Can’t re-end jetting hose? What are the options?
It is now common knowledge that re-ending high pressure drain cleaning hoses when they have been damaged is no longer allowed under the latest British standards and all health and safety based organisations prohibit the process. In the absence of any hose manufacturer offering products on which they are prepared to allow re-ending, where does this leave the drain and sewer cleaning contractors?
For many years, rubber jetting hose, manufactured for the oil hydraulic industry, has been used on nearly every jetting trailer and van pack in the UK. Readily available from all hydraulic hose suppliers, it is inexpensive and it can take the pressure. The problem is, it wasn’t developed for use on drain and sewer cleaning machines and the outer rubber coating can quickly be worn and damaged by the constant rubbing against hard surfaces and the action of the water jet itself. Fitting a 3m long safety leader hose at the jetting end will help save the main hose from the worst of the abrasion but it is still very easy to snag the hose on a sharp edge and strip a short length of rubber, exposing the metal braid and ruining the entire hose.
There are a few tips we can offer to help keep your rubber jetting hose in good condition for longer and there are a couple of new products on the market that will give much better life in drain cleaning applications.
Tip 1 – Get used to using a tiger tail hose feed guide to protect the hose as it drags over the edge of the drain or any sharp surface. Tiger tails are made from tough slippery plastic, they last a long time and they are inexpensive.
Tip 2 – Hydraulic hose reels are a wonderful invention. They save hours of manual rewinding but they are powerful and operators can be tempted to use this power to break free trapped hoses or drag hoses around the sides of buildings, not realising that they have become snagged. All hydraulic hose reel systems must have a pressure relief valve fitted and this can be adjusted to limit the reel’s pulling power and its potential to damage a hose in these circumstances.
Tip 3 – Consider having two or three 30m lengths of hose on your reel joined by a connector. Care must be taken to make sure that not too much strain is put on the joints when rewinding onto the drum but you will be able to replace a shorter hose length if one becomes damaged. Using hoses with male and female ends means that connections can be kept as short as possible.
Tip 4 – Use a more efficient jetting nozzle. The jet pattern is less likely to become distorted and blow back onto the hose and you will complete the cleaning task in a shorter time, therefore exposing the hose to less wear and tear.
If you are already doing these things and still getting too much hose damage, then maybe it is time to consider one of the new hose types that are now available.
Tip 5 – High molecular weight rubber is the name for hoses that have a special tough and flexible outer coating. They have been used for some time on abrasive hydraulic applications and Flowplant has trialled them on drain cleaning units with good results. It looks like a normal jetting hose with the same weight and flexibility but the casing is abrasion resistant and it feels slippery to the touch. It travels further up the drain and is much easier to pull along the ground than a rubber hose meaning it is less likely to snag and tear.
Tip 6 – Thermoplastic hose has been used on larger jetting trucks in the UK for some years, around the world it is used out of choice on nearly all van pack and trailer units. It is very light at less than half the weight of a conventional rubber hose, making it extremely easy to use. Because of its worldwide popularity, brands have been developed specifically for the drain cleaning industry with tough abrasion resistant coatings that are very effective. Typically, it will travel twice as far up a drain as the same rubber hose. The reinforcement is made from textile and operators should receive training in the correct handling; however, once this is done, thermoplastic hose can be a sensible choice.
If you would like to discuss any of these tips or products in more detail, contact our technical helpline on 01722 344091 and we will be delighted to chat through the options.