The sewer line in your house probably has years of accumulated sludge before it becomes completely blocked. Soap, grease, hair and residue lay down in the interior of pipes over time. As the sludge builds on itself, the diameter of the interior of the pipe narrows and becomes more restricted, and therefore more likely to catch even the smallest particle or object flowing through it. The conditions that lead to a clog are not as visible, yet the symptoms of a sewer line blockage make themselves obvious – showers that will not drain, sinks that back up. Eventually, it is completely obstructed, and sewage and waste water is no longer flowing freely to your septic or municipal sewage system. Tree roots attacking the sewer line in the yard are another frequent cause of sewer backups.
In the past, the only option besides opening the pipe was an old-fashioned drain snake, which clears the line by punching a hole through the obstruction, which doesn’t address the source of the problem or prevent it from happening again, or using corrosive chemicals, both of which can be damaging to older pipes.
Hydro jetting is a newer method of dealing with sewer problems. It is a solution that’s best when clogs can’t be removed using a plumbing snake, such as heavy sludge and grease that has built up over time, or tree roots.
It consists of a high-pressure hose with a specialized nozzle connected to a machine that pressurizes the water, producing a powerful stream that clears the drain. It is used to remove or clear away the most stubborn blockage that a typical snake or rooter is no able to. It is usually done through a cleanout, which is an opening that allows plumbers to clean out clogs. A hydro jet, doesn’t just break up clogs, it clears your plumbing lines of material that builds up on pipe walls, such as minerals and grease. It can clear almost any clog.
The water is forced down the drain, where it pushes grease, mineral build-up, hair and other debris through the drain. Unlike rooting or cabling, this state of the art machinery is designed to blast away build up residing in the pipelines. Using up to 3,800 water pounds per square inch (PSI) at 15-18 gallons per minute it pressure washes the pipe thoroughly clearing away any obstruction, allowing larger pathway for the water to flow.
Hydro jetting is not an option for a do-it-yourselfer. If your pipes are damaged or weak, a hydro jet may cause more damage, so it is a process that should be done by a professional to avoid damaging your plumbing. The high pressure could damage lines if they are not properly inspected first. Before using a hydro jet, a plumber typically inspects the drain with a small camera to determine if the cause and location of the problem. In addition, a video inspection can reduce the possibility of sewage back flushing into other areas. If tree roots are a problem, the high pressure should cut through them.
For residential work, hydro jetting can remove sand, silt and scale build up as well as hair clogs and other residues that build up on the walls of the pipes. If you need to have your plumbing snaked on a regular basis a hydro jetting service will eliminate all the debris in the lines. Other methods and chemical cleaners may not flush the system completely. On the other hand hydro jetting is environmentally friendly, no harsh chemicals are needed and it doesn’t just break up clogs, it clears the system.