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Publication numberUS3525112 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 25, 1970
Filing dateAug 29, 1968
Priority dateAug 29, 1968
Publication numberUS 3525112 A, US 3525112A, US-A-3525112, US3525112 A, US3525112A
InventorsMasters Philip C
Original AssigneeMyers & Bro Co F E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary root cutting head
US 3525112 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 25, 1970 c, MASTERS 3,525,112

ROTARY ROOT CUTTING HEAD Filed Aug. 29, 1968 5 Shm'rt:z-Shue1 l4 FIG-I BIG-4 INVENTOR.


P. C. MASTERS ROTARY ROOT CUTTING HEAD Aug. 25, 1970 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 29, 1968 FIG-2 INVENTOR. PHtuP C. MASTERS 25, 1970 P. c. MASTERS 3,

ROTARY ROOT CUTTING HEAD Filed Aug. 29, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG-3, 74


PHILIP (I, MASTERS w n W24 United States Patent O Ohio Filed Aug. 29, 1968, Ser. No. 756,116 Int. Cl. B08b 9/02 US. Cl. 15104.12 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Rotary root cutting head, especially for sewer cleaners, in which a non-rotatable body is adapted for attachment to the end of a high pressure hose and which body has on the side opposite the hose a rotor with cutting blades. A passage leads from the hose through the body into the rotor and communicates with tangential nozzles on the rotor to drive the rotor in rotation. Other nozzles in the body are directed rearwardly to impel the cutting head along a sewer line. A guard is provided comprising axial members radially outwardly of the range of the cutting blade and connected to the body by ribs.

The present invention relates to a cutting head for root cleaners and is particularly concerned with a rotary cutting head driven by a fluid motor.

A type of sewer cleaner that is quite widely used employs water at extremely high pressure that is supplied to a flexible hose which is fed from a supporting reel down through a manhole and introduced into the horizontal sewer pipes that communicate with the manhole.

The hose, on its outer end, carries a nozzle having a high pressure jet emerging from the front and also having other high pressure jets emerging toward the rear and usually in a divergent pattern. The high pressure jet directed toward the front breaks up deposits in the sewer line, whereas the backwardly directed jets not only pull the hose along in the sewer, but also flush loosened debris backwardly along the sewer line to a point of removal.

Furthermore, as the hose is withdrawn from the sewer line the rearwardly directed water jets further scour and clean the sewer line. Fine, light materials loosened from the sewer line in this manner readily pass on down the sewer line to the point of drain, while the heavy materials collect in the manhole through which the hose was introduced and can readily be removed therefrom.

A particular problem in connection with the cleaning of sewers occurs when roots, such as tree roots, grow into the sewer line. The powerful water jets emerging from the nozzle on the end of the cleaning hose are not of such a nature as effectively to cut off roots of any substantial size quickly and, for this reason, sewer cleaning devices of the nature referred to above have heretofore been defective as an efiicient mechanism for clearing a sewer line of roots.

With the foregoing in mind, a primary objective of the present invention is the provision of a cutting head adapted for mounting on the end of the hose of a sewer cleaning mechanism of the aforesaid nature which is operable for cutting off roots growing into the sewer line.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of a rotary cutting head of the nature referred to, which is operable for removing soil other than roots from the sewer line so that efiicient cleaning of the sewer line results when the rotary cutting head of the present invention is employed on the end of the hose rather than a conventional nozzle.

A particular object of this invention is the provision of a rotary cutting head of the nature referred to which exerts substantially no torque on the hose of the apparatus.


A still further object is the provision of a rotary cutting head for the purpose referred to which runs at extremely high speed and is, thus, quite eltective for cutting off roots.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of a rotary cutting head for cutting off roots in a sewer wherein the cutting head is supported in a sewer line in which it operates in the most advantageous position for cutting off roots.

The objects referred to above as well as still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following detailed specification, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a somewhat schematic view showing a sewer cleaning device with a rotary cutting head, according to the present invention, mounted on the end of the hose of the cleaning device;

FIG. 2 is a view looking in at the rotary cutting head from the right side of FIG. 1 and drawn at enlarged scale;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view through the rotary cutting head and is indicated by line III--III on FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view indicated by line IVIV on FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view indicated by line V--V on FIG. 3.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention concerns a rotary cutting head having a body adapted for being connected to the end of a high pressure hose and having a rotor rotatably supported thereon. The rotor carries main cutting blades in a plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the rotor. Fluid supplied by the hose passes through the body and enters the rotor and then emerges from tangential nozzles carried by the rotor so that the rotor is driven in rotation at high speed, while exerting negligible torque on the body which is connected to the hose, or on the said hose.

