Water jetter technology is used in high and ultrahigh pressure applications.
These jetters serve several industry sectors:
- Cutting and manufacturing technologies
- Cleaning and field services, including water blasting and hydro blasting
- Coatings removal and surface preparation
- Concrete removal and hydro demolition
- Municipal and industrial vacuuming
- Industrial cleaning and maintenance
- Vacuum excavation, hydro excavation, mining, and tunneling
- Drilling, demilitarization, rock cutting and more
The Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC) has adopted the following four definitions for cleaning operations using water jetter technology:
- Low-pressure water cleaning (LP WC) is the use of water pressure less than 5,000 psi (34 MPa) for cleaning.
- High-pressure water cleaning (HP WC) is the use of water pressure between 5,000 to 10,000 psi (34 to 70 MPa) for cleaning.
- High-pressure water jetting (HP WJ) is the use of water pressure between 10,000 to 25,000 psi (70 to 170 MPa) for cleaning.
- Ultrahigh-pressure water jetting is the use of pressures above 25,000 psi (170 MPa) for cleaning.
For the purposes of this article we are discussing water jetter technology used as sewer drain cleaners, industrial pipelines, hydro demolition, surface preparation, fiber optic cable installation, steel cutting.
A water jetter can be either trailer or truck mounted with a variety of engine and pump configurations, water tanks and other equipment.
A water jetter is also known as a sewer jetter, a drain jetter, or jet rodder and is used for plumbing maintenance, storm sewer drain cleaning, or storm and catch basin cleaning and vacuum truck services.
The sewer jetter power units may be run by gasoline, diesel or electricity. They may be a small compact portable cleaning unit that fits into the trunk of a car, van mounted or as a trailer jetter pulled by a vehicle.
A high-pressure water jetter pumps water at roughly 5000 PSI, strong enough to cut tree roots. It clears blocked sewer pipes effectively, roots in sewer line(requires 3500-4000 psi) from a water main pipe and also does sewer pipe cleaning the wall of the pipe washing away debris, waste, and grease.
The jetter will require regular maintenance at least twice a year depending on use. The jetter hose will last many years depending on the application and the treatment by the operator.
Water Jetter Safety
Before starting any high-pressure water jetting operations, steps need to be taken to ensure all hazards likely to affect the safety of the operator or people around the worksite are eliminated or reduced by completing a full risk assessment:
- Place safety signs and barricades.
- All people other than the operator should be excluded from the worksite.
- Make sure the operator is in a safe and well balanced position before starting the equipment and that there are no loose items or debris to prevent tripping and slipping hazards.
- Make sure equipment, especially electrical, is isolated and protected from water or overspray.
- Wear approved eye protection; face mask or safety glasses.
- Wear approved gloves, work boots, overalls and hearing protection.
- Wear approved respiratory protection in confined spaces and when exposed to drifting mist that may contain bacteria, chemicals or hazardous materials.
- Decontaminate the work area at the end of the job and dispose of hazardous or toxic products.
- Protect jetter hoses at all times from being run over and crushed by vehicles.
Related Article: OSHA Training Online
Jetting operations must cease when:
- An unauthorized or unprotected person enters the work area;
- Immediately after a malfunction occurs.
Maintenance and routine inspection of equipment
- A jetter operator should not use equipment unless it has been inspected according to manufacturers recommendations;
- Operators must report any defect in the system to their supervisor so as to investigate and rectify. Defective items must be marked “defective” and removed from service.
- Only proper service tools can be used on couplings and fittings.
Daily checks to be conducted
- Water, lubricating oil, hydraulic fluids and fuel levels in the drive unit and the pump unit.
- Check guards, shields and safety valves.
- Filters and strainers.
- Engine stop devices are clearly labeled and working.
- Check all throttle cables.
Before using equipment
- Make sure there is no structural damage to the jetter hose, corroded or broken wires, bulging, twists, kinking, cuts or flat spots.
- Jetter hose assemblies must be visually inspected prior to each use to ensure correct pressure rating and size selected.
- Check fittings and couplings and correct pressure rating.
- Jetting nozzles must remain clean and outlets not damaged or obstructed.
Depressurize the water jetter system when:
- Left unattended or not in use.
- Components are being replaced or repairs are being made.
Water jetter technology is used in many applications and has revolutionized the cleaning, cutting and surface preparation industry with increased efficiency and productivity. Call your local manufacturer or dealer for more details.