What Is Hydro Jetting and Who Needs It?

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Hydro jetting has been around for a while but it has been growing in popularity for use by plumbers in recent years. It’s been growing as the tools and equipment required for effective hydro jetting have become more affordable for independent contractors and easier to load on the truck. When you call a professional plumber about a clog in your pipes, they might recommend hydro jetting. So, what is it?

What Is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro Jetting is the process of spraying highly pressurized water into your pipes to scour them. The pressure will hopefully wash away buildup on the pipes and break up clogs. To do it effectively, a plumber will likely access a cleanout somewhere on your property. That is an opening in the plumbing system that allows a plumber to easily access the pipes. They’ll then connect the hose to the cleanout. They’ll pump water through the pipes at as much as 5,000 psi.

It’s very important that the plumber choose the right pressure for the situation and the type of pipes. For example, clay pipes are more susceptible to cracking or breaking under high pressure; you wouldn’t use as much pressure for those old underground pipes. Also, a tree root will likely be unaffected by hydro jetting. So, if the plumber were to jet pipes blocked by a thick tree root, it could just create uncontrollable pressure and burst a pipe.

That’s why plumbers will often use a drain camera before they jet the pipes. They’ll work the camera through the pipes to find the source of the clog. Then they’ll blow it out with the hydrojets.

Who Needs It?

Hydro Jetting is best used when there is a clog far along in your pipes. It’s also most effective when the clog needs to be broken up. For example, a clog of fat and paper towels somewhere in your sewer main could be broken up with a concentrated blast of high pressure water. If you have a clog of hair in one of your sink drains, you wouldn’t go through the trouble of jetting it. In that case, you’d use a chemical to dissolve the hair or just fish it out with a drain snake.

Hydro Jetting can often eliminate the need to trench a yard. If a clog is far along in the plumbing, it could be under the backyard and not easily accessible. If you can’t access it, it will either have to be blown out or the pipe would have to be uprooted.


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