The Go-To Locating Tool for Minnesota’s J.R. Bruender Construction

Making sure pipes are clear and draining properly is especially important in cold climates

The Go-To Locating Tool for Minnesota’s J.R. Bruender Construction

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Sometimes your most useful tool isn’t a daily workhorse. For J.R. Bruender Construction, in Eagle Lake, Minnesota, it’s the RIDGID color push camera purchased in 2002.

“We bought it for the capability of inspecting pipe up to 6 inches,” says Steven Bruender, company owner. Their SeeSnake model is typically used two to three times a month.

“It’s nice for pinpointing spots. If you have a line going under a sidewalk or a curb, you can pinpoint and measure and eliminate a lot of digging and guesswork,” he says.

To do the locating and measuring, he also puts a locator tape down with the camera. A combination of the tape, measuring the amount of camera cable extended, and counting bends in the pipe — years of experience help too — gives him a good idea of a location.

The camera is not only for repairs.

“Many times when we’re adding a new septic system, we’re connecting to a pipe coming out of the house. We use the camera to inspect that length of existing pipe so we can assure the customer it’s in good condition,” he says.

And if it looks bad, they have a talk with the customer about how to solve the problem.

They’ve pushed the camera up lines from pump stations to a mound system to make sure the pipe is draining back to the pump station. This is especially important in cold Minnesota winters. And if a line is frozen, a check with the camera can reveal the stoppage location.

Eventually they intend to update to a model that will accept a flash drive for downloading video. They looked at models like that at the 2018 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show. But there is one obstacle.

“I can’t see getting rid of this while it still works,” Bruender says.

Read more about J.R. Bruender Construction in a full profile in the November issue. 


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