what is hydro jetting

What is Hydro Jetting Plumbing? Understanding High-Pressure Drain Cleaning

Hydro jetting is a highly effective way to clean out pipes and clear blockages in your plumbing system. It uses pressurised water to remove build-ups from the interior walls of your pipes. Whether you’re dealing with a stubborn blockage or you want to perform preventative maintenance, hydro jetting can be an excellent solution.

The process of hydro jetting uses specialised plumbing equipment to deliver water at high pressure. It can reach up to 5,000 psi, depending on the severity of the blockage and the condition of your pipes. Hydro jetters can pump out up to 23 litres of water per minute, to cut through almost any obstruction, including tree roots, mineral deposits, and grease build-up, restoring your pipes to near-original capacity without the need for chemicals.

Opting for hydro jetting has its advantages; it’s effective and environmentally friendly. By choosing this method, you ensure that your plumbing system is cleaned thoroughly, reducing the chances of recurring clogs. Because it uses only water, it’s safe for your pipes and doesn’t introduce any toxins into the environment, making it a smart choice for maintaining your plumbing health.

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is a form of drain cleaning that uses high water pressure to clean and clear pipes. A powerful stream of water is pushed through drains and pipes at high psi (pounds per square inch) to dislodge and remove blockages. The result is restored water flow and improved efficiency.

Pressures range anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 PSI for residential and commercial applications, hydro jetting requires knowledge and skill in selecting the appropriate pressure for the specific job.

This cleaning method consists of several key components:

  • Jetting Machine: Generates the necessary water pressure.
  • Hose and Various Nozzles: Directs the high-pressure water into the pipes. Different nozzles are used depending on the type of blockage and flow of water required.

The hydro-jetting machine itself is a sophisticated piece of equipment, capable of delivering high-pressure water at around 5000 psi. It is designed to be sturdy and robust to handle the rigours of heavy-duty cleaning tasks. These machines also feature adjustments for pressure and flow rate to cater to different sizes of water lines and types of blockages.

At the business end of the water jetter machine, there’s a specialised nozzle attached to a flexible hose. The nozzle design varies depending on the application, with some designed to cut through grease, and others intended for more general blockage removal. The hose is specifically made to handle high pressures and navigate the twists and turns of complex plumbing networks.

The Hydro Jetting Process

The process begins with an inspection of your plumbing to identify clog locations and assess the pipe’s condition. We may use a CCTV drain inspection, particularly for sewer or underground plumbing.

Following this, a hose connected to a hydro jet machine is inserted into the drain. The machine then ejects water at a high psi to clean and clear your pipes, restoring proper flow and function within the plumbing system.

Benefits of Hydro Jetting

hydro jetting a toilet blockage

Hydro jetting is versatile, powerful, and can tackle a wide range of blockage issues, such as:

  1. Grease Accumulation: In our experience, grease is one of the primary culprits behind kitchen drain blockages. Hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to efficiently dissolve and remove grease buildup, restoring flow to your drainage system.
  2. Hair and Soap Residue: Commonly found in bathroom drains, the combination of hair and soap residue can lead to significant clogs. Water jetting provides a comprehensive solution, effectively clearing these substances and preventing future blockages.
  3. Food Debris: Even with diligent use of garbage disposals, food debris can accumulate in kitchen drains, leading to obstructions. Our hydrojet drain cleaning service can penetrate and dislodge food particles, coffee grounds, and other food waste ensuring clear and functional pipes.
  4. Mineral Deposits: Hard water can result in mineral buildup within pipes, narrowing the internal diameter and impeding water flow. Hydro-jetting is capable of removing these mineral deposits, enhancing the efficiency of your plumbing system.
  5. Tree Root Intrusion: Tree roots seeking moisture can infiltrate sewer lines, causing severe blockages. Hydro jetting can effectively cut through and remove these roots, though in extreme cases, further remedial actions may be required.
  6. Sediment and Scale Buildup: Over time, sediment and scale can accumulate, particularly in areas with hard water. High pressure water jetting technology can remove these buildups, significantly improving your plumbing system’s performance.
  7. Non-Flushable Items: Despite labeling, many wipes and sanitary products are not suitable for flushing as they can cause obstructions. Sewer jetting is a powerful solution for removing such items and restoring unimpeded flow.
  8. Foreign Objects: Occasionally, objects that have no place in the plumbing system, such as children’s toys or personal care items, can cause blockages. Hydro jetting provides an efficient method for removing these objects, ensuring the integrity and functionality of your pipes.

As professional plumbers, we recommend hydro jetting for its effectiveness in addressing a wide range of plumbing blockages. However, it’s important to assess the condition of your plumbing system beforehand. Water jetting may not be suitable for all pipes, particularly those that are older or compromised.

It’s Eco Friendly

Hydro-jetting is a sustainable solution for the environment. It eliminates the need for harsh chemical cleaners, ensuring no harmful substances are deposited into our ecosystem, aligning with eco-friendly practices.

It’s Versatile

Hydro-jetting can be used in residential homes, commercial establishments, or municipal infrastructure. It accommodates various pipe diameters and materials. Its versatility makes drain jetting an indispensable tool for addressing diverse plumbing challenges.

