Hydro Jetting Basics: How This High-Powered Option Cleans Sewer Pipes

Over time, massive amounts of waste and debris accumulate in your home’s plumbing system,  requiring hydro jetting in your sewer pipes. While traditional drain clearing methods such as plunging, snaking or even a baking soda and vinegar mixture often do the trick, serious clogs need more. 

Invasive tree roots and mineral deposits, for example, cause slow drains, foul odors, and even sinkholes in your yard. Customers frequently ask our licensed plumbers, what’s the difference between drain clearing and drain cleaning? 

Basically, drain clearing refers to snaking or the “puncturing” of a clog to break it up. Drain cleaning is a more thorough process that literally “cleans” the inside of the pipe. To fully clean drains, plumbers often use hydro jetting to eliminate sewer clogs. 

What Does Hydro Jetting Mean?

Hydro jetting powerfully solves the most stubborn obstructions, efficiently and effectively eliminating all debris in the sewer lines and leaves them clean as new.

How Does Hydro Jetting Work?

The hydro jetting system consists of a large water tank, high pressure hose, high strength nozzle, and a pressurization unit. Together, they force water through drainage pipes at a high rate of pressure, typically between 3,500 and 4,000 psi.

Plumbing drain lines are sloped in order to use gravity to help carry waste materials downstream. The plumber inserts the jetter’s nozzle through the clean-out opening at the lower end of the system. It works its way upstream and against gravity so the debris flows downward through the cleared pathway.

How Effective is Hydro Jetting?

  • Eliminate frequent snaking of plumbing lines by ridding the lines of all debris at once.
  • The procedure is eco-friendly, requiring no harsh chemicals.
  • Hydro jetting significantly improves the flow in older lines, which have often collected years of buildup.
  • This procedure effectively removes silt and sand, unlike augers or chemical agents.

Can Hydro Jetting Damage Pipes?

At Apollo Home, we perform a video camera evaluation before cleaning to determine the exact issue and pinpoint its location. This can be especially beneficial for larger roots which may require snaking or power rodding before cleaning. 

If the home has broken pipes due to age, material or ground shift, it’s irresponsible to hydro jet without a plan for the broken pipes. Many homes find the sewer pipes are made of clay or Orangeburg, a combination of wood pulp and pitch. These pipes were commonly used from the 1860s to the 1970s. 

Many municipalities, in fact, are in the midst of water and sewage line replacement projects as these pipes end their useful life. Tree roots often penetrate the clay or Orangeburg material as it breaks down, although roots often find their way inside PVC pipes as well.

orangeburg pipe | hydro jetting | how a high powered tool cleans sewer pipes | Apollo Home

If your sewer pipes are vulnerable, the camera provides you and your licensed plumber with the most information possible to form a plan. Your Apollo Home plumber considers all the options including no-dig, or trenchless sewer repair, pipe relining and other methods to give you the most reliable water service at the most affordable price. (Orangeburg image credit to DLThurston). 

What is Power Rodding?

For blockages deep in a drainage system, too far down for traditional remedies, power rodding is a powerful tool for licensed plumbers. Power rodding has been around longer than hydro jetting, and many professionals still use it.

Powered by an electric motor, power rodding uses a rigid steel cable and literally shatters the material blocking a drain. Hydro jetting, a newer option, uses an extremely high concentration of water to push the material through a system. 

Both of these advancements dramatically changed the field of plumbing. Licensed plumbers now quickly resolve issues that used to take a lot of time and effort to fix. 

Your plumber assesses each situation and recommends options for your specific clogged drain or pipe problem, and the condition and age of your pipes. 

Apollo Home plumbers are friendly as well as highly-educated in their trade. They’re always happy to review any procedures and answer any questions prior to performing plumbing services. 

Prevent Major Plumbing and Sewer Problems with the Apollo Care Plan

For homeowners in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, the Apollo Care Plan is a great investment. Membership includes seasonal tune ups of your heating and cooling equipment as well as annual evaluations of your electrical and plumbing systems. 

Use this annual evaluation to ask questions and to ensure your home mechanical systems are in good shape. Apollo Care Plan members also enjoy perks like priority scheduling, discounts, 24/7 service, and a VIP phone number. 

Our team also provides plumbing inspections. Before you buy a home or consider house-flipping, get a separate plumbing inspection. They’re often more comprehensive than a general home inspection. Outdated plumbing and electrical systems sometimes create big headaches, so be prepared prior to a purchase.

In Conclusion: Hydro Jetting Saves Time & Aggravation

Since 1910, Apollo Home has served the home comfort needs of the greater Cincinnati area. Whether it’s heating, air conditioning, electrical or plumbing services, Apollo Home is there for the health of your whole home. 

Driven to serve, Apollo Home has received awards such as “Best in Cincinnati” for Home Services, Angie’s List Super Service Award, Contractors of the Year from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and an A+ Accredited Business rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

Contact us today for help when you need an HVAC contractor, a licensed plumber or a licensed electrician in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky. 

Originally published October 26, 2013. Updated October 24, 2019. 

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