Everyone knows about plumber snakes, but more and more plumbers are turning towards modern technology for their drain cleaning.
Plumbers will often present their drain cleaning options in different packages. The first package might be simply snaking the drains, and the most expensive option usually includes hydro jetting.
The question for most homeowners is: is hydro jetting worth it?
In this article, we’ll discuss the subject and help you make an educated decision.
What is Hydro Jetting?
Over years of using drain pipes, gunk and grime build up in your plumbing system. You may not notice it for a long time, but you will eventually notice slower drains, recurring drain clogs, and drain backups.
As this matter builds in the pipes, the diameter of space that water and waste travel through begins to shrink, restricting flow in your drain system. As more gunk and grime accumulate, the probability of bad drain blockages increases dramatically.
Hydro Jet drain cleaning machines are powerful pressure washers with long hoses designed to clean the inside of your drains. The hose is inserted into the drain and pushed through your entire drain system while it sprays high-pressure water to blast away the gunk.
Hydro Jetters are used by plumbers and drain cleaners to clean drains and clear blockages. You can hire a hydro jetter service provider as part of routine drain maintenance, or a plumber may use a hydro jetter to destroy a blockage and clear it from the system.
Hydro Jetters can vary quite a bit. Some are small while others are big, some are electric while others are gas-powered, some have lower psi while others have higher psi, some are for small drain pipes while others are for large, and so on.
Ultimately, hydro jetters are one of many drain cleaning tools available to drain servicers. They’re modern, effective, and reliable – and, they’re worth considering.
Hydro Jetting versus Drain Snaking
Not all service plumbers have jetters, but every service plumber should have a drain snake.
Drain snakes are the most common technique for clearing drain blockages, and they’ve been around for a long time.
Drain snakes are very effective for restoring flow in your drain pipes. If you have a blockage in your drain, there’s a good chance that the drain snake will break it and allow it to flush out the system.
However, in certain situations (i.e. grease blockages), the snake will simply drill a hole through the blockage. Flow will be restored, however, majority of the obstruction will remain in the drain. In this situation, drainage will remain slow and the chance of a reoccurring drain blockage is high.
Additionally, the drain snake won’t clear out the same amount of gunk in the drain pipes.
On the other hand, a hydro jetter should blast out nearly all of the gunk stuck in the drains. It can often take care of grease as well as many other types of blockages.
Since a jetter uses water to clear drain blockages, it’s important that the water has somewhere to go. Many plumbers prefer to use a drain snake to open up the drain, followed by a hydro jetter to completely clean the system. This way, they don’t need to have a bucket or vacuum ready to catch the back spray.
Will Hydro Jetting damage the pipes?
It depends! Hydro jetters certainly can damage drains, depending on the situation.
Some hydro jetters are much more powerful, and they’re designed for much bigger pipes. If you take a jetter designed for 4″ pipes and use it on a 1″ pipe, you may very well have a bad time.
Additionally, old or damaged pipes are particularly susceptible to leaks or damage caused by jetters, as they can’t handle the high-pressure water.
A good plumber will evaluate your system and use his experience to decide whether or not a jetter is a good idea.
Why is Hydro Jetting so expensive?
Hydro jet drain cleaning services vary from company to company and location to location.
Some factors that affect the price are the price of the machine, the price of the plumber’s time, and the difficulty of your drain system and blockage.
The Price of the Machine
Hydro Jetter machines are expensive!
While very similar to pressure washers, hydro jetters cost much more. This is because they’re built to run longer and harder.
Some jetters cost tens of thousands. And, their cost doesn’t stop once they’re purchased. They require ongoing maintenance to protect the machine for years to come.
The Price of Time
It’s easy to forget that it takes a lot of time and education to become a plumber. Not everyone can do it!
As such, a plumber’s time is valuable.
Even if the plumber only needs fifteen minutes to clear your drain, he must account for travel time, the time required to pick up the jetter from storage, the time required to take the phone call and book the appointment, and many other factors
The Difficulty of the Blockage and Drain System
A proper plumbing system with an easy blockage may only take fifteen minutes to fix. However, a plumbing system that isn’t built to code (very common) combined with a stubborn blockage can take hours to fix.
That time must be accounted for, and the cost must be passed to the customer.
Conclusion: Is the Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning upsell worth it?
According to an Oakville plumber, while a Hydro Jetter service isn’t always necessary, it may certainly help prevent any blockages from reoccurring for quite some time.
Some factors to consider are: how long it has been since your drains were cleaned, how old your home is, the price the plumber is asking, and how often you deal with drain issues.
Sometimes, the price of the upsell may shock and upset a customer. If that’s the case, this service probably isn’t for you. However, if the peace of mind from knowing that your drain system is clear of any possible obstructions is worth the cost, then we recommend it!
Written by Harlow Sweeney