Drain Jetting Explained for the Neophyte

Sewer pipes that over time become partially clogged by a build up of grease and debris can be cleaned by an effective and inexpensive process knows as "drain jetting." Drain pipes in which clogs cause water to drain more slowly can quickly and easily be cleaned of clogs and debris that would otherwise slow this drainage. This process will not clear all clogs and may not work in all plumbing. If you have drainage problems and would like to use this process, you will want to know more about drain jet applications and what sizes of hoses you should use.

The Cause of Clogs

Even for people who are careful with substances they flush down their drains, over a period of time there will eventually be a buildup of grease and other substances that will collect and form clogs. Grease residue from pots and pans, even though it is slight, can eventually build up in your drainage pipes. Once this grease blockage begins, other substances such as hair, food, small pieces of bone, and even paper and bits of metal and plastic can become stuck in this grease and can contribute to the clog size.

How Drain Jetting Works

Drain Jetting works by shooting water under pressure into drain pipes. Pressure washers are used for this process, designed especially to blast soft clogs loose from sink and bathtub drain pipes. These specially designed washers create water pressure as high as 2500 psi to 4000 psi. Most of these high pressure washers include adjustments that can set pressures to match individual needs. A specially designed nozzle allows you to place it inside a drain to take advantage of the force of water to cut through a clog. Through this high pressure process, surfaces inside the pipe are normally scoured clean. Any debris loosened by the water pressure is then sucked out of the pipe with help from a vacuum pump.

Applications for Drain Jetting

The drain jetting process is not limited to cleaning of residential drains. Most drain pipes can be cleared with this process, including those in municipal storm sewer systems and sanitary sewer systems. Cleaning industrial piping with this process is usually effective, even with more long distant pipes. Even catch basins and waterways in residential areas can be unclogged using drain jetting. In addition, apartment complexes and industrial parks that maintain their own drain lines can usually benefit from this process that can be useful in cleaning drain pipes. The process can be more effective if you know which size jetter hose to use.

Choosing Drain Jetter Hose Sizes

Depending on the size of pipe you plan to clean, you should use a jetter hose size that will work better for your specific pipe size. Check the table below for recommended hose sizes you will need for your individual pipe cleaning job.

For 10 inch pipes (or larger), use a ¾ inch hose
For 8 inch to 12 inch pipes, use a ½ inch hose
For 5 inch to 10 inch pipes, use a 3/8 inch hose
For 2 inch to 6 inch pipes, use a ¼ inch hose
For 1 inch to 4 inch pipes, use a 1/8 inch hose