Snaking vs. Hydro Jetting

There’s more than one way to clear a clogged drain. But which method is better—snaking or hydro jetting? A plumber can help you choose the right approach for your situation. Still, it’s helpful to understand the pros and cons of snaking and hydro jetting before you find yourself needing either one.

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What is a Drain Snake?

Also known as a plumber’s snake or plumbing auger, a drain snake uses a long, flexible cable with a corkscrew on the end to cut through clogs. The corkscrew end is fed into the drain with a hand crank or electric motor until it reaches the obstruction. Pushing, pulling, and twisting the cable breaks up the clog and allows water to flow once more.

  • Drain snakes are effective at clearing basic, minor clogs, including toilet paper, hair, and food blockages.
  • Drain snakes are an eco-friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners.
  • Snaking a drain is easy and cost-effective.
  • Homeowners can attempt to clear the clog with this method before calling a plumber.
  • Drain snakes are suitable for homes with fragile pipes.
  • Drain snakes are not effective against grease buildup or severe clogs.
  • Drain cleaning capabilities are limited to the length of the cable.
  • Residue remains in the pipe, so the results are only temporary.
  • The corkscrew tip can scratch the pipe coating, leading to future cracks and rust.

What is a Hydro Jet?

A hydro jet is a high-pressure hose that uses a powerful stream of water to clear drain clogs. Because of the high water pressure involved, hydro jetting is best left to a qualified plumbing professional.

  • Hydro jetting is highly effective against the toughest clogs, including grease compaction and tree roots.
  • Hydro jetting is a non-invasive alternative to traditional sewer line repair, the only other option for some severe clogs.
  • The results are long-lasting, so you don’t have to clean your drains as often.
  • Hydro jetting pushes debris out into the sewer system rather than pulling it back into your home for a more hygienic drain cleaning method.
  • Only a professional can perform hydro jetting.
  • Old, delicate pipes might not withstand the high water pressure.
  • An accompanying sewer camera inspection is required to prevent damaging the plumbing system.

Which Drain Cleaning Method is Best?

Deciding what drain cleaning method to use depends largely on the extent of the clog. When your drains slow down, start by grabbing a plunger. If that doesn’t work, buy a small hand-crank drain snake at a local hardware store.

If it becomes clear that the clog is severe or situated further down the line, reach out to Mike Counsil Plumbing for help. We’ll evaluate your situation and recommend snaking, hydro jetting, or another drain cleaning method. Then, we’ll perform the work quickly and thoroughly, drawing on nearly 30 years of experience to ensure a job well done. Call us at 408-916-1226 today to schedule plumbing services in San Jose, CA, or the surrounding South Bay area.

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