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The Best Way to Clean a Clogged Drain: Part II

Last month I talked about how to choose the best method of drain cleaning, and of course the ‘best’ method depends on the situation and what is needed. I covered some basics about drain systems and some general guidelines that can help choose the best methods; cable drain cleaning or hydro-jetting. The article finished by covering the benefits of cable drain cleaning, and this month we’ll take a quick look at hydro-jetting.

Jetting or hydro-jetting is a process that utilizes high water pressure to clear a drain. A flexible hose has a ‘head’ on it that pushes the hose downstream, while at the same time punching through a clog. Jetting drains originally was designed to clean main sewer lines under the street, from one manhole to another. The only equipment available was sized for that job, so it was huge and could never be used on drain lines in buildings or even the building main sewer line; but things are very different now.

Courtesy of Duke’s Root Control, Inc.

Now, plumbing and drain cleaning companies can choose from dozens of different sizes of equipment; from trailer mounted to van mounted to portable hand-truck size, all the way down to small jetting systems contained in their own self-contained toolbox using ¼” high pressure hose.

Trailer-Mounted Jetter

Portable Jetter

Toolbox Jetter

Normally, jetting drains can be a good, quick, and thorough way to clean a clogged drain. Today’s jetters can be regulated so the water flow and water pressure fit the pipe size, the location, and the need. If there are roots in a main sewer line, a trailered jetter has the high-water pressure and fancy spinning ‘heads’ to cut the roots out and clear the drain very effectively. In commercial applications where there can be lots of grease in the drains, hydro-jetting can often clean the pipes far better than a cable machine without using harsh chemicals. Small floor drains, sink drains and tub-shower drains all can be ‘Jetted’ and cleaned thoroughly by an experienced tech using the right equipment.

When jetting inside a building or home however, there is a danger of flooding from back-wash. The operator needs to have the proper equipment and enough experience to control and prevent ‘back-wash’ flooding, or a huge amount of damage can result. A good company will match the operator and the equipment to the job, and will also have plenty of insurance coverage if the worst happens and everything floods, so be careful about using untrained people and unlicensed companies to hydro-jet drains. It is not a job for a handyman or DIYer.

Ideally, plumbing systems that are properly designed and installed will normally never clog. I have installed both residential and commercial drain systems that are going on 40-years of continuous use and the vast majority have never clogged. But life isn’t ideal. Pipes get damaged and shift. Ground settles. All kinds of foreign objects get flushed or put down a drain. Grease gets dumped or builds-up over time. Garbage disposals get overloaded and stuff pipes full at the worst times.

Servicing and maintaining drainpipes is something that has to be done from time to time. When drains clog, it’s best to be prepared with a professional who can offer the best solution for any situation. I hope these articles help when it comes time to decide how to solve the drains that clog-up your life…Next month we’ll take a look at the benefit of camera inspections to diagnose clogged drain pipes.

Bruce Davis, Sr.
President, Director of Education and Learning, Sales Manager, Licensed Journeyman Plumber, Licensed Electrician,
HVAC/R Electrical Administrator, HVAC/R, Certified WA State C.E.U. Instructor

Bruce Sr is President of Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating, a 67-year-old family owned and operated plumbing and heating business in Lynnwood, Washington. Bruce can be contacted at: Email: Bruce@dayandnite.net

Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating Inc. 16614 13th Ave. W. Lynnwood, WA 98037 800-972-7000

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E. Rubio

I had the privilege to meet Zach on two separate occasions within a two week span. He was upfront and honest about the work that needed to be done. He is a hard-working, dedicated, professional employee of Day and Nite Plumbing. He explained what needed to be done. I asked questions and he was patient and explained things further so that I truly understood.

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Outstanding Service! Scheduler was pleasant and receptive. Technician (Collin) communicated well, arrived in the agreed upon time frame, diagnosed the problem and fixed the issue quickly. Previously, we had two other companies misdiagnose the problem and one company stand us up for a scheduled appointment. If we have plumbing issues in the future, Day & Night Plumbing will be our first call !

D. Thomas

We had a great experience with Day and Nite from start to finish. Chris was great at the no obligation consult. He explained things clearly and covered everything but didn’t waste our time. They also provided lots of options and thoroughly explained them but never tried to push or up-sell us. Installation was fast and very professional. We will definitely be using Day and Nite in the future.

D. Lee

The technician was great: he knew exactly what the problem was and fixed it quickly and efficiently. Even when a glitch happened in the repair, he was totally prepared to handle the situation. I will definitely contact Day & Nite Plumbing for future problems. Thank you!

D. Campbell

Very pleased with the professional technician, Donavan, who came out when our water heater quit working. This was the third major problem with this water heater, so we took his advice and replaced it. Thankfully, he was able to also install the new one right away. I had confidence in his advice and ability to do the job. He was thorough and friendly. It was a five star experience. I highly recommend.

M. Lindell

Collin was our tech and he was very knowledgeable answered our questions and what they charged was very reasonable and we are very happy to have water again. I was really impressed by everyone that we dealt with they all were professional and helpful.

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