Ask Any Hour - What's the difference between drain snaking and pipe jetting?
Dear Any Hour,
I recently had someone recommend that I have my kitchen drains cleaned with a hydro jetter. I have had the drain snaked before but I’m curious what the difference is between a drain snake and a hydro jetter. And do you think I should have this done?
- Troy R.
A lot of people ask us what the difference is between drain snaking and pipe jetting (aka hydro-jetting). So, you aren’t the only one who is confused. We asked two of our drain experts some questions to learn more about these two drain services and when/why each would be used so we can better explain the difference between them.
WHAT IS DRAIN SNAKING?
When you have a slow or clogged drain, the first action to take is to have it snaked to get the water flowing again. This is considered a temporary fix to the issue as this basically pokes a hole in the stuff that is blocking the pipe to allow it to flow again. Build-up will still remain on the pipe’s walls and will continue to collect debris again and eventually clog.
WHAT IS PIPE JETTING / HYDRO-JETTING?
Hydro-jetting is the process of flushing or jetting a high-powered amount of water through pipes. It works exactly the way it sounds: a drain technician sends a hose down your drain, fitted with high-powered jets on a multi-directional nozzle. This jet washes your pipes from the inside out, clearing all the sludge and sewage from the insides of your pipes. It’s like a “beefed-up” pressure washer that projects water out at a high rate into a pipe to remove buildup that’s there.
Hydro-jetting can clean the inner walls of the pipe or drain so it will return to its original diameter. The hydro-jetter has an efficient nozzle that shoots water forward and water that angles backward. By using this technology, it thoroughly cleans off the debris on the inside of a pipe and makes it like new.
The diagram below provides a visual showing the results of cabling or snaking a drain as well as hydrojetting or pipe jetting.
Here are a few more questions we asked our drain experts to help us understand more about pipe jetting and why/ when we would need to have that service done.
- HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD HAVE MY PIPES HYDRO-JETTED?
If you have a drain in your home that is regularly clogged and you have tried cabling it to clear some of the blockage to have it drain, but it keeps reoccurring, then you should look at what is actually causing the issue and look at having it hydro-jetted to clear it out. You can keep cabling it, which basically just punches a hole through the blockage to let water go through that hole, but it will likely build-up and clog again over time. And you can spend a lot of money, time and effort continuing to cable it as a temporary fix or have it hydro-jetted as a more permanent solution.
- WHAT PIPES IN A HOME ARE USUALLY THE ONES THAT NEED TO BE HYDRO-JETTED?
The most common lines in a home that need hydro-jetting are in the kitchen. There’s a lot of stuff that goes down kitchen pipes along with the different soap that’s used there can create quite a bit of build-up. Another place is the main line to the house where things can happen like roots growing into a line and causing a blockage.
- WHAT IS THE MAIN REASON TO HYDRO JET A PIPE?
It usually comes from a blockage happening. It’s usually done in preparation for a more permanent solution.
- WILL HYDRO-JETTING DESTROY MY PIPES?
The hydrojetting process does not destroy your pipes; it does not cause any damage to pipes made of plastic, steel, or copper.
- WILL HYDRO-JETTING CLEAR OUT TREE ROOTS FROM THE SEWER LINES?
There are different sizes and types of pipe jetters/hydrojetters used for clearing out pipes. While they may be powerful enough to clear out tree roots from sewer lines, this might not be the best thing to do to fix the issue. It might be better to excavate and fix the pipe instead. If you are having problems with roots, it's best to have a drain specialist take a look and help determine the best solution to eliminate those issues from coming back.
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May 25th 2021