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Hydro Jetting vs. Snaking

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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 and on to the sewer line, or ground up in the garbage disposal that leads to a buildup which results in a blockage. If you have toddlers or house guests that don’t understand how plumbing systems work, 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. Simple clogs can usually be resolved with a plunger, such as too much toilet paper, or drain clogs that are caused by something other than mineral build up or fragile pipes. But if no amount of plunging will do the trick for that stubborn clog, you’re going to need something more powerful (or someone with the right tools, such as our plumbing company) to take care of the plumbing problem.

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 for different types of clogs and blockages (large sewer pipes versus smaller, fragile pipes, as well as accessibility for a “clean out” to help clear the clogged pipes)

What Plumbing Snakes Are Used For

Drain cleaning can be approached from many different angles, and how the plumber chooses to remove obstructions in the drain line can be determined by the kind of blockage or situation.

When there is a hard clog, or there are tree roots in the main drain, a plumber’s snake, or auger, is most often used.

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 drain 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

Plumbing services may also have access to drain cleaners called 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 called a “clean out”. 

During hydro jetting services, the water shoots down the drain with incredible water pressure, 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.

Call A-1 Sewer and Septic For Our Drain Cleaning Services

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