The body carries guard and guide means which support the entire unit within a pipe, such as a sewer line, with axis of rotation of the rotor parallel with the axis ofthe line in which the device is mounted. The body is provided with rearwardly directed jets which serve not only to propel the device along the sewer line but also serve to flush away debris cut from the sewer line by the cutting blade on the rotor and, still further, serve also to flush out the entire sewer line when the device is withdrawn therefrom by pulling on the hose.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings somewhat more in detail, in FIG. 1, the sewer line to be cleaned is indicated at 10. This sewer line communicates with a manhole 12 having an opening at the top. The sewer cleaning device is in the form of a vehicle 14, which may be a trailer, as shown, or self-propelled. Mounted on vehicle 14 is an engine 16 which drives a high pressure pump that supplies water under high pressure of up to 1000 pounds per square inch to a high pressure hose 18, which is contained on a reel 20. The reel is provided with a hydraulic drive motor, not shown, for controlling the rotation of the reel, particularly when the reel is rotated in a direction to draw in hose 18.

The hose 18 is preferably introduced into line 10 by way of a guide elbow 22 which can be manipulated from ground level by a handle 24. When the outer, or discharge, end of hose 18 is started into the sewer line 10, the supply of high pressure water to the hose will cause it to be drawn on along the sewer line 10 toward the right, as it is viewed in FIG. 1, and when as much of the sewer line has been traversed, as is desired, the reel 20 is then driven in a direction to draw the hose 18 inwardly.

The usual sewer cleaning device of the nature referred to has a nozzle mounted on the leading end of the hose which supplies a forwardly directed jet which loosens and breaks up material in the sewer line ahead of the nozzle and a plurality of rearwardly directed high pressure nozzles that diverge in the rearward directionand thereby flush away debris from the sewer line, while simultaneously pushing the nozzle on through the sewer line and drawing the hose with it. When the reel is actuated to draw the hose back in, the aforementioned r'ear- Wardly directed jets of water serve for scouring out the sewer line, thereby to force all of the fine materials loosened from the sewer line to the region where the sewer line drains, while the heavier material tends to collect in the manhole where it can easily be removed.

The present invention is primarily concerned with a device for mounting on the outer end of the hose, in place of the usual nozzle, which will cut roots and similar obstructions from the sewer line, which heretofore have proved extremely difficult to remove simply by the use of water jets. This cutting device is generally indicated by the reference numeral 24 in FIG. 1 and is shown in more detail in FIGS. 2 through 5. In F IG. 1, it will be seen that roots 26 of tree 28 are growing into the sewer line, either through cracks therein or through the sewer line joints. The roots in the sewer line present obstructions to the flow of material through the sewer lines which can cause complete stoppage of the sewer line and, therefore, must be removed.

The particular device of the present invention which is operable for cutting off the roots referred to will be more clearly seen in FIGS. 2 through 5. Referring to FIGS. 2 through 5, in more detail, in FIG. 3 it will be noted that the device comprises a body 30 having threaded connection at 32 with a fitting 34 on the end of the hose 18. Body 30 has an axle 36 projecting therefrom on the side opposite its connection with the hose and a rotor 38 is rotatably mounted on the said axle. A bushing 40 pressed into rotor 38 journals the rotor on the axle and a washer and cap screw at 42 loosely retain the rotor in place, while permitting free rotation of the rotor on the axle.

On the leading side, the rotor has cutting blade means 44, secured thereto as by cap screws 46 and plate 48. The cutting blade means 44, which may consist of a single, fairly heavy bar extending diametrally across the end of rotor 38, has its outer tips sharpened at 50 and its leading edges sharpened at 52 so that when the. rotor rotates the cutting blade means will be effective for cutting off foreign material in the sewer line, such as the roots referred to.

