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Introduction to Drain Cleaning Methods

Dealing with a clogged drain is always a hassle for homeowners. Whether it’s the kitchen sink backing up after doing dishes or the toilet flushing sluggishly, drain issues often seem to happen at the worst times.

Plumbers typically resolve clogs using one of two primary methods: drain snaking or hydrojetting.

This article explores the pros and cons of drain snaking versus hydro jetting, helping you understand their suitability for various clog situations.

As professional plumbers servicing St Peters for over 10 years, the team at St Peters Plumbing has extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise when it comes to unblocking drains. Whether it’s adopting the snaking method or deploying a robust jetting machine, our skilled technicians are equipped with the latest technology for clearing out even the most challenging clogs.

What is a Drain Snake and How Does it Work?

A drain snake, also called a plumbing snake or plumbers snake, is a long, thin, flexible cable device that’s used to physically clear clogs in deep plumbing and drains.

Ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 inch in diameter, drain snakes contain a tight spiral of wire wound around an inner cable that allows them to bend and flex as they’re pushed through pipes.

Using a drain snake involves guiding it into a clogged sewer line and employing a crank handle or motorised reel to advance the snake through the pipes. The end of the snake is designed to snag and get rid of debris as it’s turned, winding through the type blockage.

The mechanical action of a drain snake helps break down blockages, moving them through the drain pathway.

Drain snakes typically suffice for dislodging simple clogs comprised of hair, grease, soap residue, and other common household waste inside pipes. They can effortlessly navigate shapes sizes of straight pipe runs and gentle bends found behind sinks, showers, and other household fixtures. However, drain snakes are less effective for extremely stubborn obstructions like tree roots or mineral buildup.

Types of Clogs Drain Snakes Can Clear

Drain snakes can easily work well for clearing minor to medium clogs composed of accumulated hair, soap scum, food debris, grease, and other typical household gunk. They can effectively dislodge clogs in straight pipe sections up to 5 metres long and navigate through gentle 90-degree bends.

For fully clearing stubborn large clogs, especially those involving solidified grease/oil, thick roots, or substantial mineral deposits, snaking hydro jetting may be necessary. For extremely tough clogs beyond a snake’s capabilities, hydrojetting is generally required.

Choosing the right drain cleaning method relies on accurate clog assessment. Our licenced plumbers are adept at weighing the pros and cons of snaking vs hydro for each unique case, or if the stronger force of hydrojetting would better clear out your blocked drain.

Limitations of Drain Snakes

Although drain snakes can be handy for DIY minor clog removal, they have several notable limitations:

  • The snake can break up but will not eliminate the obstruction.
  • They struggle to navigate tight bends and complex pipe routes. Drain snakes work best in straight pipe sections.
  • Drain snakes also lack the capacity to clear dense blockages such as thick tree roots. Attempting to force a snake through such obstructions carries the risk of causing further damage by having it get stuck or breaking the cable.
  • Drain snakes often lack the power to provide more than a short-term solution, failing to tackle underlying issues such as invasive roots or malfunctioning fixtures.

For challenging clogs, hydrojetting’s pressurized water is a far more effective solution, scouring pipe interiors and blasting through tough blockages. A water jet also scrubs the full circumference inside pipes, effectively able to blast through clogs such as grease and precluding future backups.

Our team wields professional-grade jetting equipment, sending a forceful jet water surge through pipe systems with pressures reaching 1000 psi, engineered to effectively clear your pipes without the risk to damage your plumbing system. We evaluate each situation thoroughly, determining if snaking or hydrojetting is most suitable. Engage with your local St Peters Plumbing to schedule an appointment with our experts if a decision on which method, standard drain snaking or another approach, is essential for your blocked pipe challenges.

What is Hydrojetting and How Does it Work?

Hydrojetting, or drain jetting, employs high-pressure water to thoroughly clean and clear drains. Hydrojetting equipment generates a powerful water pressure stream that easily dislodges stubborn clogs within pipe channels.

