One way front-line technicians can minimize wear and tear on drain cleaning equipment and parts is to perform routine maintenance.
“Basic machine maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating cables, should be done on a daily basis,” Speranza says. “Additional periodic checks on belts, guards, etc., should be carried out, as well.”
Technicians who properly maintain drain cleaning equipment can help ensure long-term effective use. While each machine has its own intended use, they need to be maintained differently.
“Drain snakes are made of steel, and they are used in water, so they are going to rust if they aren’t lubricated at the end of each day,” Silverman says. “A rusty cable will wear out a feed faster. If you keep the feed clean, the rollers will last a lot longer. Lubricate the cable at the end of each day with a low-grade motor oil.
“Following the manufacturer’s advice for changing the oil on the pump or engine will make a difference. Keeping your nozzles clean is important. If you get dirt inside the nozzles, they will clog up and cause problems where the pump can’t get the water out, shutting the machine off.”
After years of use, sometimes even properly maintained equipment will fail. Before that occurs, it is important for managers to know when it is nearly time to replace the equipment.
Issues managers should look for include bent frames, dented or out-of-balance drums, and worn auto cable-feed mechanisms.
“The lifespan of a machine depends on how well it’s maintained, how often it’s used each day, (and) the type of pipe and type of stoppage,” Silverman says. “I’ve noticed hat machines last longer when the person that owns it operates it.”
Drain Cleaning: Maintaining the Tools of the Trade
Drain Cleaning: Ensuring Effective, Long-Term Equipment Use
Drain Cleaning: Understanding Equipment Warranties