When is Hydro Jetting a More Logical Solution than Snaking a Drain?
A clogged drain just happens sometimes. How bad the clog is depends on what’s down there and then you’ll be wondering what to try to fix it. Hydro jetting and snaking are two common methods for removing a clog. When is hydro jetting better than snaking a drain?
Just about any plumbing fixture in a home can get clogged. You might be faced with a toilet, sink or shower and the clog could be from one or more materials. Toilet paper, soap, hair, and food, or even stranger things, can cause a clog. Over time, it might not even be one thing, it could be mineral deposits, oil, cleaning product, grease, or anything creating a mess inside a drain. Knowing the pros and cons of hydro jetting and snaking may help you unclog the drain on the first crack and save time and money.
What’s Hydro Jetting?
You might or might not have heard of hydro jetting or hydro flushing. It is what the name sounds like. A high-pressure stream or jet of water blasts through a clog. A machine and hose shoot a jet of water at 3,000-8,000 PSI.
Benefits of Hydro Jetting
Hydro jetting has a lot of pros to it. It’s a simple concept and works in most situations.
- Effective – Hydro jetting clears out most clogs and does it without creating debris on the outside of a drain or fixture. Jetting works on hair, lime, dirt, grease, and plenty of other clogs. It’s powerful enough to work on nearly anything that’s a household problem.
- Save money – In some cases, this might be a little more expensive than trying a drain snake. If jetting works, it should clean out the drains and pipes so they’re good for a long time, saving you from repeating the problem and needing to get a snake or bottle of drain cleaner again.
- Clean – Other methods of unclogging a clog may bring up debris and leave a mess. Jetting is hygienic and does not create a mess, even a toxic mess, in a bathroom or kitchen.
- Easy for residences – Hydro jetting isn’t just for industrial or commercial uses now. It’s common to use in homes or apartments.
- Non-invasive – There’s no digging or hard work to get to lines, sewers, or pipes. This can be too difficult for a homeowner to DIY, not to mention the time or extra clean-up that might be needed. Hydro jetting doesn’t need this labor or access to other parts of a system.
- Safe – Using a hydro jet is safe. Furthermore, no chemicals or compounds are needed. It’s just water.
- Green – Again, there are no chemicals or harmful substances used, so there won’t be odors, fumes, or issues with anything left in your water, kitchen, or so on. There’s no potential harm to nearby water, land, or the nearby environment.
- Preventative – Hydro jetting can solve a current clog. It’ll make it far less likely to have another or a repeat problem because it leaves an entirely clean drain and pipes. You can get plumbing about once a year just for cleaning purposes, stopping build-up or clogs before you’ve got one.
Drawbacks with Hydro Jetting
There are a few issues to keep in mind with hydro jetting. First, professional plumbers always use a video inspection of a plumbing system before starting a jetting procedure. They need to know the condition and build of pipes and a system before blasting a powerful jet of water into it. Old or corroded pipes might not work with hydro jetting. You don’t want to DIY this without knowing what you’re getting into. Do not skip this step. You could cause a huge problem, much bigger than just a clog.
Snaking a Drain
A drain snake, or what might be called a plumbing auger, is using a long tube – the snake – to physically and manually break up and remove what’s causing a clog.
Most snakes or augers are tubes, with a cable inside, with a screw or hook at one end. There are different shapes and sizes. Some may look like a spring, a corkscrew, a hook, or a drill bit. There’s a handle at the other end.
The manual labor is pushing the tube and auger end to and through the clog. You want to twist, then grab, then pull out as much of the gunk as possible, then pull it out of the drain or pipe.
Pros to Snaking
Using a snake or auger is simple and good for minor, basic clogs. So most clogs at home, especially if you’ve caught it pretty early on, call for a snake. With jetting, you’ll need to call a plumber, which means more time and money.
If you have an older, worn plumbing system – the need for upgrading is another article – but even a pro might decide to snake it versus a jet or flush. You don’t want to risk breaking a pipe or component, so a snake might be needed even with a big, tough clog.
Cons to Snaking
Snaking is effective at clearing out clogs of all shapes and sizes, in drains and plumbing of all shapes and ages. It won’t give you a very clean drain or pipe, so the fix might just be a temporary one. The snake grabs as much of the clog as possible, but it’s probably not removing 100% of the material down there.
A snake may scratch or wear on some drains or components in a plumbing system. So especially if a drain needs repeated snaking, you might wear out plumbing parts faster.
How Do I Choose a Method?
Going with hydro jetting or snaking depends on what the clog is, how bad the clog is if you want to try to DIY it, the state of your plumbing system, and more. If you go from a plunger to a snake, and still can’t unclog it, then calling a pro and asking about hydro jetting might be what you’ve got to do.
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