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Husted Plumbing Blog

Is a Drain Snake or a Hydro-Jetter Better for Clearing Clogs?

hydro-jetting-cleaning-pipe-diagramIf you have a clogged drain in your house, you’ll probably reach for a plunger first to try to clear it. That’s a good idea. For simple clogs, a basic plunger can often take care of the problem. But if the plunger doesn’t do the trick, or the clog comes back only a short time later, what’s the next step? It’s not using chemical drain cleaners! Those are potentially hazardous for drainpipes and don’t take care of obstinate clogs.

The best option is to use either a drain snake or a hydro-jetter. Or, more specifically, call a professional plumber to use a drain snake or hydro-jetter. Although you can find basic hand-cranked drain snakes from stores, the tool we’re talking about is a powerful motorized device that only a plumber can operate effectively. And hydro-jetters aren’t commercially available since they’re dangerous in untrained hands (and too expensive for consumer use).

But… Which One Is Better?

Like many things in plumbing, it depends on the circumstances. There’s no single answer for any situation. But as long as you have professionals who understand both kitchen and bathroom plumbing in Ventura, CA, you can trust that the right tool to clear the clog will be put to use.

Pros and Cons of Drain Snakes

Drain snakes, which are also called drain augers, is like a narrow drill send down into a drainpipe. It rotates into clogs to break them apart. Drain snakes come in different sizes and powers, and some have flexible lines, and others are straight.

Pro: Drain snakes are basic, reliable tools, and plumbers are likely to use them for easier clogs—too tough for the plunger, not quite tough enough to pull in the hydro-jetter. They’re also better for older plumbing systems.

Con: Drain snakes can’t handle extremely tough obstructions, and they may end up just drilling a hole through the clog. That’s a short-term solution, not a long-term one.

Pros and Cons of Hydro-Jetters

Hydro-jetters send out powerful blasts of high-pressure water to scour the interior of drainpipes. Special multi-directional nozzles at the end of flexible hoses allow hydro-jetters to reach far down into pipes and cover a wide area.

Pro: Hydro-jetters are powerful. They can even blast out tree roots that have grown into sewer lines. These are the same devices used for large commercial and civic plumbing. They can clear out whatever is clogging the drain. Plus, they use the natural power of water—nothing cleaner than that!

Con: The force of the high-pressure water may damage older pipes. Hydro-jetting must absolutely be left to the best professionals, since picking the wrong power of hydro-jetter can end up cutting right through the pipe material. (Hydro-jetters are used to cut through metal in industrial jobs!) As we mentioned above, never attempt to use a hydro-jetter if you aren’t a licensed, trained professional.

Leave the Hard Work to Us

We hope this post has shed some light on how drain unclogging works and the tools we use to ensure you have clear drains. Call us whenever you need a drain opened up.

Schedule drain cleaning today: Husted Plumbing has served the Greater Santa Barbara and Ventura County Area since 1935.

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