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Every homeowner will deal with a clogged drain at some point, it’s inevitable. Sometimes people can’t always control what gets flushed down the toilet drain or ground up in the garbage disposal. If you have toddlers or house guests that don’t understand how plumbing works, you get this one.

If you get a clogged drain in your shower, bathtub, bathroom or kitchen sink, your first line of defense should be a plunger. But if no amount of plunging will do the trick, you’re going to need something more powerful.

When professional plumbers are handling a clogged drain that won’t budge, they reach for a plumbing auger, also called a “snake,” or hydro jetting. Each technique handles different types of clogs.

What Plumbing Snakes Are Used For

A plumbing snake is a long metal tube with the cable running inside it, which has blades or a corkscrew auger attached to it, and a hand crank on the other side. The plumber inserts the cable end of the snake down the drain, then the plumber turns the crank as the cable moves through the drain.

Once the snake reaches the clog, the plumber can feel the resistance. Next, the plumber turns the crank in order to push the clog and pull it so it comes out of the drain. There are straight tube and J-shaped snakes; the straight tube is designed for sinks while the J-shaped snake is used for clogged toilets.

A ‘Deep’ Clean With Hydro-Jetting

With hydro-jetting, the plumber uses a high-pressure hose that is connected to a machine that sends a powerful stream of water down the pipes for a “deep” cleaning. With hydro-jetting, the plumber usually goes through a special opening that allows plumbers to clean out the pipes and clogs.

During this process, the water shoots down the drain so it can push out grease, mineral deposits, hair, and other sludge and debris out of the drain. A powerful hydro-jet can even break up tree roots.

Snaking is ideal for minor clogs, however, it does not thoroughly clean out the pipes the way that a good drain cleaning does. Hydro-jetting is very effective at clearing out clogs, sludge, and minerals that have accumulated over the years, but it’s not considered to be a DIY project.

Snaking or hydro-jetting, which one is right for you? To find out, schedule a service call with one of our Kansas City plumbers!

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