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Most maintenance and engineering managers know that scheduling weekly drain-cleaning programs is not likely, given budgets and workloads. But regular preventive maintenance (PM) throughout the year can go a long way.
“One thing that gets overlooked a lot is preventive maintenance,” says Mark Speranza with Electric Eel Manufacturing Co. “Typically, a drain problem is not a problem unless it’s clogged up, but facilities that routinely run drain cleaners through their lines will never have an issue. But as is human nature, you kind of wait until a crisis. Then you deal with it.”
Speranza recommends that managers schedule a drain cleaning quarterly. Establishing a PM plan also helps managers understand the equipment that works best in their facilities. Jetters and video cameras can be costly items for some departments, but technicians can help their departments save money in the long run by finding small problems before they turn into costly repairs.
“When people get the right machines and institute the right preventive maintenance protocols, they have a tendency to rework the way they are looking at maintenance,” says Dave Dunbar with General Pipe Cleaners.
Brandon Moherman with RIDGID suggests managers ask these questions before instituting a drain PM plan:
• How frequently should technicians clean lines the might be getting old?
• How difficult is it to access the drain?
• Are the blockages soft like grease and paper or hard like roots?
— Dave Lubach
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Sidebar: Preventive Maintenance Plan Key to Drain-Cleaning Program