Hydro jetting is one of the most effective ways to clean a drain and do the job quickly. However, the process isn't as simple as sliding a hose in the drain and blasting away a clog. Your plumber has several considerations first, and when hydro jetting begins, proper technique is essential so your pipes aren't damaged and the hose doesn't get stuck. Here's why you need a professional plumber for effective hydro jetting and how to tell if your pipes can handle the procedure.
Why Hydro Jetting Is A Job For A Plumber
A commercial hydro jet drives water under great force. The stream of water is so strong that it's dangerous. When water is under enough pressure, it can cut through about anything. While cutting level pressures aren't used inside pipes, the pressures used are strong enough that protective equipment is necessary when using a hydro jet. You can rent an electric water jet for clearing drains, but these have only a portion of the power that a commercial jet has. A rented jet might work on a small clog, but a major clog will require more powerful equipment.
You might be tempted to rig up a power washer or use some other DIY method to blast out the clog, but there's a good chance the hose will get stuck in the clog due to the way water washes out material that then gathers behind the head. If your hose gets stuck in the clog, the plumber might have to dig up the pipe to repair the situation.
How To Know If Hydro Jetting Is Appropriate
Newer pipes and drains can usually handle the force of a hydro jet. If your house and plumbing are old, the pipes could be too weak to withstand the force of the jet of water. Your plumber might look inside the pipe with a camera first to check the pipe for corrosion and weak areas. However, when a pipe is clogged up with tree roots, it can be difficult to see the pipe to get a good idea of its condition. Your plumber may decide to proceed with the water jet on a lower setting so the risk of damage is low. Once some material has been removed from the sides of the pipe, the condition of the pipe should be more apparent.
If it turns out that hydro jetting isn't right for your pipes, the plumber has other drain cleaning options to try. A drain snake can clear out clogs and get your plumbing functional again. A snake may not clean the sides of the drain as well as a hydro jet, but it can bust up clogs so water can start flowing through your drains. The last thing you want is to bust a pipe when cleaning a drain, so your plumber is careful to choose the best method of drain cleaning for your old pipes, depending on their condition and age.