Keeping Things Clean: What Is a Sewer Jetter?

May 12, 2020

If you've noticed that pipes around your home are clogged lately, you may need to start sewer jetting. But what is a sewer jetter? Click here to learn!

Sewage lines are the unsung heroes of America.

800,000 miles of public sewers run beneath the country’s surface. And, thanks to them, most people never have to worry about their waste! You flush the toilet and, as if by magic, disappears- never to be thought of again.

Until, that is, you get an obstruction somewhere.

Suddenly, the blissful ignorance in which most of us reside comes crashing down! Confronted with foul smells, overflowing water, and nauseating sewage backup, this is one problem you’ll want to resolve ASAP.

Thankfully, sewer jetters can help! But what is a sewer jetter and how can it get you out of this very literal mess? The coming article will explain all…

Read on for everything you need to know about sewer jetters and their applications.

What Is a Sewer Jetter?

A lifesaver- that’s what it is!

A sewer jetter is, quite simply, the perfect mechanical contraption to resolve your sewage-related woes. Commonly referred to as ‘water jetters’ or ‘hydro jetters’, they use a pressurized stream of water to unclog drains and sewers.

Imagine a cross between a mini fire hose and a pressure washer and you’re not far off the mark! More often than not, a giant water tank sits on top of a customized trailer (to be towed by a vehicle). There’s a motor, a pump, and an extensive reel of hose with an array of nozzle attachments.

You can also find smaller versions with less water capacity and power. These are better suited to residential use, where obstructions are unlikely to require as much effort to clear.

How Does a Sewer Jetter Work?

The first step to clearing a blockage in the sewage pipe involves inserting the jetter’s hose into it (with an appropriate nozzle connected to its end).

When it’s in position, the jetter will be switched on, releasing a powerful jet of water into the line. However, the nozzle works bi-directionally. A penetrative stream of water is shot forwards into the obstruction at the same time as a more significant propellant stream fires backward.

The jet works as a torpedo- propelling itself forward through the line and clearing any obstruction in its way. You can also turn off the penetrating ‘forward-blast’. This directs additional water rearwards in order to propel the line with more force, delivering a thorough clean.

In an ideal world, you’d start at the lower end of the sewage line in order to clear in an upward trajectory. When the obstruction’s been removed, a powered reel means the hose can easily be withdrawn from the sewer/drain in question.

Who Might Invest In a Jetter?

Anybody can go out and purchase a hydro jetter. However, as a specialized (and expensive) piece of equipment, it’s usually individuals in the plumbing and drain-cleaning industries who invest in them.

After all, having a jetter becomes a USP. They can now service drains and lines that other companies (without a jetter) couldn’t. In other words, it’s good for business.

People in charge of running large-scale facilities might also purchase a jetter. By having the equipment in place, they stay in control of their drain clearance and save the expense of outsourcing the task.

What Are the Benefits Involved?

Here are the primary benefits of using jetters over other forms of sewage cleaners:

They’re Simple & Safe to Use

A primary advantage of hydro jetters is the ease with which they clear obstructions. Hydro jetters of appropriate scale and power make light work of most blockages you come across.

Now, expert handling of the equipment does take practice. When you master it, though, the process involved is a breeze compared with alternative clearance methods.

They Offer a Swift and Efficient Solution

Jetters are well-known for the quality of the clean they provide. Not only do they clear out initial obstructions, such as rocks and sanitary products, but the extent of the clean prevents future blockages too. Sewage drains are left as spotless as they’re ever going to be!

Key Considerations When Buying a Sewer Jetter

Ready to invest in a jetter of your own? Keep the following things in mind as you go about choosing the right one for the job:

The Size and Power

It’s of paramount importance that you find a jetter of appropriate size and power for your operation.

Unfortunately, having both too much and too little power can be problematic!

Not enough and you’ll be unable to meet the demands of your clients. Stubborn blockages will refuse to budge, no matter how hard you try. Too much, though, and you can destroy the plumbing systems in place.

As a rule of thumb, storm drains require more power; everyday sewers can be cleared with less. Try doing some research to find a jetter that strikes the right balance.

The Ease of Service

Like all mechanical equipment, your hydro jetter will need servicing at regular intervals.

It’s in your interest to find one that makes the process easy! Anything overcomplicated will make this a challenge, which is bad news when your business relies on the jetter being operational.

Make sure that everything from changing the oil to the belts can be done with relative ease.

The Cost

There’s no denying it: sewer jetters aren’t cheap pieces of gear.

The benefits they provide come with a steep price tag! Understandably, many people look for budget options to reduce the capital investment required.

As the old saying goes, though, you get what you pay for. Cheaper jetters are more likely to suffer costly breakdowns and ensuing downtime. Paying more upfront can save you time, stress, and money in the future.      

Invest in Your Very Own Sewer Jetter

There’s nothing worse than suffering an obstruction in your drains or sewers.

The results tend to be smelly, dirty, and unsanitary- not to mention expensive, stressful, and nightmarish all-round! Thankfully, sewer jetters can be used to clear the issue and restore order in record time.

Hopefully, this post has answered the question of ‘what is a sewer jetter’ and shed light on the key role they play in this industry.

Search ‘plumbing’ on the website now to read more articles like this one!

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David Sunnyside
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter, I merge my engineering expertise with digital marketing savvy to offer fresh perspectives on architecture and design. My technical background ensures our content's precision, while my dedication to meditation brings a mindful approach to our bustling digital presence. Join me in exploring the artistry and analytics of building spaces at Urban Splatter.

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One comment on “Keeping Things Clean: What Is a Sewer Jetter?”

  1. Thank you so much for mentioning how effective it is to use sewer jetting to clear your pipes. These kinds of methods sound a lot easier than trying to rely on chemical agents all the time since that might cause some uncontrollable damage to our pipes down the line. I'll go and ask a plumber to help me with this immediately so we can finally solve our clog problem.

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