The rotor is adapted to rotate in clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2, and the rotation of the rotor is accomplished by a pair of nozzles 54 carried by the rotor and adapted lor discharging jets in the tangential direction, as indicated by the arrows 56. The reaction forces set up by this tangential discharge of jets will drive the rotor at high speed in a clockwise direction at 52, so that the cutting blade means can cut off roots, and the like, that are encountered by the cutting head as it advances along the sewer line. It will be appreciated that the driving of the rotor in the aforesaid manner imposes no or, at most, negligible torque on the body 30 and, thus, imposes no torque on the hose 18. This is of distinct advantage as compared to known prior art devices in which a drive motor is employed for a rotary cutting head, which does impose a torque on the hose.

Water under high pressure is supplied to nozzles 54 via passage means 58 leading through body 30 and along axle 36 and intersected by lateral passages 60 that communicate with annular groove 62 in bushing 40. As will be seen in FIG. 5, each nozzle 54 is seated in the outer end of a passage 64 that communicates at its inner end with groove 62 in bushing 40.

It has been mentioned that the cutting head is propelled along the sewer line by rearwardly directed jets of water. These jets are established 'by the nozzles 64, carried by the body 30, and distributed circumferentially thereof. In the device, as illustrated, about five of the nozzles 64 are ample for producing rearwardly directed jets of the nature referred to. Nozzle 64 communicate with the chamber 66 in body 30 that connects hose 18 with passage means 58.

For the purpose of supporting and guiding the cutting head along the sewer line and to prevent the cutting blade means 44 from striking against the side of the sewer line, a guide arrangement is provided which can advantageously take the form of a sleeve 68 secured to body 30 as by cap screws 70 and which sleeve has projecting radially therefrom ribs or blades 72 which have welded to the outer tips the guide rods 74. The trailing ends of the guide rods are preferably turned inwardly at 76 and the leading ends thereof are preferably turned inwardly as at 78 so that the cutting head will not stagger on ledges or cracks that might be encountered in the sewer line.

The blades, or ribs, 72 offer substantially no obstruction to the passage rearwardly of dislodged material past the cleaning head and, furthermore, tend to comb out roots, and the like, so that they are presented to the cutting blade means for cutting and also tend to prevent the roots from deflecting away from the cutting blade means when engaged thereby.

The described device is fairly inexpensive to construct, is compact enough to enter any sewer line while still being powerful enough to drive the rotor at such speed that it will effectively cut off roots and similar obstructions in the sewer line through which the cleaning device is passing. The guard carried by the device maintains the device in the proper centered position in a sewer line and prevents tilting of the device in the line when it is being advanced through the sewer line by the jets from nozzles 64, or when it is being withdrawn along the sewer line by reeling in of hose 18. In many cases, the cleaning carried out by the rotary cutting head of the present invention is adequate for all sewer cleaning operations so that no further cleaning of the sewer is necessary.

The device of the present invention is particularly advantageous when solid masses of roots are encountered because these can be broken up only extremely slowly by using standard nozzles that supply only jets of water.

With reference to root formations, the aforementioned plate 48 is advantageously made in the form of a central cutting blade by having lateral wings 80 turned up from the sides thereof and formed to present a sort of boring blade toward the front of the cutting head. When a solid formation of roots is encountered, the blade portions 80 permit the device to penetrate into the formation and the roots in the middle of the formation are either cut off by the blades 80 or are forced outwardly into the path of the cutting blade means 44 to be severed thereby.

Test and experimentation has shown that root formations and the like are cut through rapidly by the use of a device of the nature disclosed herein; and adequate cleaning of a sewer line is accomplished by the device; while, as mentioned, the device is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and maintain, and is as easy to use as a conventional nozzle.

Only one specific embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification, but various modifications and adaptations of the invention falling within the scope of the appended claims will occur to those skilled in the art.

