drain clog cleaning

Clearing Clogged Drains – Snake or Hydrojet?

Drain clogs are a problem that every homeowner will eventually face. Materials can get stuck in the toilet or the sink drains, they can also build up over time and cause slow drains or overflowing. If your plunger isn’t enough to unclog, you’re going to need something more powerful. Plumbers will often choose to use a plumbing auger or a hydro jet in these situations.

Plumbing Snakes

Also called a plumbing auger, the plumbing snake is a long metal tube encasing an inner cable with blades or corkscrew auger attached to one end. The other end has a crank attached. The cable end of the snake is placed into the drain and the crank is turned to extend the cable. When the cable has reached the clog, you will need to continue to turn the crank until it has pushed through the clog, then pull it out. Plumbing snakes can be a straight tube (for sink drains) or J-shaped (for toilets). There is also a larger, motorized version of the snake, typically used by an experienced plumber.

Pros
  • Ideal for minor clogs
  • Gentler method
  • Good for weak pipes
  • Suitable for older plumbing systems
Cons
  • Doesn’t thoroughly clean pipes
  • Clears a small space
  • Often a temporary solution

Hydro Jets

Hydro jetting is a high-pressure hose with a specialized nozzle connected to a machine that pressurizes water, creating a powerful stream that can clear the clog. The material that is clogging the drain (hair, minerals, grease, oil, etc.) will be forced to go down the pipe.  Before hydro jetting, a plumber will usually use a small camera to inspect the pipe for damage.

Pros
  • Thorough job of clearing drains
  • Can clear tree roots
  • Applicable for residential and commercial use
  • Environmentally-safe
Cons
  • Not safe for the inexperienced
  • Fragile, damaged or older pipes are not suitable

Snake or Jet?

The best method to clear up your drains will depend on the root of your clog. A plumbing snake can be used for slow-flowing drains and for occasional clogs for food or hair buildup, and a small, clogged toy or toilet paper. A hydro jet is needed when plunging and snaking is not fixing the problem. You should be calling a professional plumber to perform either option. Experts know how to safely handle these drain cleaning tools without damaging the system. Call us for a consultation!