At some point in time, a drain will clog. When that happens, homeowners can become quite frustrated. The drain could be in the tub, the kitchen and bathroom sink, or even in the dishwasher. Things get stuck in the drain, the drain slows, and then it clogs and overflows. Unfortunately for the worst clogs, plungers will not work. When a clog just will not come out, there are a handful of tools that plumbers can use to get the job done.
The Tools of the Trade
One of the most commonly used tools is the plumbing snake. These are professionally known as plumbing augers. The snake has a cable inside of a long tube made of metal. At one end of the tube is a crank and at the other is an auger that may or may not have attached blades. The cable auger end goes into the drain and using the crank the cable is sent into the drain. Once the cable gets to the clog, the plumber keeps spinning the crank to grab onto the clog to dislodge it. Some plumbing augers are j-shaped and some are straight depending on their use. A toilet clog requires a j-shape snake. This is an effective tool to use for drains, but it is not the fastest tool a plumber can use.
The other option for a plumber is the newest one: hydro jetting. This tool is made of a hose with a nozzle that releases pressurized water. That high pressure water forces the clog down the drain. Most drains have an opening called a “cleanout” where plumbers can access clogs without going through the sink. With the forceful water jet, all of the debris and build-up is pushed down. Since hydro jets are extremely forceful, it is important for the plumber to first inspect the drain to be sure the pipe is in good condition. Hydro jets cannot be used in a damaged pipe.
Benefits and Drawbacks
There are pros and cons to using the plumbing auger and the hydro jet. The plumbing auger is best used on small clogs. They are often used when a small item falls into a drain and causes a clog. There are times when an auger will show that there is another problem that requires the use of a hydro jet. The only drawback to using an auger is that the drain is not cleaned by the auger, making a temporary way to solve a bigger problem. When it comes to using a hydro jet, the biggest benefit is the fact that the pipes are cleaned out by the force of water while it demolished clogs. The drawbacks to the hydro jet include the fact that damaged pipes can be destroyed by a hydro jet and that it is not recommended for someone who is not a professional plumber to do on his or her own.
Hydro jetting can be used for more than just breaking up a clog. Many plumbers will be hired to use hydro jets for sewer lines. The hydro jets are so strong that they can actually break up tree roots that can work their way into the lines that run from houses to the street. Instead of tearing up a front yard to get to the main sewer lines, hydro jets can be used instead.
Why Hydro Jets Work Well
Hydro jets work so well because they use hot water at an extremely high pressure. Most hydro jets are set to send water up to 4000 psi. Instead of using a rotating blade on a plumbing snake, the hydro jet scours. The heat and the psi break down solids like a hot knife through butter. The plumbing snake blade can damage the inside of pipes, but the hydro jet does not (unless the pipe is already damaged).
If you have any questions about removing clogs with a hydro jet, please contact us at Scott English Plumbing at 949-462-9773 or 714-987-9801.