Many homeowners don’t understand the difference between having their drain cleaned and cleared. While each has its place and function, the two require different procedures.
Hydrojetting vs. Snaking
A plumbing snake is ideal for the routine clearing of drain clogs, such as when some type of solid object, like a toy, gets stuck in the drainpipe.
A snake is typically enough to remove most forms of clogs that a plunger won’t take care of. Snaking a pipe can also find more serious problems, like having a tree root blocking the line, when you thought it might be just a mass of hair.
Snaking isn’t designed to completely clean pipes, and is only a temporary solution.
On the other hand, hydrojetting, sometimes spelled hydro-jetting or hydro jetting, isn’t just for breaking up clogs, as it clears and scrubs your drainpipes of material that tends to accumulate on the inside of the pipe walls, like grease and mineral buildup.
While hydrojetting is capable of clearing most clogs, it isn’t a do-it-yourself option. Also, if your pipes are old and weak or damaged, a hydrojet can actually damage the pipe, so it should only be preformed by a professional plumber.
Knowing When Your Drain Needs Snaking
Routing your drain with a snake is often the best method when the drain is clogged with hair, a toy or other hard objects. A routing machine referred to as a “snake,” clears a drain by running blades attached to a long cable down into the drainpipe until the blades reach the blockage.
The snaking machine’s motor turns the cable and spins the attached blades to break up and dislodge the clog. One benefit of routing is it can provide awareness of more significant problems, such as tree roots growing in the pipes. Snaking is sometimes also a safer option than hydrojetting for older homes with pipes that may be fragile and thus susceptible to being damaged from the high-water pressure used by hydrojetting.
Knowing When Your Drain Needs Hydrojetting
If your home’s drain has a history of blockages between the house and street, hydrojetting your sewer line may be in order. While snaking a slow-moving drain yourself will work well at times, in some cases you will need to call in a pro with the big guns.
Hydrojetting is often the most efficient solution for clearing clogged drains, as it has a greater capacity than a snake to clean out significant blockages in your drainpipes.
Many homeowners have never heard of hydrojetting and even most plumbing companies don’t offer the service because of the significant expense of acquiring the proper equipment as well as the training needed to learn how to operate the hydrojetting equipment safely and correctly.
Hydrojetting is a drain-cleaning system that uses plain water to clean out both sewer lines and septic tanks. This method works by blasting water under extremely high pressure through the pipes to remove any debris and build that may be blocking your drain lines.
Hydrojetting is usually a superior method for cleaning out clogged drains and can restore life to older pipes, provided the pipes aren’t compromised. The pressurized water shoots out of a hose at up to 4,000 PSI, or pound per square inch, at between 18 and 20 gallons per minute.
The water is pushed through the pipes with such force that it can cut through almost any sludge or obstruction that may be blocking the sewer drainpipe or septic tank.
Hydrojetting is very effective at cleaning sewer pipes of even heavy clogs, and things like limescale, sand, and grease that can tend to accumulate in your drain lines over time will be completely cleaned out as the high-pressure water scours the walls of your pipes.
The hydrojetting process is fast and environmentally friendly, as it does not require pouring harsh commercial chemical cleaners down your drain. Another benefit of the hydrojet process is that the effects last much longer than snaking, as hydrojetting scrubs the pipes clean, instead of just removing the blockages, resulting in an increased lifespan of the pipes.
Candidates For Hydrojetting
Personal residence and commercial businesses often have different needs. Here is some additional information to help you decide if you need hydrojetting or just a routine drain cleaning:
● If your home is on a septic tank system, hydrojetting will clear out sand and silt buildup, something that a snake or chemical drain cleaner isn’t capable of.
● If you are consistently experiencing slow drains in the kitchen, bath or frequently-clogged toilets, hydrojetting may be a good option as it will fully clear and clean the drains.
● If snaking the drain hasn’t solved the problem, and you have determined the blockage is not being caused by some type of permanent obstruction, then hydrojetting may be the solution.
● Hydrojetting is superior to snaking for most newer construction, and preventative maintenance can reduce the risks of losing business and customers.
● Both small and large businesses, like restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and schools, with large plumbing systems should have their pipes professionally cleaned with the hydrojetting process on a regular basis.
● In a commercial setting, where plumbing is used at a high frequency, the odds of debris clogging the pipes is substantially increased.
The Better Choice
While you can sometimes tell whether snaking or hydrojetting is the better method, most often it will be difficult to determine the source of the clog and which cleaning method is best. While a snake machine can be rented from your local tool supply or hardware store, a hydrojetting machine is intended for use only by trained plumbing professionals.
As always, if in doubt, it is wisest to seek the advice of a professional. In any of the above situations, an experienced plumber trained in both snaking and hydrojetting system with the proper equipment can quickly determine if hydrojetting your drain lines is the proper choice.
For further information on drainpipe cleaning, or if you need assistance, feel free to call us at Vietzke Excavating Inc. in Spokane, WA at 509-244-9607.