If you are dealing with blocked drains you are probably experiencing some of the unpleasant side effects, such as slow water, flooding, or sewage backup. This is a problem that needs fixing, and quickly. But what is the right method for your drain blockage issues? The tools you need can vary depending on the type and size of the blockages as well as the types of pipes that you are dealing with. Let's take a look at the difference between the two most common methods: drain jetting and drain cleaning.
What is drain cleaning?
Drain cleaning can take a variety of forms. Professional plumbing engineers will use different methods depending on the situation at hand.
For very small clogs, you can try some at-home methods using baking soda, chemical drain cleaners, and the like. These can be effective if the blockage is small and there aren't any more serious issues going on further down the pipe.
If the clog won't shift using liquid drain cleaners, then your next port of call will be a plunger. Plungers work by creating a sealed vacuum over the drain opening that pulls any stuck debris out. Again, this method is effective if the blockage is near the opening of the drain and there aren't further blockages down the pipes.
Drain rods and drain snakes
Drain rods and drain snakes use a very similar technique to clear blocked drains. They are both long, thin tools that are pushed down the pipe to manually break up the blockages.
Drain snakes are very thin and flexible so they are used for sinks and other small-diameter pipes that have lots of tight bends.
Drain rods cannot negotiate tight bends because they are stiff. They are thicker and can produce more force because they don't bend, so drain rods are used for flues and underground drains such as sewer lines.
Power rodding is the high-tech version of drain snakes or rods. A motor is attached to a thin metal cable at the end of which are sharp metal teeth. The motor causes the cable to rotate and spin wildly. This spinning breaks up blockages, clearing the pipes.
This method is more effective at drain clearing than standard snakes or rods. It will clear more than just the main blockage because it will also remove debris from the surface of the pipe, so you are less likely to need drain-clearing services as often.
It isn't quite as powerful or effective as drain jetting but it can be a cheaper option.
What is drain jetting?
Drain jetting, also known as hydro-jetting, is a powerful method of clearing and cleaning drains. This isn't a method that you can DIY and you will need to bring in a professional drain jetting service to get the job done. The power from the high-pressure hose is so strong that it could cause serious damage to your pipes, not to mention yourself.
Drain jetting uses only water to unblock drains but it is the force behind the water that is key. Using a motor, the water is forced through a high-pressure hose fitted with a jetting nozzle at the end. By pushing the water through such a narrow opening, a massive amount of force is created in the water jet.
When the hose is threaded through your pipes, this water jet can clear clogs easily.
When to use drain jetting
Drain jetting is a versatile method that can be used to deal with a wide variety of drain blockages. Most people use this method when things get serious, after trying other methods that are less expensive or invasive.
With that being said, drain jetting isn't just confined to emergency situations. While this method is remarkably effective at removing stubborn blockages, it also has other benefits.
Chemical drain cleaners and other drain cleaning methods can clear a clogged drain but what they can't do is remove the hard deposits left on the inside of your pipes. And over time, these deposits can make blocked drains a more and more frequent occurrence.
A drain jetting service, on the other hand, can easily remove these hard deposits. So you can think of it as an investment in the future health of your plumbing system.
Tree root ingress
Another major benefit of using hydrojetting drain services is that the method is capable of removing tree roots. Tree root ingress is a serious issue. Once the roots find a point of entry through damaged pipes, they soon fill it with their offshoots. Over time, these offshoots will start to catch debris that has been put down the drain such as grease and toilet paper, leading to a very large blockage. In their most severe cases, tree root ingress can lead to burst pipes as the pressure finally becomes too much.
Like drain snakes, drain jetting can negotiate even the tightest of pipe bends. However, it is still powerful enough to deal with large blockages in sewer pipes and other underground pipe systems.
Disadvantages of drain jetting
This all sounds brilliant. High-pressure water is an environmentally conscious method of cleaning a pipe, drain, or sewer line and it is also the most effective technique available. There are some disadvantages to drain jetting, however.
The main downside of drain jetting services is that they are more expensive than other drain cleaning and clearing services. With that being said, hydro-jetting will deep clean as well as clear your pipes, meaning you are less likely to have a blockage again in the future. So it can work out cheaper in the long run.
Another potential problem with drain jetting is that it isn't the best method for old pipes. These can easily become damaged by the force of the water. It is always worth looking into what types of pipes are in your home before going forward with drain jetting services.
Drain jetting and drain cleaning are both designed to clean and clear your drains, preventing them from being clogged. There are several drain cleaning methods, each of which will be most effective for different pipes or types of blockages. Drain jetting is a technique that is powerful enough to remove the largest blockages, including tree roots. Instead of using manual force, like most other drain cleaning methods, it uses high-power water to blow through clogs.