When it comes to a clog, plungers are generally the go-to solution. If that doesn't work, a plumbing snake may be used to remove the obstruction. For the hardest blockages and build-ups, a hydro-jet system may be enlisted.
Hydro jets are essentially a powerful, specialized pressure washer. A uniquely designed nozzle is attached to a machine that pressurizes water, producing a powerful stream that can reach up to around 60,000 psi. This amount of pressure is even powerful enough to break up tree roots and, because of this, it is important to inspect the pipes prior to use and ensure the pipe is not damaged, as the pressure can potentially damage it further. This is usually done with a camera sent down the drain.
After checking the pipe, the special hose and nozzle, which vary in size between 1.5" and 8", is moved into the pipe. The design and the pressure from the water generally self-propels the system through the pipe, cleaning away minerals, grease and debris. Several passes may be made to fully clean away tough blockages. After completion, the pipe is checked once more to ensure the job is completed.
For minor and temporary clogs, cleaning with a hydro jet may not be the best solution. If the material blocking the pipes does not break up easily with snaking like toilet paper, hair or food would, it may be a more difficult blockage like a tree root or mineral build up.
These are the blockages hydro-jet use is targeted at, but if the stronger solution is used for less-stubborn obstacles, it will also clean the pipes entirely while removing the blockage. The stream of water is forceful enough that it not only removes those blockages, but also any bacteria that has settled in the drains. If there are any foul smells coming from the drains, this can help to remove them as well.
Clogs are sometimes cleared out with a snake but not completely removed due to breakage. A single hydro-jet cleaning will ensure the pipe is completely clean and can delay the need for another service call for up to four times longer than a typical procedure with a snake. This reduces sewer service expenses over the long term.
Hydro-jet cleaning is also more environmentally safe than another option of using chemicals to break down blockages. It is also safer on the pipes themselves avoiding any potential damages from the chemical solutions.
While a plumbing professional can be enlisted to complete the task, hydro-jet cleaning systems can be rented as well. If comfortable with using the system and confident that there are no prior damages to the pipes, this may be a possible solution. This is especially true for places with a lot of frequent build up and blockages, like restaurants, that may use this more than residences. These can be picked up at large retailers like Home Depot or Lowe's.
For instances few and far between, especially when unfamiliar with the state of the pipe system, it may be best to reach out to a local plumber. This can help avoid potential damages from accidental misuse.
© 2017 Ashley Doyle