Hydro jetting and snaking are two popular techniques for unblocking clogged residential drains. Hydro-jetting uses highly pressurized water to blast away clogs and dirt. Snaking uses an electric auger or a manually operated drain snake with rotating blades to cut through clogs. Some augers have long cables that reach into the sewer line to unblock it, while others have shorter cables for unclogging indoor drains. The technique you choose can determine the success of your drain cleaning project. Therefore, consider the factors below when choosing the best method for unclogging your blocked drains.
The Severity of the Blockage
Hydro jetting uses highly pressurized water to blast through massive clogs, including tree roots, grease and fats, food debris, and hygiene products. Therefore, this technique is suitable for severe blockages in indoor drains or sewer lines. Look out for multiple blocked drains and slow drainage throughout the home. If you only have one blocked drain or a soft clog, opt for drain snaking. Snaking is fast and efficient—you only need to insert the auger into the affected drain and clear the blockage.
Age and Condition of the Pipes
The condition of your pipes can limit the use of a particular unblocking technique. For example, snaking isn't recommended where the affected pipe is broken due to root invasion. The cable can get caught in the broken pipe and damage it further. Also, an auger isn't the best choice for a drain line that has epoxy from previous repairs, as the blades can damage the material. If your pipe is broken or has an epoxy lining, you should opt for hydro jetting.
Hydro jetting has its limitations as well. If you have an old cast-iron pipe with old fittings, the highly pressurized water can blast the piping material and worsen the condition of the pipe. However, hydro jetting rarely damages pipes. The plumber adjusts the pressure of the water depending on the severity of the blockage. Therefore, if your pipes break during the cleaning, they were previously worn and should be replaced.
Availability of a Drain Cleanout
A drain cleanout provides access to the sewer line and allows the plumber to insert drain inspection cameras, drain snakes, and drain jetters. If you don't have a cleanout, using an auger to clear the sewer line can be difficult because of the lack of a suitable insertion point. In this case, hydro jetting would be the best cleaning method. However, if you opt for hydro jetting, you must consider the location of the cleanout. If it's in a crawl space, the water from the hydro jet can flood the space, necessitating a cleanup.
Consider these tips when choosing between snaking and hydro jetting to unblock your drains. A plumber can inspect your drains using a video camera and determine the best technique to unblock them.
For more information about residential drain clog repair, contact a local company.