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The Pros and Cons of Hydro Jetting

Oct 13 2023
Plumbers using a hydro jetting method to clear clogged pipes

Hydro jetting is a powerful technique used by professionals to clean the interiors of plumbing pipes in commercial and residential settings. It’s especially effective at addressing issues like slow-moving or clogged drains and sewer lines. 

With hydro jetting, a high-pressure stream of water scours away heavy buildup within pipe walls in a matter of minutes. From food residue to congealed wet wipes, hydro jetting has it covered.

While a hydro jet may be the ultimate solution to defeat the “final boss” of all clogs, it does come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss the upsides and downsides of hydro jetting for your plumbing system!

How Does Hydro Jetting Work?  

Hydro jetting works by harnessing the power of water—and lots of it.

This powerful tool is capable of blasting up to 4,000 PSI of water to disintegrate and eliminate sludge, grease, and even overgrown tree roots from sewer lines. Pressurized water of this magnitude can wash away just about any type of obstruction.

Two plumbers use CCTV imaging to inspect a sewer line clog

Equipment-wise, the hydro jetting system consists of a hose, a nozzle, and a specialized machine that supplies the pressure. 

Before beginning the process, your repair contractor will perform a CCTV inspection of the pipe to evaluate its condition. Older pipes that have seen more wear and tear run the risk of breaking under higher pressure, so a video inspection is an indispensable step in the process. At the same time, the footage will reveal whether the problem is indeed a mere clog or if the pipe has collapsed. If the latter is the case, then a pipe replacement would be necessary. 

If the issue at hand is a clog, then the nozzle and nose will be inserted into the pipe via the cleanout section. When the nozzle encounters an obstruction, the hydrojetting system releases pressurized water toward it until it loosens up and washes away.  

The Advantages of Hydro Jetting 

1. No Harmful Chemicals Involved  

Hydro jetting is a chemical-free way to clean wastewater pipes. By opting for this plumbing method, you won’t have to worry about exposing your household to any hazardous substances. No chemicals—just high-pressure water. 

2. All-Around Unclogging 

High-pressure water jetting can unclog just about anything. There is no pipe obstruction that this plumbing solution and professional plumbers can’t handle. 

3. More Powerful Than a Drain Snake 

While a drain snake may be effective for minor clogs, it can only poke holes in obstructions to allow water to flow freely. They aren’t designed to clean the inside of pipes, unlike hydro jets. Hydro jetting offers powerful cleaning properties, leaving your pipes spotless afterwards.

4. Non-Invasive 

Hydro jetting is highly effective, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any excavations to get it done. Access is obtained via the cleanout.

5. Tree Root-Tackling 

Overgrown tree roots that make their way into the pipes are some of the main reasons for sewer pipe damage. Hydrojetting can eliminate overgrown roots while they’re still small, preventing them from fully destroying the pipe. 

6. Eco-Friendlier 

Hydro jetting isn’t just effective and efficient—it’s also more eco-friendly compared to other methods. As previously mentioned, this technology harnesses pressurized water power only, which doesn’t inflict harm on the environment the way chemical solutions do.

a professional plumber inspects a sewer system with a hydro jet

The Disadvantages of Hydro Jetting

1. High Water Consumption 

This procedure consumes large volumes of water. So, it isn’t always the ideal solution, especially during a drought. 

2. Hazardous for Frail Pipes  

Older pipes have the potential to crack under high pressure. That being said, frail pipes should not be subjected to water shooting at 4,000 PSI. If that happens, your clog issue could develop into a ruptured pipe fiasco, resulting in serious hydro jetting damage.

3. Not a DIY Project 

Keep in mind that hydro jetting is not suitable for DIY use. Only licensed contractors are qualified to hydro jet pipes. 

When to Call a Hydro Jetting Expert 

If a clog occurs, the first thing you should reach for is the plunger. If that doesn’t work, a drain snake should do the trick, especially if it’s a mere toilet paper blockage. 

If that still doesn’t clear the obstruction, then it’s time to hire a professional plumber.

1st Rooter has been supplying quality plumbing services for over 25 years in the Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville surrounding areas. Our professional team of experienced plumbers specializes in all forms drain cleaning, including sewer line services and repair.

Don’t wait until a clogged drain leads to extensive, costly repairs. Request a quote today!

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