-yard bucket. 877/509-2254;


TMX mini-excavators from Innovative Equipment feature a quick-hitch system that can be hooked behind a standard 1/2-ton pickup, van or light-duty tow vehicle. They eliminate tracks by utilizing zero-turn technology for access to tight locations and lawns. Weighing only 2,941 pounds, they feature an 8-foot digging depth and 6,600-pound digging force. The unit features a 7-foot-2-inch loading height with a swing radius of 140 degrees, allowing access next to walls and other obstructions. An auxiliary hydraulic tool circuit has the ability to power hydraulic tools including jackhammers, pumps and saws. 888/359-3002;

Fuel-efficient excavator

The 48,500-pound SK210LC excavator from Kobelco Construction Machinery USA is equipped with a fuel-efficient, 157 hp HINO engine that meets Tier IV fuel emission requirements. It has three engine operating modes: H for heavy loads, S for standard loads and ECO to reduce fuel consumption when moving lighter loads. Operators can switch between modes by pressing a button in the cab. It has a digging force of 28,880 pounds, a dig depth of 22 feet and a 1.05-cubic-yard bucket. It has a swing speed of 12.5 rpm for optimal cycle times. 281/888-8430;

Hydroexcavation nozzle

The lightweight MONRO-JET F4 nozzle, distributed by NozzTeq, combines the power of a solid stream pencil jet with the large coverage of a fan jet. The circular water jet generates power at modest gpm rates, enabling hydroexcavation, surface cleaning or sewer line cleaning. It can clean concrete, steel, castings and large surface areas, and can be modified for internal pipe cleaning of sewers and pipes of all types. Its orbital design has pressures as high as 36,250 psi. 866/620-5915;

Hydrostatic-drive hydroexcavator

The X-Cavator from Vac-Con has a hydrostatic drive that uses the chassis engine for the vacuum, eliminating the need for PTO, clutch and gearbox operation. It is available with water system pressure up to 4,000 psi. An optional wireless remote control system enables the operator to work the chassis engine rpm, boom, automatic vacuum breaker, dump controls and hydraulic door locks from up to a half-mile away. The boom rotates up to 270 degrees. 888/491-5762;

High-dump combination sewer cleaner

The high-dump capability of the AllJetVac combination jet/vac sewer cleaner from Vacall - Gradall Industries allows the operator to raise the debris tank 76 inches above ground level and shift the tank horizontally 21 inches beyond the rear bumper. After removing debris from clogged sewer lines, the operator can raise, shift and tilt the debris tank to dump material faster and more efficiently into municipal dewatering containers, avoiding the need for ramps. The tank movement and dumping is accomplished with a wireless remote control mechanism, affording the operator a clear view of the dumping process. The chance of spills can be further avoided with an optional slanting splash shield extending from the debris tank. 800/382-8302;

Compact track loader

The MCT110C compact track loader from Volvo Construction Equipment has a rated operating capacity of 2,250 pounds, and comes with a Tier 4 Final 74 hp four-cylinder engine. Two consoles provide important information, and the operator can select between three levels of control sensitivity. An optional ISO or H control pattern gives further flexibility. It automatically returns to idle if controls aren’t operated for 5 seconds. An optional reversible fan removes debris drawn into the radiator and automatically clean the cooling system. It has service access through the forward-tilting cab and large rear compartment service door. The side entry makes it possible for the operator to engage the loader arm support without the aid of a second person. It is fitted with a three-stage air cleaner. Operators enter and exit the cab through a large, wide-opening side cab door. Without the horizontal crossbar, operators have an all-around view of the job site. It can be equipped with a wide range of attachments. 828/650-2000;


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