To perform hydrojetting, a professional plumber inserts a narrow, high-pressure hose into the drain, aiming directly at the clog. As pressurised water ejects from the hose and nozzle, it is inserted into the clog location and the intense jetting action breaks up the obstruction. Universe debris and residues are flushed away.

Hydrojetting is extremely effective at eliminating even the most severe drain clogs composed of thick roots, grease/oil deposits, rust accumulation and mineral buildup. The powerful stream surges through, scouring and cleaning the full interior circumference of pipes. By contrast, drain snakes only puncture clogs without thoroughly cleaning pipe walls.

For comprehensive sewer repair and cleaning, professionals often choose the hydrojetting method. Hydrojetting’s extreme water pressure can cut through roots and various clogs, thoroughly cleaning pipes beyond the capabilities of standard snakes.

Types of Clogs Hydrojetting Can Clear

Hydrojetting excels in clearing the most severe clogs that conventional drain snakes cannot handle.

Hydrojetting can shred and flush away thick tree roots that have penetrated deep into pipelines. And stubborn blockages composed of sand, grit, and other dense materials are no match for the piercing force of a hydrojetting stream.

Likewise, extensive grease and oil buildup that coats pipe interiors can be scoured clean.

Alongside clearing existing drain obstructions, hydrojetting helps prevent future clogs by removing residue, biofilm, and particulates adhering to pipe walls. In contrast, drain snakes simply break through blockages without cleaning the interior pipe walls. So hydrojetting reduces the likelihood of continued drainage issues.

Reach out to St Peters Plumbing for expert drain cleaning services if you suspect that roots or significant grease/mineral deposits are causing your sewer line clogs. With our own hydro jetting equipment, we can restore full flow and leave your pipes cleaner than ever.

Advantages of Hydrojetting Over Drain Snakes

Hydrojetting ensures thorough cleaning and has several key advantages over using drain snakes for clearing clogged sewer pipes:

  • Superior cleaning power - The force of hydro jets with high pressure water can scour and scrub away even the most stubborn blockages like dense tree roots or hardened grease deposits.
  • Cleans full pipe circumference - Jets not only poke a path through clogs, they clean entire interior pipe walls so you don’t end up with residue that could lead to future backups.
  • Prevents future clogs - Hydrojetting eliminates build-up in all shapes and forms inside pipes that could lead to drain complications if left unchecked over time.
  • Suitable for extensive pipework - High-pressure hoses are flexible enough to negotiate tight bends and traverse long stretches of your pipes, extending beyond the reach of standard drain snakes.
  • Professional equipment - Our industrial-grade hydro jetting machine generate 1000+ psi, significantly more intense than standard consumer models. This extreme water force is far more effective than snaking, strong enough to slice through the most severe clogs with ease.
  • Long term solution - By thoroughly cleaning the entire drainage system, hydrojetting fixes the root cause of backups instead of just providing a temporary fix like snakes often do.

With the capability to force water with overwhelming power, the blasting action of hydrojetting stands vastly superior for clearing blocked drains. Contact the drain clearing specialists at St Peters Plumbing to see your best options if a hydro jet approach is the right solution for your clogged pipes.

Limitations and Risks of Hydrojetting

While an extremely effective drain cleaning method, hydrojetting does come with some limitations and risks to consider:

  • Compatibility Issues - High-pressure water jets risk damaging older copper, clay, or cast-iron pipes. A professional inspection is needed to ensure pipes can withstand hydrojetting.
  • Plumbing Damage - Improper technique could damage pipes, causing holes in pipe joints or fittings in hydro jetting procedures. Consulting with an experienced plumber will ensure you choose the best action for your specific plumbing issue.
  • Messy Process - Expect some mess during pressurized drain cleaning, as backflow may come out of fixtures. Proper prep and containment is crucial.
  • Access Requirements - Hydrojetting equipment is large, heavy and requires access to drainage systems. Tight spaces or buried pipes present challenges.
  • Not DIY-Friendly - Hydrojetting is not typically a home improvement task, as it requires extensive training and professional equipment not typically available to homeowners. DIY attempts can either solve a minor issue or, when mishandled, risk severe plumbing damage.

