Trouble Shooting Water Jets

Water jet pump

Pump cutaway shows valves and seals.

Water jets are a great way to clear grease clogged lines. If your jet is no longer doing maintaining pressure, follow these trouble shooting tips to get it back on the right track:

Make sure you have enough water. The water supply must be adequate to match your jets needs. If you’re using a four-gallon per minute pump and your water source is only giving two gallons per minute, you’re asking for trouble. A good way to check the flow rate of your water source is to time how long it takes to fill up a two gallon bucket. If it takes thirty seconds or less, you’re OK. If not, stop right there. An inadequate water supply will cause cavitation and severely damage the pump.

Make sure you’re using a good quality water supply hose. Use a 3/4” hose in good condition. Smaller hoses cannot carry enough water to meet the pump’s needs. Check that there are no kinks in the hose and that you have a good seal at both ends. Dripping water means that air is getting into the system causing a reduction in pressure and risking cavitation of the pump. Replace the hose gaskets as necessary.

Check the inlet filter. A clogged inlet filter will restrict the water flow and cause the same symptoms as an inadequate water supply. Be sure to check the inlet filter before each job.

Check the nozzle. A worn nozzle will cause the pressure to fall while a clogged nozzle will cause the pressure to spike. Replace the nozzle with a different one to see if the problem disappears.

Look for leaks. Leaky hose fittings, swivels and other connections can cause a loss of pressure just as it can from leaking high-pressure hoses.

Check the pressure regulator/unloader. It is factory preset for the pressure rating of your machine. DO NOT over tighten the unloader or you could damage the pump. Continuing to turn the unloader knob after the pressure gauge stops moving upward will only increase the strain on the pump causing premature failure. Dirt can also clog the unloader and cause pressure fluctuations. If you cannot clean the unloader, it may have to be replaced.

Three keys factors that will cause a pump to fail: 1.) No or not enough water, 2.) Hot water (above 160 degrees), or 3.) Frozen water. Take good care of your equipment and it will give you years of trouble free service.

About DrainBrain

The Drain Brains at General Pipe Cleaners have been part of the drain cleaning industry since 1930. We offer you our combined experiences to assist you with your drain cleaning question or clogged drain problem. General Pipe Cleaners manufactures a full line of drain cleaning equipment including high pressure water jets, video pipe inspection systems, water leak locators, pipe freezers, pipe thawers, and more.
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