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How Does a Combination Sewer Cleaner Work?


Sewer pipe cleaning operations are executed throughout the year and is frequently done in the summer and fall when rain causes debris to clog the sewage system.

Combination Sewer Cleaner CrewCombination Sewer Cleaner Crew

A combination sewer cleaner machine is a vacuum truck that is a combination of jetting and vacuuming operations and is operated by two workers. As one operates the jetter and vacuum hose, the other worker stands upstream at the other of the manhole during the jetting operations.

The combination sewer cleaner and vacuum operations consist of a jetter hose and nozzle that self propels itself forward into the sanitary sewage line by high water pressure. Depending on the type and size of the sewage pipe, a nozzle weighing approximately 10 to 15 pounds is attached to the end of the hose.

This nozzle controls the rotation and the pipe cleaning. The water pressure is usually 1100- 1200 psi at the nozzle giving approximately 75 gallons of water per minute. This high-pressure water propels the nozzle forward in a rotating direction and clears obstructions during sewage line cleaning.




Vactor 2100 Plus Combination Sewer CleanerVactor 2100 Plus Combination Sewer Cleaner

Before the hose and nozzle is placed in the manhole a larger hose called a tiger tail is placed over the nozzle assembly in such a manner that the tiger tail cannot slide off at the end of the hose. The tiger tail stays in the opening to direct the hose assembly and protect it from friction and wear. The tiger tail is connected separately with a cord to the track. The worker sees the tiger tail and hose assembly using a halogen floodlight.

The manhole is typically 20 feet or so and is connected to a sewage line that is six to ten inches in diameter. The nozzle is guided into the pipe, self-propels and cleans the line. The worker at the other end of the sewage line communicates to the hose and nozzle operator when it has reached the end of the pipe. The nozzle and line is then rewound back to the vacuum truck.


Vac-con Combination Sewer CleanerVac-Con Combination Sewer Cleaner

Combination sewer cleaning trucks remove stones, bottles, cans, grease, sludge and other debris from sanitary or storm drain lines by the flushing action of high-pressure water.

The air conveying vacuum system provides simultaneous removal of the debris flushed to the manhole by the high-pressure washer system for the removal of debris from sewer catch basins, digesters, wet wells and bar screens. This combination of jetting and then vacuuming clears most of the debris from the system.

Water-jet cleaner systems operate from 200 to 3000 PSI with flows of 30 to 120 gallons per minute cleaning sewage pipes up to 1000 feet.

Today’s combination sewer cleaner is more than just jetting and vacuum trucks; they are also designed to be vacuum excavators for daylighting underground cables and pipes, street flush, chemical and water spraying, and also as transfer pumps.



Vacall Combination Sewer CleanerVacall Combination Sewer Cleaner


Vacuum excavation services in the mining industry is currently the hottest market to serve with an adapted combination sewer cleaner machine.


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