Purchasing a new drain cleaner
Some points for attention
1 – Suitable for intensive use
Drain cleaners are often used intensively during the autumn, winter and (early) spring. Contractors in particular tend to follow this pattern. A stable machine is, therefore, a key requirement.
2 – Ease of use and periodic maintenance
Choose a brand with an open design. Important parts, such as the water pump and filter, must be easily accessible.
Ease of use is enhanced by:
- Hydraulic retraction and extension
- Hydraulic swivel
- Remote control (radiographic)
Always look closely at the sale price. Are these options being offered at additional cost, or are they incorporated as standard or supplied as standard?
3 – The operating pressure and capacity of the pump
When it comes to drain cleaning, the effect of flushing is just as important as the (correct) operating pressure at the cleaning nozzle. Don’t look at the maximum capacity first. The maximum capacity is often 142 l/min., based on the choice of pump.
It is better to base your evaluation on the operating capacity offered by the different brands.
With an operating pressure of 35 bar, a minimum capacity of 70 – 80 l/min. is regarded as standard.
4 – What is the infeed speed of the flushing hose?
Choose (a brand with) sufficient infeed speed.
5 – How is the flushing hose propelled?
Choose (a brand with a) four-wheel drive system with multiple hydraulic motors.
A non-slip drive is also important, primarily as it helps to prevent wear of the flushing hose.
6 – What length should the flushing hose be?
A hose length of 500 metres is recommended for a high cleaning capacity, particularly on/in longer plots and/or drain pipes.
7 – Does the drain cleaner have an infeed safeguard?
In the event of resistance in the drain pipe due to clogging, the infeed is stopped or slowed down. With Sieger, intensive flushing is initiated in the event of a clog, helping to quickly remove the contaminant (release by spraying).
8 – Is ease of movement enough?
This is particularly important if the tractor is not configured properly. The hydraulic swivel function allows the position of the hose infeed to be corrected. You should also look at the position of the swivel function. Ideally, the hydraulic swivel function should be located on the left-hand side of the tractor for the drain cleaner to be operated from the cab.
9 – Ease of use with infrared remote control
Wireless remote control is of particular importance when it comes to hydraulic swivel, and certainly for operation from within a ditch.
Opt for a brand that offers both remote control and hydraulic control valves (in a valve block) as this way, you will always be able to control the drain cleaner.
10 – From operating position to transport position
After retraction (hydraulically, if applicable), it’s ideal to be able to move the drain cleaner straight into the transport position. This applies in particular if you have to transport the drain cleaner by public road or over long distances. Pay close attention to options available for switching from the operating position to the transport position, the latter of which should feature a lock.
11 – Trade-in
Your existing drain cleaner should not be an impediment to purchasing a new drain cleaner. Ask the manufacturer or supplier about trade-in options.
12 – Accessories
It’s important to pick the right cleaning nozzle, primarily so as not to disturb the structure of the soil around the drain pipes. Choose a brand with a wide range of cleaning nozzles. Special rotating cleaning nozzles are also available that can be used for larger diameters such as in dams fitted with culverts.
13 – Parts supply
The number of wear parts in drain cleaners is usually limited. A periodic check or maintenance inspection may, however, identify parts that need to be replaced prematurely. A prompt supply of spare parts is, therefore, essential.
A handy overview that includes the aforementioned points for attention can help you decide on the most suitable drain cleaner for you.