Hydro Jetting vs Snaking: Which Is Best For Your Clogged Drain?

hydro jetting vs snaking


Facing a stubborn clogged drain can be frustrating, leaving many business and home owners unsure about the best solution. Two of the primary remedies for clearing a stubborn clog is hydro jet drain cleaning and the snaking method. So which technique is right for your plumbing problem? In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method, so that you can choose the resolution that will be most efficient for your plumbing system.


Hydro Jetting vs Snaking: What’s the Difference?


Although both of these methods can be used to solve similar issues, they do have distinct differences and instances where one may be better than the other. Let’s take a look. 

What Is Hydro Jetting? 


Hydro Jetting


Hydro jetting is a powerful and efficient drain cleaning method used by professional plumbers to clear blocked or slow drains and sewer lines. This technique utilizes a powerful stream of high-pressure water jets to remove obstructions and clean the internal surfaces of plumbing pipes. Below is an overview of the hydro jetting process:


1. Inspection: A plumber will first inspect the plumbing system using a specialized video camera to locate the blockage and assess the condition of the pipes.


2. Water Jet: The hydro jetting machine, which includes a large tank of water, a high-pressure hose, and a specialized nozzle, is then introduced into the plumbing system. The nozzle is designed to direct pressurized water jets in various directions, providing thorough cleaning.


3. Pressure Application: Water is forcefully ejected from the nozzle at pressures ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 pounds per square inch (psi). This intense pressure is capable of dislodging and removing accumulated debris, grease, mineral deposits, and even tree roots that obstruct the pipes.


4. Debris Removal: The water pressure not only breaks apart clogs but also flushes the debris down the line, resulting in clean and clear pipes.

Pros Of Hydro Jetting


  • Effective Cleaning: Hydro jetting provides comprehensive cleaning, removing stubborn clogs and residues adhered to the pipe walls.


  • Sanitization: The process also helps in sanitizing the pipes by removing bacteria and germs.


  • Preventive Maintenance: It can be used as a preventive measure to keep pipes clean and extend their lifespan.

Cons Of Hydro Jetting


  • Not A DIY Solution: Hydro jetting should only be performed by trained and experienced professionals to avoid damage to the plumbing system.


  • Not Always Suitable: It might not be appropriate for old or damaged pipes as the high pressure could cause further damage.

The Snaking Method


drain snake


The snaking method, also known simply as “snaking”, is a traditional technique used by plumbers to remove clogs from drains and plumbing pipes. It’s a mechanical method that involves using a tool known as a plumbing or drain snake, or drain auger. The snaking process involves: 


1. Insertion: The plumbing snake, which is a long, flexible metal cable with a corkscrew-like tip, is inserted into the drain. This can be done manually or with a motorized device.


2. Navigation: The plumber navigates the snake through the plumbing system until it reaches the location of the clog.


3. Clog Removal: The snake breaks through the clog, dislodging or collecting the obstructing material, which can then be pulled out of the drain.


4. Extraction: Once the clog is removed, the plumber extracts the snake from the drain.

Pros Of The Snaking Method


  • Simple And Direct: Snaking is a straightforward method that can be effective for removing simple and accessible clogs.


  • Safe For Older Pipes: It’s often gentler than hydro jetting, making it suitable for older or fragile plumbing systems.


  • DIY Option: While professional assistance is advised for severe clogs, smaller clogs can sometimes be addressed with smaller, hand-operated snakes available at hardware stores.

Cons of The Snaking Method


  • Not Thorough: Snaking might not effectively remove all debris and build-up within the pipes, possibly leading to future clogs.


  • Limited Reach: The reach of a snake is limited, and it might not be effective for clogs that are far from the drain opening.

So Which Is Better Between Hydro Jetting And Snaking?


So Which Is Better Between Hydro Jetting And Snaking?


While snaking can be useful for simple, near-surface clogs, it might not be the best option for severe or deep clogs within the plumbing system. It’s often considered a short-term solution, whereas hydro jetting can offer a more comprehensive cleaning and long-term results.


So our overall assessment is the following: 


Snaking Is Best For:


  • Dealing with minor or moderate clogs, often located closer to the drain opening.


  • Handling clogs in sensitive or older plumbing systems that might not withstand the pressure of hydro jetting.


Hydro Jetting Is Best For: 


  • Deep and thorough cleaning of pipes.


  • Removing severe clogs, including those caused by grease, scale, and extensive debris.


  • Preventive maintenance to minimize future clogs and issues.


Before opting for hydro jetting, a thorough inspection of the plumbing system is crucial to ensure that the pipes can withstand the pressure. And again, it’s important to hire qualified and experienced plumbers to perform the job safely and effectively.


Looking For A Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning Company In Chesapeake? 


hydro jetting company


If you’re in need of hydro jet drain cleaning in Chesapeake or surrounding areas, reach out to us at Newman’s Plumbing. Our hydro jetting services are available for both residential and commercial properties. For residential properties, we’ll ensure that your home’s plumbing system is functioning smoothly and efficiently. And for businesses, our hydro jet drain cleanings can resolve common plumbing issues, as well as prevent future disruptions so that your operations stay running smoothly. Call us today for a free estimate at 757-465-0883.

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