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Selecting the right cleaning system needn’t be a pipe dream

Home Engineering Pumps, Valves, Hydraulics, Pneumatics Selecting the right cleaning system needn’t be a pipe dream

DRAINS, sewers and tubes have different roles to play, and their cleaning requirements vary according to many factors, including the environment and climate, according to Hawk Pumps, which offers a variety of equipment and systems for these purposes.

“For example, heavy rain can impact the efficiency of storm water drains and an environment containing a lot of litter, or even topsoil, can lead to clogging and flooding,” the company said in a statement. In this case, it recommended selecting a machine that is specifically designed to suit the problem.

“Drains can be as simple as a family kitchen or bathroom discharge pipe, or large as a major municipal pipe, ensuring drainage throughout the city. Hotel, restaurant and hospitals, on the other hand, find their drainpipes typically clog up with fats and grease. Their sewers often struggle with paper and textile blockages.”

Keeping these factors in mind, it offered the following tips for choosing a cleaning system that will suit your specific requirements.

Drain Cleaning

The internal walls of a drainpipe can become coated with calcium (lime scale) and grease. These applications require nozzles that clean the walls of the pipe and often need a front-facing jet to clear blockages.

The main factor to consider when choosing a machine is the volume of the pump. The pressure of the pump usually is 120bar to 200bar.

• 50mm diameter drains need 20 l/min (trolley or trailer mounted)
• 100mm to 150mm need 30 to 50 l/min (trolley or trailer mounted)
• 150mm to 250mm need 50 to 80 l/min (trailer mounted)
• 300mm need 120 to 150 l/min (truck or trailer mounted)

The smaller units use a 20m to 30m hose on a manually operated reel, while the larger ones use a hydraulically powered reel with longer hoses.

The nozzles have orifices facing outwards and backwards, to help the nozzle to pull itself into the pipe. They also clean the walls as they push the dirt backwards.

Stormwater drains can require a volume of up to 150 to 200+ l/min mounted on a trailer or truck. Usually, the hoses are 100m to 120m long and have a hydraulically powered hose reel.

Sewer Cleaning

A sewer pipe takes water and waste away, to a municipal mains sewer. The walls of the pipes need to be cleaned and often blockages must be removed. Often, a small projection in the pipe, such as cement or a cracked pipe, collects small amounts of paper, which builds up and causes blockages. The roots of trees and shrubs also often find a way of entering a sewer.

The pump volume and nozzle choice are similar to drains.

Boiler Tube Cleaning

Boiler tubes generally get a layer of lime scale that restricts water flow and reduces heat transfer. Both will lower the flow and increase the amount of fuel needed to overcome the insulating effect of the scale. Lime scale is hard and requires high pressures. The volume depends on the diameter of the tube and the hardness of the scale.

Most commonly, the pump should deliver 20+ l/min at 350 to 500 bar, although higher pressure pumps are available up to 1000 bar.

These machines most often use a foot valve instead of a gun and 10m Flexi-lance (specialised hose) with a spinning nozzle.

The company said its Hawk Pressure Washers are very popular for drain, sewer and tube cleaning applications. It can also custom design solutions to suit specific requirements.

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