What is claimed is:

1. A cutting head adapted for being inserted into a conduit such as a sewer line and comprising: a body having passage means therethrough from front to back and adapted for connection to a high pressure hose at the rear end of the passage, an axle member fixedly mounted in the front end of said passage and projecting forwardly from said body, said axle having channel means therein communicating with said passage at one end and opening at the other end to the periphery of the axle, a rotor mounted on said axle and freely rotatable thereon and having cutting blade means thereon and projecting therefrom, tangentially directed nozzle means on said rotor communicating with said other end of said channel means and operable to discharge jets of water to drive said rotor in rotation on said axle without imposing torque on said body, further nozzle means mounted in said body and communicating with said passage and operable for discharging jets of water rearwardly of said body so as to propel said cutting head along a conduit while also flushing material along said conduit toward the rear of said cutting head, said cutting blade means including radial cutting blade means on the front end of said rotor, said cutting head including axial ribs carried by said body and projecting radially beyond said radial cutting blade means, and axial skid members mounted on the outer ends of said ribs and extending from a position forward of said radial cutting blade means to near the back end of said body, said ribs and skid members supporting and guiding said cutting head in a conduit and preventing said radial cutting blade means from engaging said conduit and also supporting roots and the like extending into said conduit from the side while being cut by said radial cutting blade means.

2. A rotary cutting head according to claim 1, in which said axial ribs are distributed circumferentially of said body in axial planes of said body.

3. A rotary cutting head according to claim 1, in which each skid member comprises a rod, each skid mem- 6 her furthermore having its end parts inclined at an angle toward the axis of said cutting head.

4. A rotary cutting head according to claim 1, in which said radial cutting blade means is detachably mounted on the front end of said rotor.

5. A rotary cutting head according to claim 4, in which said cutting blade means includes center blade means detachably mounted on the front end of said rotor and projecting axially from the rotor in the center thereof.

6. A rotary cutting head according to claim 1, in which said further nozzle means comprises a plurality of nozzles distributed circumferentially about said body near the rear end thereof and having their axes divergent from the axis of said cutting head toward the rear.

7. A rotary cutting head according to claim 5, in which said radial cutting blade means comprises a single barlike blade member extending diametrically across said rotor and sharpened along the leading edges and along the outer ends.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,036,735 8/1912 Sieben 1S104.12 1,549,761 8/1925 Fuchs et al 151O4.12 2,062,850 12/1936 Weaver et a1. 15104.3 2,218,130 10/1940 Court 15104.12 2,692,752 10/1954 Heiss 15104.12 X 3,432,872 3/1969 Kirschke 15-104.12

EDWARD L. ROBERTS, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US1549761 *Aug 16, 1922Aug 18, 1925 Hydraulic pipe-cleaning device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3740785 *Jul 14, 1971Jun 26, 1973Brien Mfg Co OHydraulic sewer pipeline cleaner
US3844362 *May 14, 1973Oct 29, 1974Elbert KBoring device
US4073302 *Jan 18, 1977Feb 14, 1978Jones Thomas ECleaning apparatus for sewer pipes and the like
US4422209 *Jul 8, 1982Dec 27, 1983The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergyManifold tool guide
US4516286 *Jun 6, 1983May 14, 1985Patrick CraneSewer pipeline cleaning apparatus
US4568126 *Oct 14, 1980Feb 4, 1986Patent Development, Ltd.Method and machine for removing blockage and silt from abandoned auger holes
US4766631 *Sep 1, 1987Aug 30, 1988Sewer Rodding Equipment CompanySewer pipeline hydraulic root cutter apparatus
US4773115 *Oct 7, 1986Sep 27, 1988Systems Canada LimitedSewer cleaning device
US4993443 *Mar 29, 1984Feb 19, 1991City Of Crystal LakeSewer pipe cleaning accessory
US5257433 *Jul 2, 1992Nov 2, 1993Shinzou KatayamaCleaner for piping
US5335388 *Apr 13, 1993Aug 9, 1994Spartan Tool Div. Of Pettibone Corp.Cutter assembly for conduit cleaner
US5638844 *Mar 17, 1995Jun 17, 1997Iws, AgDevice for the cleaning of ventilation ducts
US5713093 *May 7, 1996Feb 3, 1998Enz Technik AgPipe-cleaning device with cutting head
US5988188 *Dec 31, 1997Nov 23, 1999Jir, Inc.Method and apparatus to remove obstructions from sewers without cutters or chemicals
US20040129498 *Jan 3, 2003Jul 8, 2004Pujol John JeromeLubrication injection device and method of use
WO2006127095A1 *Mar 17, 2006Nov 30, 2006Stoneman ThomasSimultaneously clean and inspect sewer pipes
U.S. Classification15/104.12, 134/167.00C, 15/104.31
International ClassificationE03F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationE03F9/002
European ClassificationE03F9/00B