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Locators Streamline Drain-Cleaning Operations


This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is using electronic locators during drain-cleaning operations.

The technology behind drain-cleaning equipment has come a long way in recent years. Now, front-line technicians have even greater diagnostic power when facing clogged or slow piping systems.

By understanding the technology advances and the wider array of inspection functions today's drain-cleaning systems offer, maintenance and engineering managers can improve department productivity and piping-system performance.

One key component of an inspection system is equipment to locate a problem under a floor or underground from a remote, above-ground inspection point. This component is especially important if workers need to excavate to reach the problem. It helps them avoid guessing where to excavate and doing unnecessary digging or, even worse, damaging a buried cable.

The conventional method for locating a clog is to use the sound of the auger to approximate its location. Now, technicians have a better option. Separate from the camera system, units feature a sensitive electronic locator that can help technicians accomplish the task faster and more accurately. The locator's display shows line direction, changes in direction, left-right guidance to aid in centering over the line, and a digital depth indicator showing the line's depth at a particular point.

The locator shows the camera's progress through the drain by tracking a beacon from the transmitter. It also can spot the location technicians need to start digging in the event of a collapsed pipe they need to excavate for repair.

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