drain jetting

How Does Drain Jetting Work?

When you’re dealing with a severely blocked drain, traditional home methods and DIY remedies just aren’t going to cut it. Sometimes, drain jetting services are going to be the only option to fully clear out your drains and have your plumbing running smoothly again. 


But how does drain jetting work, and is it worth the expense? In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to take a look at how drain jetting can help unblock any clogged plumbing, and why it’s important to hire a professional to carry out the process for you. Let’s take a look!

What is drain jetting and how does it work?

Drain jetting is a drain clearing method that involves inserting a high powered jet hose into your drains to forcibly clear out any blockages. Drain jetting is only typically used on severe blockages, such as those caused by imposing tree roots. It should also only be carried out by a trained professional.

How does it work?

Rather than using a typical garden hose to clear blockages, drain experts will use an industrial-grade hydro jetter to clear your drains. The power and high speed of this type of jet hose makes it strong enough to dislodge any debris, gunk, or other blockages, with the added advantage being that workers can manoeuvre it from a distance; they won’t have to go into the drain or insert foreign objects into the drain to unclog it (such as a drain rod.) The water power of a typical drain jet can begin at 7000-7500 pounds per square inch, so it’s certainly going to remove all debris and leave the drain thoroughly cleaned and clear. 
When you hire drain jetting experts, they’ll bring their own PPE and jetting equipment, as well as any ladders or other tools needed to get the job done.
What are the benefits of drain jetting?
The main benefit of hydro jetting is that you’ll achieve a thorough cleaning for your pipes; aside from unclogging any blockages, you’ll also be able to clear away any oil or grease residue lingering on the interior surface of the pipes themselves. Oil and grease residue can provoke future blockages and slow down your plumbing system over time, so annual jetting can keep your pipes clear all year round. 
Plus, hydro jetting is more eco-friendly than using chemical cleaners or other substances to dissolve blockages; a hydro jet uses water alone to clear any blocked drains.
Can I jet my own drains?
For both the safety of your home and your own physical safety, we wouldn’t recommend that you jet your own drains. Here’s why:

Improper jetting can damage pipes

As mentioned above, the hydraulic power of an industrial drain jet can be anything upwards of 7500 psi, although the capacity of some hydro jets will be even higher than this. For certain pipes (such as damaged, older, or poorly fitted pipes) drain jetting can actually worsen existing problems, or even damage the pipes entirely. 

For this reason, it’s always important to consult with a plumber or hire drain repair services before opting for drain jetting; not only will they be able to perform the jetting safely, but experts will also be able to tell you whether or not your pipes are suitable for this intensive method of deep-cleaning. 

If your pipes are new and made with PVC, they’ll most likely be suitable for jetting, but some older plumbing might not be able to withstand the water pressure. When in doubt, plumbers will insert a camera into your plumbing to inspect the blockage and offer an expert analysis.


Also Read: How does temperature affect the performance of a drain jetting machine?

You can sustain serious injury

Another reason you shouldn’t perform drain jetting at home is that you could sustain serious injury, or end up seriously injuring your family members. Consider this – if the water pressure is powerful enough to dislodge stubborn tree roots, it’s strong enough to cause you physical harm! The UK even has its own official Water Jetting Association, a trade organisation set up to ensure safe practice and technical standards for workers using high-pressure water machines. In short, it’s not something to experiment with at home. 

Experts who use drain jettings tools are fully trained and have years of experience using this type of powerful machinery. They’ll also be equipped with comprehensive PPE gear to protect themselves during the process, which can be expensive for an individual to purchase for personal use.

It’s not a cost-effective option

While at-home drain jetting might appear to be the most budget-friendly option, the opposite is true! Drain jetting machines can be incredibly expensive, and given that you should only use these machines once a year, it’s not a smart investment for a homeowner. Factor in the cost for PPE and the time spent training yourself how to use the machinery, and you’re reaching a net negative for both your time and money.

Is Hydro jetting better than snaking?
Hydro jetting isn’t the only available option for unblocking severely clogged drains; some plumbers might instead suggest drain snaking (also known as drain rodding) to dislodge any blockages. Drain snaking involves the insertion of a long, hooked metal wire into your drains, which can be manoeuvred to dislodge blockages and gunk. 
In some cases, drain snaking might be the better option; if you’re dealing with a mild to moderate blockage, and working with older, more frail plumbing, an expert might prefer to use a drain rod than to test an older pipe’s ability to withstand an industrial-scale hydro jet. (Note: just like with drain jetting, we highly recommend that you enlist the help of a plumber or a professional drain repair team to carry out drain snaking.
That being said, drain snaking isn’t as effective as drain jetting when it comes to achieve a thorough and comprehensive deep-clean. While drain snaking will certainly dislodge any foreign objects or blockages in the drain, this method won’t be able to fully clear out any grease or oil build-up in the pipe, which can mean that you end up dealing with more frequent future blockages. 

How often should I jet my drains?

In most cases, drain jetting can be performed by a professional once a year; this will keep your pipes clear and blockage-free, without putting too much pressure on the pipes themselves.

Does jetting remove tree roots?

Yes! Drain jetting is a fantastic method for dislodging stubborn tree roots, but always ensure that you hire a professional to carry out the service.
Can hydro jetting damage pipes?
When carried out by a professional, drain jetting most likely isn’t going to damage your pipes. However, hydro jetting frail or older pipes can sustain damage when performed improperly. 

How effective is hydro jetting?

When it comes to comparing methods for clearing blocked drains, hydro jetting is most likely the most efficient and environmentally-friendly option. Hydro jetting will remove any blockages, while also rinsing away oil, grease, and other residue that has accumulated in your pipes.