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By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor
Plumbing & Restrooms Article Use Policy
Training technicians on the proper operation of drain-cleaning machines and providing support when the machines break down are two important factors for managers to consider when choosing a manufacturer. When managers are developing or fine-tuning a plan, these concerns should rank near the top for priorities.
“If you are running a large university, for example, obviously a larger number of plumbers will be required to handle the never-ending, day-to-day issues that arise,” Speranza says. “If you have what you think is the correct number of employees, are they trained and qualified to safely operate a variety of drain cleaning machines and related equipment? Many times, vendors are more than happy to help train employees on the safe and proper operation of their equipment as part of the service they offer at no additional cost.”
Onsite training “is very important for the success of the department,” Speranza says. “Proper operation will ensure a quick resolution to the problem, and safe operation is critical regardless of the type of equipment being used.”
When problems do occur with drain-cleaning machines, managers must feel confident the manufacturer will address the issues.
“It is important to know how your equipment will be supported if it has issues, which could be the result of improper use or just wear and tear,” Speranza says. “While most drain cleaning equipment is fairly simple to maintain, other equipment such as inspection cameras may require the units being sent out for service. Be aware of the vendors’ after-sale support in cases such as this.”
Establishing an effective maintenance program can go along way in keeping down costs.
“Preventive maintenance (PM) is much more cost-effective than emergency drain cleaning,” says Dave Dunbar of General Pipe Cleaners. “But it is commonly not done when the facility does not own its own appropriate equipment. Having (to outsource) a pipe inspection tends to be the most expensive category of service.”
Establishing PM plans for piping systems early in the planning process helps keep costs lower.
“Preventive maintenance issues are given more visibility when done in-house, and the PM protocols and tool care schedules policies tend to be funneled into the overall business strategy, which inevitably improves operating efficiency,” Dunbar says.
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