It’s Cost Effective Long Term

Hydro-jetting, although potentially more costly initially, proves to be a cost-effective solution for your plumbing issues. This method can dislodge even the most stubborn obstructions, such as soap and grease buildup, which are common culprits in a clogged drain.

Incorporating hydro jet plumbing into your routine plumbing maintenance can help prevent future blockages and extend the operational life of your pipes. By proactively removing accumulations of debris, the likelihood of encountering urgent plumbing issues is greatly reduced.

Hydro-Jet vs Traditional Drain Cleaning

hydro jetting plumber tools

At Full Flow Plumbing and Drainage, we use both hydro-jet drain cleaning and drain snakes, and can offer you both choices for clearing blocked drains, depending on your budget.

Comparison with Drain Snakes

Drain snakes, or plumbers’ snakes, are a common tool you might reach for to tackle clogs. They are a flexible rod inserted into the drain to physically break up or retrieve obstructions.

While effective for minor blockages, drain snakes often provide a less thorough cleaning than hydro jetting. They can remove the block, but don’t clean the pipe walls, which can lead to quick recurrences of clogs.

Chemical Drain Cleaners and Their Downsides

Chemical drain cleaners offer a no-touch, pour-and-wait solution. These cleaners use harsh chemicals to dissolve hair, grease, and other common clog substances. However, the downsides are significant.

Chemical cleaners can be harmful to your pipes, potentially causing corrosion over time. They often contain chemicals such as caustic soda, bleach, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid, all of which pose environmental risks and can be toxic to your household.

Hydro jetting, while requiring professional operation, avoids these chemical risks and cleans the pipes without damaging them. It uses water, and nothing else.

Why Choose Hydro Jetting Services

When your drains are blocked, a hydro jetter offers a powerful solution that traditional methods can’t match. Using high-pressure water, our professional plumbers can effectively clear out clogs and maintain your plumbing system.

The Role of the Professional Plumber

A professional plumber is not just a tradesperson; we are highly skilled specialists in the water jetter process. We are trained and equipped to operate the complex machinery needed to deliver pressurised water through your pipes, efficiently clearing out the buildup of debris and blockages.

Safety and Technical Aspects

Hydro jetting must be done with utmost caution, as the high-pressure can be harmful if not handled correctly. It’s not something we recommend you tackle as a DIY job, injuries can and do occur with high water pressure and equipment handling.

Inspection and Location

We often perform a camera inspection beforehand to determine the condition of your pipes and locate blockages, ensuring that hydro jetting is the appropriate course of action.

This is a critical step as it informs our plumbers about potential risks and helps avoid any potential damage to your plumbing system.

Potential Risks and Precautions

Despite its power, hydro jetting carries potential risks to your pipes, especially if they are weak or old. A professional inspection is necessary to ascertain the condition of your plumbing and avoid further damage.

The high velocity of the water can be damaging if your pipes aren’t up to par, making it essential to approach hydrojet drain cleaning with the utmost caution and expertise.

Maintenance and Prevention

Maintaining your plumbing system is crucial to prevent the need for frequent repairs. Implementing a regular maintenance schedule and understanding the correct follow-up procedures after hydro jetting can help your pipes remain clear and functional for longer periods.

Post-Hydro Jetting Tips

After high-pressure water jetting, it’s essential to be proactive in preventing future clogs. Initially, make sure that you avoid disposing of materials that easily lead to blockages, such as oils, grease, and non-flushable items, down your drains. Consider installing strainers in your sinks to catch debris, and regularly flush your drains with hot water to discourage buildup.

Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance, including preventive maintenance and occasional pipe replacement, is vital. You should have your plumbing system inspected by a professional annually. They can spot potential issues early, such as minor blockages or wear that could necessitate pipe replacement. Between professional visits, keep an eye on your plumbing’s performance; slow drainage or gurgling sounds could indicate a need for attention.

Troubleshooting and FAQs

Below are some common questions about hydro jetting, often used to address issues such as recurring clogs, sewer backups, and root intrusions.

plumber hydro jetting a blocked drain

How Long Does Hydro Jetting Take?

Hydro jetting can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the severity of the blockage, and condition of your pipes. For straightforward drain cleaning services, it might be a quick process, but for main sewer line cleaning or severe sewer jetting cases, it may take longer.

Is Hydro Jetting Worth it?

Hydro jetting, with its ability to efficiently remove blockages and build-up, is a worthwhile investment. It can reduce the likeliness of drain blockages and issues with your main sewer. In the long term, it can be more cost-effective than repetitive traditional drain cleaning services, especially if you encounter recurring clogs.

How Much Does Hydro Jetting Cost?

At Full Flow Plumbing and Drainage, our hydro jetting services start from $349 for the first hour. Subsequent hours (if needed) are charged at a lesser rate. Please get in touch to discuss your specific needs. We are upfront with our pricing, and you only pay for what you need.

How Long Does Hydro Jetting Last?

Hydro jet cleaning can keep your drains clear for several years. The exact duration depends on your household’s usage, tree root intrusions, underlying issues like leaks or structural pipe damage that may cause more frequent issues. Regular maintenance can extend the benefits even further.