Our licensed technicians, with years of expertise, utilise hydrojetting to swiftly clear your sewer while safeguarding your plumbing system. We determine when hydrojetting is the right solution and take all precautions to keep the process quick and tidy.

Deciding Between Drain Snakes and Hydrojetting

When faced with a blocked drain, homeowners have to decide whether a drain snake or hydrojetting is the best solution. Here are some key factors to consider, such as whether to snake hydro jetting clogs or use alternate methods:

  • Clog Severity - Drain snakes can clear minor to medium clogs, while hydrojetting is needed for severe grease/mineral buildups or dense tree root obstructions.
  • Pipe Condition - Older or fragile pipes may be at risk of damage from the high pressure involved in hydrojetting. Inspection is needed.
  • Long-term Goals - Snakes provide a temporary fix on symptoms but hydrojetting improves overall pipe condition to prevent recurring issues.
  • Accessibility - Hydrojetting equipment has more difficulty with tight spaces. Snakes are simpler for isolated sinks/tubs.
  • DIY vs Pro - While snaking can be a DIY project for less significant issues, hydrojetting should be left to professionals with the right equipment and training.
  • Cost - Hydrojetting has greater upfront costs but delivers more enduring solutions by fully resolving root causes of clogs.

As licenced professionals with extensive expertise using both state-of-the-art drain snakes and hydrojetting systems, St Peters Plumbing specialises in effective clearing of all types of blocked drains. Contact us for a consultation so we can inspect your modern plumbing and definitively determine whether snaking or hydrojetting is your best option.

Considerations for Homeowners

As a homeowner contending with a clogged drain, evaluating whether to use a drain snake or engage professional hydrojetting services is crucial. Here are key factors to keep in mind:

  • Initially attempt to use a drain snake for minor blockages. Feed the end into your drain opening and twist to push through common debris like hair and soap scum. Stop immediately if you meet too much resistance.
  • On the other hand, call a professional plumber for serious obstructions, reoccurring issues, or to inspect your pipes. Attempting to force a drain snake past dense clogs risks breaking it or damaging pipes. Professionals also have heavy duty equipment to clear severe blockages.
  • Consider hydrojetting for comprehensive pipe cleaning, especially if multiple drains are sluggish or you have roots, grease, or mineral buildup. Hydrojetting scours entire pipe interiors to prevent recurring clogs.
  • It’s what you’ll want to discuss - maintenance options when there are signs of persistent issues, during plumbing consultations. Techniques like snaking provide temporary relief while hydrojetting improves overall drainage function. Understand costs and long-term benefits before deciding.
  • Schedule regular drain inspections to stay ahead of problems. Catching small clogs early prevents major headaches. Professionals can assess issues and advise on appropriate solutions.

The qualified technicians at St Peters Plumbing are on hand to discuss your clogged drain concerns and suggest optimal solutions. Call us to learn more about snaking vs hydrojetting and keeping your pipes clear.

The Role of Professional Assessments

The crucial first step in addressing a blocked drain is an expert assessment to identify the most appropriate cleaning method. Here at St Peters Plumbing, our licenced technicians can accurately diagnose a clog by inspecting your pipes, locating obstructions, and identifying the composition of the blockage.

We evaluate factors such as the drain layout, pipe condition, obstruction severity, and risks of structural damage. This careful consideration permits us to make informed decisions about pursuing jetting or snaking based on the specifics of the scenario.

Committed to excellence, St Peters Plumbing employs high-quality imaging technology, like pipe cameras and locators, to meticulously inspect drainage systems. Our expert analysis provides homeowners with peace of mind that the most effective approach will be used.

Avoid the hassle of persistent clogged drains - contact St Peters Plumbing today at 1300 349 338 for a complimentary quote and expert evaluation. Standing by 24/7, our friendly team is ready to take care of your needs and ensure your pipes are flowing freely once again.

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