Jetting Vs Snaking: Which One Will Work Better For Your Clogged Drain?

21 December 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


Since it's difficult to tell what is blocking up your clogged drains without sending a sewer camera down the lines and paying extra for it, it's best to use clearing equipment that works well for grease, hair, and other common materials. Both hydrojetting and drain snaking methods work for most household clogs, but they still offer completely different sets of advantages and disadvantages. Find out which one best fits your home's drainage system by comparing them directly.

Potential for Pipe Damage

Since clogged drains can be full of tiny cracks and holes that compromise the stability, it's always possible that drain clearing might result in damage. However, the high pressure generated by a hydro jet is a lot more likely to cause damage, and it should not be used on old-fashioned ceramic or wood composite pipes at all. It's perfectly safe for any metal or PVC pipes that are in otherwise good shape. Snaking is a little safer if you suspect your pipes are fragile or damaged because an experienced plumber can carefully guide the device through the pipe without bumping into the walls.

Overall Cost of Drain Clearing

Worried about a big bill from the plumber after getting your clogs removed? Snaking is definitely more budget-friendly, mainly because the equipment has been around longer, and there are more people experienced in using this method. Hydrojetting comes with a higher price tag, but in many cases it's well worth the extra money. You don't want to pay a fee for snaking and then up footing the bill for hydrojetting on top of it if the first attempt failed to produce the results you wanted.

Effectiveness at Removing Clogs

For most homeowners, the sheer effectiveness of hydrojetting is enough to convince them to spend a little more for it. Using jets of water works better than traditional snaking because

  • the pressure builds up behind the clog until it is forced out, instead of relying on mechanical force to loosen the material
  • water jets clear everything off the walls of the pipe, while drain snakes only punch a hole as large as the auger tip
  • the removal of residue prevents debris from accumulating in the same spot, unless there's a flaw in the pipe causing the problem
  • the device moves itself through the pipe, ensuring every inch is properly cleaned and cleared in the process.

Flexibility for Different Situations

Both hydrojetting and snaking work in a wide variety of clogged drain scenarios. Whether the clog is located just under the kitchen sink drain or somewhere deeper, you'll get results from picking either method. Jetting comes out ahead when the clog is located deep in the municipal sewage connection since these pipes are very large and the huge clogs that block them need complete removal or they'll seal back up again quickly.

Power for Cutting Out Tree Roots

Basic snaking won't work for tree roots, but a snake fitted with cutting blade tips and a little extra power does work well for cutting out the fibrous material. In contrast, even the strongest hydrojets can only remove very fine tree root hairs. Many hydrojetting teams won't use them at all for this purpose because it does nothing to stop the root from growing back.

If the professional clearing your drains runs into a hard obstruction that the snake can't push through, they'll likely recommend a camera inspection instead of going straight to jetting in case there are tree roots causing your drainage issues. The tree that is growing into the pipe must be identified and removed or trimmed so that the problem doesn't just keep returning after each visit for auger clearing. Contact a company like Lowry Services: Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for more information.


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