Should I Clear a Clogged Drain With a Snake or Hydro Jet?

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There’s never a good time for a clogged drain. Tough clogs can sometimes seemingly appear out of thin air and seriously disrupt the normal goings on in the home. But just what is the best way to clear a jammed up drain? That answer can be dependent upon a few factors.

Of the options available, the two most effective are clearing the blockage with a pipe snake and jetting drains with a hydro jet. Both methods are tried and true. But which one is the right answer for you? Let’s hash out the problem here.

Pipe Snaking

The pipe snake, or plumbing auger, is by the far the most common mechanical solution for clearing stopped up drains. It’s a tried and true method that has long been the stand by of plumbers and homeowners. It is comprised of a cable within a flexible housing with a crank on one end and an auger or claw on the other. The cable is fed down the drain until the claw makes contact with the blockage. At this point, the crank handle is turn causing the claw or auger end to bore into the blockage. The offending material can then either be pulled from the drain or will be broken into smaller pieces which will continue toward the sewer.

Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a more modern technology available to plumbers. Drainage jetting uses a long, flexible high pressure hose to traverse the pipe down to the blockage. When the blockage is reached, a high pressure stream of water is fired into the offending material, braking it into small pieces that can continue down to the sewer. When jetting drains, plumbers will use a small waterproof camera to inspect the condition pipes for preexisting damage.

Which Is Right For You?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these drain clearing methods. Pipe snaking is a gentle method which is safe for pipes of varying age and composition. However, it isn’t always the most thorough method, as sometimes remnants of the blockage will remain even though water flows through the pipe again. These remnants will inevitably collect material and eventually clog the pipe once more.

Drainage jetting is highly thorough and effective against all sorts of blockages. It is, however, not at all gentle. The use of high pressure water can further damage old or previously damaged plumbing. Not all plumbing is a candidate for the hydro jetting method. Discretion is a must when deciding how to go about clearing your stopped up drain. Be sure to try to take all variables into account and don’t be ashamed to call us at Home Team Plumbing if you’re unsure about taking care of the job yourself.

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