Traditional Drain Cleaning Method

Drain Jetting vs. Traditional Drain Cleaning Methods: A Comparison

When the labyrinth of pipes that make up your home’s plumbing system runs smoothly, it’s easy to forget the crucial role they play. But when a drain blockage occurs, causing slow draining or, even worse, sewer backups, we are promptly reminded of their importance. Drain cleaning, an essential part of maintaining a home’s plumbing system, comes in many forms. This article seeks to compare the modern method of drain jetting with traditional drain cleaning methods, allowing you to make an informed decision about the best approach for your household.

What is Drain Jetting?

Drain jetting, also known as hydro jetting or high-pressure water jetting, is a modern and innovative method of cleaning and unblocking drains. This method utilises a high-pressure water jet, capable of reaching up to 4000 PSI, to blast through the obstructions, such as tree roots, accumulated waste, and even mineral build-up, that may have formed in your drain pipes. The sheer power of the water jet not only clears the immediate blockage but also cleans the entire diameter of the pipe, often restoring it to a near-new condition.


Benefits of Drain Jetting

Comprehensive cleaning

Unlike traditional methods, drain jetting does not just remove the blockage; it also cleans the pipe walls. The forceful water blasts can effectively eliminate grease, mineral scale, and other accumulated residue, providing a comprehensive cleaning that few traditional methods can match.



As drain jetting only uses water to clear blockages, it’s an environmentally friendly alternative to methods that rely on harsh chemicals. This is particularly beneficial for households aiming to reduce their environmental impact, without compromising on effectiveness.


Long-lasting results

Since drain jetting thoroughly cleans the pipe walls, it can provide long-lasting results. The drain is less likely to get clogged again in the near future, which can save homeowners the time, stress, and expense of frequent drain cleaning.


Safe for pipes

Although the water pressure in drain jetting is high, it’s generally safe for most types of pipes, including older ones. The technique can be adjusted to match the pipe’s material and condition, thereby minimising the risk of damage.


Read our full guide on how drain jetting works.


Examining other drain cleaning methods

Drain rodding

Rodding is one of the oldest and simplest drain cleaning methods, and involves using a rod to physically break up a blockage. While it can be effective for minor obstructions, it may not be sufficient for severe blockages or for fully cleaning pipe walls.


Chemical drain cleaning

This method uses potent chemicals to dissolve the blockage, and while it can be effective, it carries environmental concerns and may damage pipes over time. It also poses a safety risk if chemicals are mishandled.


Drain snaking

A drain snake is a flexible coil of wire that can be pushed through a pipe to break up a blockage. This is another common method for clearing single, localised obstructions, but may not be as effective for larger, more widespread blockages.


Using a plunger

Most homeowners are familiar with using a plunger to clear a blocked toilet or sink. It’s simple, cheap, and eco-friendly, but its effectiveness is often limited, and it cannot clean the pipes.


Is drain jetting the best option for drain cleaning?

When it comes to selecting a method for drain cleaning, the best option often depends on the nature of the blockage and the specific circumstances of your household. But what does that mean?

In short, drain jetting provides a comprehensive cleaning solution, tackling stubborn obstructions while cleaning the entire pipe system, which can result in long-lasting results. Additionally, it does so using only water, making it an environmentally friendly choice. However, it’s a more technically complex method and requires specialist equipment, which may make it more costly than some traditional methods.

In contrast, traditional methods like rodding, chemical cleaning, drain snaking, and plunging can be effective for minor blockages and are generally less expensive to perform. These methods might be suitable for small, localised obstructions, but they may not effectively handle severe blockages, and they generally do not clean the pipes to the same extent as drain jetting.

It’s worth noting that if your household frequently encounters drain issues, investing in drain jetting might be a cost-effective long-term solution. However, if you have older or fragile pipes, you should consult with a professional before opting for drain jetting as it may cause damage in some cases, despite its generally safe nature.


The bottom line

Overall, drain jetting is a powerful, comprehensive, and eco-friendly drain cleaning method that can provide lasting results. Traditional methods, on the other hand, are generally more straightforward and less costly, but may not be as effective for severe blockages or for cleaning pipes.

Before making a decision, it’s important to consider the nature of your drain issues, the condition of your pipes, and any environmental considerations. As always, consulting with a professional plumber can provide valuable guidance, helping you to choose the most appropriate and effective method for maintaining the integrity of your home’s crucial plumbing system.

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