What Is Sewer Line Hydro Jetting & How Does it Work?

Using a hydro jet to clear a drain

Hydro jet drain cleaning uses high-pressure water streams to clear clogged pipes and sewer lines.

A plumber inserts a pipe inspection camera into the line to locate the clog, then follows up with a hydro jet treatment.

The jet is a purpose-built rotating nozzle attached to a heavy-duty hose on a power washer. The nozzle has several small holes facing in different directions, which create powerful water streams that blast away debris. Water pressure can reach up to 4000 psi to remove most blockages quickly and efficiently.

Hydro jetting is an environmentally friendly and more effective alternative to chemical drain cleaners. The process is safe for most piping materials, including PVC and cast iron — if you know what you’re doing.

Hydro Jetting vs. Snakes & Augers

A drain snake has limited reach and lacks the power to clear stubborn clogs. The same goes for augers, which are effective only for removing softer blockages high in the drain pipe. A hydro jet can reach much further down the sewer line and apply much greater force to blockages and debris.

• It clears away tree roots in sewer lines.

• It cleans grease and other substances quickly.

• It can reach areas inaccessible by snakes or augers.

• It prevents future clogs by clearing out accumulated sediment and scale buildup.

Snakes and augers are popular tools with DIYers, but only trained professionals should perform hydro jetting because it’s potentially dangerous and damaging if done wrong.

Hydro Jetting Is for Drain Pipes & Sewer Lines

Sewer and water lines use different pipes. Sewer lines are much larger and heavier to accommodate the flow of waste and water. They’re perfect candidates for hydro jetting. Water pipes, on the other hand, are not.

  • High-pressure water from hydro jetting can damage the thin walls of water pipes, potentially causing leaks or ruptures.
  • Water pipes typically don’t experience blockages and build-up as sewer lines. Their build-up is from scale and mineral deposits, at which point the pipes should be replaced.
  • The high water pressure used in hydro jetting can also disrupt the water flow and pressure in the pipes, potentially causing issues for the plumbing system.

The Pros & Cons of Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning

Benefits of hydro jet sewer line cleaning:

  1. Effective: Hydro jetting can clear tough clogs and buildup in sewer lines, restoring flow and preventing blockages.
  2. Environmentally friendly: Hydro jetting doesn’t use harsh chemicals, making it a safer option for the environment.
  3. Thorough: The high-pressure water stream can reach all areas of the sewer line, removing most buildup and debris.

The downside of hydro jet sewer line cleaning:

  1. Cost: Hydro jetting can be more expensive than other drain cleaning methods.
  2. Noise: Hydro jetting can be loud and disturbing to pets and neighbors.
  3. Equipment: Hydro jetting requires specialized equipment and trained technicians, making it a poor choice for DIYers.
  4. Possible damage: The high-pressure water stream can damage pipes if not applied carefully, especially older or fragile pipes.

Hydro Jetting & Cured-in-Place Pipe Relining (CIPP)

Cured-in-place pipe relining is a trenchless sewer repair method where a flexible liner is inserted into an existing damaged sewer pipe. The liner is coated with an epoxy resin that hardens and cures to form a new inner pipe within the old one.

CIPP is cheaper than replacing an entire sewer line because it requires less excavation and labor. CIPP uses only two small access points, and the surrounding soil and structures remain untouched. This not only reduces the cost of the repair but also minimizes disruptions to landscaping and your home.

Before we insert the new epoxy lining, we hydro jet the old pipe to eliminate buildup, debris, or obstacles that could prevent the liner from fitting properly. The high-pressure water stream ensures a smooth, clean surface for the new epoxy lining to adhere to.

Hydro Jetting for Sewer Line Maintenance

Periodic hydro jetting helps to prevent blockages and buildup in drain pipes. Substances like grease, hair, and soap can accumulate in the pipes, reducing flow and leading to blockages. High-pressure water jets blast away these substances, ensuring the pipes remain free-flowing.

Hydro jetting can extend the life of the drain pipes. It lowers pressure on the pipes by removing buildup and blockages. This is especially true if tree roots have invaded the sewer line.

Regular maintenance can also identify any potential issues with pipes, such as cracks or corrosion that can cause expensive slab leaks. Periodic hydro jetting can be an investment in your sewer pipes’ long-term health and function.

Are Your Drains Slow? Contact West Coast Chief Plumbing

If your drains are slow and you experience frequent backups, hydro jet drain cleaning may be the plumbing solution you need.

At West Coast Chief Plumbing, our certified technicians have years of experience with hydro jetting technology. We use advanced camera inspection technology to locate blockages and check the sewer line’s condition, and professional-grade equipment to clear gunk and debris.

All work is guaranteed.

Call us today for a free estimate, or to learn more about hydro jetting and what it can do for your home or business.



FAQs: Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning

Q: How does hydro jetting differ from traditional snaking?

Unlike snaking, which physically breaks through blockages, hydro jetting uses water pressure to clear blockages and clean the pipe walls. This prevents future clogs and cleans more thoroughly.

Can hydro jetting remove tree roots?

Hydro jetting is powerful enough to cut through and remove tree roots infiltrating pipes, making it a preferred solution for severe blockages.

Q: Is hydro jetting safe for all types of pipes?

It’s safe for most pipe materials, including PVC, metal, and cast iron. However, it’s important to have a professional assess older or damaged pipes before proceeding.

Q: How often should I use hydro jetting services?

It depends on the use and condition of your drainage system. Generally, we advise hydro jetting every couple of years to maintain clean and clear pipes.

What are the environmental benefits of hydro jetting?

Hydro jetting is environmentally friendly, using only water to clean pipes without harmful chemicals. This method protects your pipes and the environment.

How effective is hydro jetting compared to chemical drain cleaners?

Hydro jetting is significantly more effective and safer than chemical drain cleaners. It removes clogs and residue without the risk of damaging pipes or the environment.

Can hydro jetting fix slow drains?

Absolutely, hydro jetting can improve the flow rate of drains by removing the build-up that causes them to slow, and offering a long-term solution compared to other methods.

What indicates that I need hydro jetting?

Frequent clogs, slow drains, and odd pipe noises suggest it’s time for hydro jet cleaning. Please consult a professional if you notice these signs.

How long does the hydro jetting process take?

The duration depends on issue severity and system size, but hydro jetting typically takes between 1 and 4 hours.

Is hydro jetting cost-effective?

The initial cost is higher than some other methods. However, hydro jetting offers a long-term solution, making it cost-effective by preventing frequent future clogs and pipe damage.

Can hydro jetting prevent future plumbing issues?

By thoroughly cleaning pipes and removing the debris that causes clogs, hydro jetting can significantly reduce the likelihood of future plumbing issues.

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(714) 953-1111



1506 N Clinton St., Santa Ana, CA 92703
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