Pros and Cons of Hydro Jetting Clogged Pipes

by | Jul 29, 2022

Hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to break down and flush out sludge, hair, grease, and even tree roots from clogged or slow sewer drain pipes without any chemicals. At up to 4,000 PSI, water under this much pressure can break up almost any obstruction. You could compare hydro jetting to pressure washing, just for the inside of your pipes, with more powerful tools. 

When there is an obstruction in a sewer line or a drain is running slow, contact a professional plumber to come out and determine the best course of action. Many times, they will start with a video inspection through the cleanout, which is a small section of pipe with a cap for easy access. This will help to determine where the clog is and assess the lines to see if they are strong enough to withstand the pressure. If the pipes are too old, fragile, or degraded, your plumbing contractor may recommend using a traditional plumbing snake to avoid damage. 

If the affected pipe can stand up to hydro jetting, there will be no obstructions or blockage after the operation as the high-pressure jets clean everything out, leaving the line as clean as the day that they were installed. When using a plumbing snake, the clog or obstruction generally stays in place while the snake just pushes a hole through to restore flow, meaning the clogged drain will probably reoccur.

Hydro jetting is also safe and environmentally friendly as there are no chemicals or other cleaners required. Since it only uses high-pressure water and precisely controlled pressure nozzles, there are no environmental concerns and require no additional cleanup. 

There are only a few downsides to discuss, and the first is cost. Unlike traditional drain cleaners, hydro jetting is more expensive with a higher upfront cost due to the tools, technology, and equipment used. Many homeowners justify this higher cost because, unlike mechanical cleaning tools, hydro jetting thoroughly cleans the pipe and leaves no residue to help another clog build-up. 

Hydro jetting is not suitable for old piping systems. The first step to any effective pipe clog removal is a video inspection. When the video reveals old, weak, degraded pipes, a more traditional method of clearing the clog must be used. This is also true if the drain pipe is made from old clay, as the high-pressure water may chip away at existing cracks in the porous clay material and cause further damage. 

Unlike snaking, this is not a DIY repair. Accessing the cleanout is very straightforward, but it takes an experienced, trained professional to hydro jet without damage. The exact amount of water, amount of pressure, and speed of travel are essential settings required to get the maximum cleaning effect. When these settings are wrong,  the pipes could be damaged by too much pressure or if the pressure is activated at the wrong time. Imagine dealing with a pipe repair or repiping job because of a DIY pipe clog repair gone wrong in Greenwood. 




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