Plumbing & Piping Systems

  November 11, 2009

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is plumbing and piping systems. The technology behind drain-cleaning equipment has come a long way in recent years. Now, front-line maintenance technicians have even greater diagnostic power when confronted with clogged or slow piping systems. Drain-cleaning cameras and inspection systems offer technicians three important opportunities to inspect and assess the situation:

• Before cleaning, to determine the extent of the problem, its location, and required actions
• During cleaning, to determine progress
• After cleaning, to determine if the technician performed the cleaning properly and to ensure the free-flowing condition of the pipeline.

Inspection cameras have several key components — the cable reel, the pushrod, and the camera chip in a pickup head with a light source to illuminate the object to be inspected. These components connect to a monitor by video cable, or wirelessly to complete the basic package. These components form a system technicians can move to and around jobsites. Early-generation cameras rotated in the drain, causing the display to show the water at the bottom, side or top of the picture. Now, manufacturers have released self-leveling cameras that always show the water at the bottom in the correct orientation as it sits in the drain line. Finally, users can add accessories, such as DVD or CD recorders, sewer-inspection software to help capture and report data, and locator devices to help identify elusive underground blockages in pipelines.


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