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Is Hydro Jetting Better Than Snaking? | (2023) Guide San Francisco

Mar 5, 2023 | Hydro Jetting, Sewers & Drains

Is Hydro Jetting Better than Snaking

Hydro jetting and snaking are two popular methods for cleaning and unclogging drains. While both methods are effective, there are differences in how they work and the situations in which they are most appropriate. In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of hydro jetting and snaking to help you decide which method is right for your situation.

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting, also known as high-pressure water jetting, is a method of cleaning drains and sewer lines using high-pressure water streams. A hydro jetting machine has a water tank, a high-pressure pump, and a long hose with a specialized nozzle at the end. According to Corrosion Pedia Hydro jetting systems use water pressures of as low as 4000 PSI and up to 60000 PSI (1). This makes Hydro jetting especially effective at thoroughly cleaning pipes. The high-pressure water jetting system is suitable for a wide range of drain and sewer cleaning applications, from simple residential clogs to complex commercial and industrial sewer lines. The system is effective at removing all types of debris, including roots, grease, sand, silt, and scale buildup.

The Benefits of Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a highly effective and versatile method for clearing drains and sewer lines. Here are some of the benefits of hydro jetting:

  1. Thorough Cleaning – Hydro jetting is highly effective at removing all types of debris from the drain or sewer line. The high-pressure water stream can break up and flush out even the most stubborn blockages.
  2. Safe for Pipes – Hydro jetting is a safe and gentle method for cleaning drains and sewer lines. The high-pressure water stream can clean the pipes without causing damage to the interior surfaces of the pipe.
  3. Preventative Maintenance – Hydro jetting can also be used as a preventative maintenance measure. Regular hydro jetting can help to keep drains and sewer lines clear and prevent future blockages from occurring.
  4. Environmentally Friendly – Hydro jetting is an environmentally friendly method of drain and sewer cleaning. Unlike chemical drain cleaners, hydro jetting uses only water and does not introduce harmful chemicals into the environment.

The Drawbacks of Hydro Jetting

While hydro jetting is an effective method for clearing drains and sewer lines, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

Cost of Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a more expensive method of drain and sewer cleaning than snaking. The specialized equipment and trained personnel required for hydro jetting can drive up the cost of the service.

Potential Damage

Hydro jetting is a safe method for cleaning drains and sewer lines. However, there is a risk of damage to the pipes if the pressure is too high or if the pipes are already damaged. So it is vital that you hire someone experienced for the job. According to Forbes, hydro jetting can also be harmful to old pipes. An older line that is not in good condition can actually make things worse (2).

What is Snaking?

Snaking, also known as drain auguring, is a method of clearing clogs from drains using a flexible cable with a specialized tip. The cable is inserted into the drain and rotated to break up and clear out the blockage.

Snaking is a relatively simple and affordable method of clearing clogs from drains. The method is suitable for a wide range of clogs, from simple hair and soap scum blockages in residential bathrooms to more complex clogs in commercial kitchens and sewer lines.

Benefits of Snaking

Snaking is a method of unclogging drains and pipes using a flexible cable with a specialized head on the end. While hydro jetting is generally considered to be a better option than snaking in most situations, snaking does have some benefits that make it a preferred method in certain cases. Here are some benefits of snaking:

  • Cost-effective: Snaking is a relatively inexpensive method compared to hydro jetting, which requires specialized equipment and trained professionals. Snaking equipment is relatively cheap, and the process itself is straightforward and can be done quickly.
  • Quick solution: Snaking is a fast and efficient solution for clearing out clogs that are close to the surface of the drain. It is a quick and easy method that can be done in a short amount of time. It is especially perfect for minor clogs that don’t require a more thorough cleaning.
  • Less invasive: According to, snaking is less invasive than hydro jetting, as it does not require the use of high-pressure water (3). This makes it a safer and gentler option for older pipes, which may not be able to handle the high-pressure water used in hydro jetting.
  • Versatile: Snaking can be used to clear out clogs in a variety of different pipes, including sinks, bathtubs, and other smaller pipes. This versatility makes it a preferred method for minor clogs that occur in different parts of the house.
  • Non-damaging: Snaking is less likely to cause damage to the pipes than hydro jetting. This is because it uses a flexible cable that can navigate through twists and turns without causing any damage. This makes it a safer option for older pipes, which may be more vulnerable to damage from high-pressure water.

Overall, snaking is a cost-effective, quick, non-invasive, versatile, and non-damaging method for clearing out minor clogs in drains and pipes. While it may not be as effective as hydro jetting for more significant blockages, it is still a preferred method for minor clogs.

How Do I Choose A Drain Cleaning Company For My Home?

Choosing a drain cleaning company for your home is an important decision, as clogged drains can cause significant damage to your property and can be a health hazard. Here are some tips to help you choose a reputable drain cleaning company:

  1. Check for licensing and insurance: Make sure the company you choose has a valid license to operate in your area and that they are insured. This will protect you in case of any accidents or damages that may occur during the cleaning process.
  2. Look for experience: Choose a company that has been in business for a while and has experience in dealing with various types of drain cleaning situations. An experienced company will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise during the cleaning process.
  3. Consider their reputation: Look for reviews and ratings of the company online or through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. A reputable company will have positive reviews and a good reputation in the community.
  4. Ask about their methods: Different companies may use different methods to clean drains, such as snaking or hydro jetting. Make sure to ask the company about their methods and ensure that they are using safe and effective techniques.
  5. Inquire about pricing: Get a clear understanding of the company’s pricing structure, including any additional fees or charges that may apply. Choose a company that provides transparent and reasonable pricing.
  6. Check for availability: Choose a company that is available to come out and clean your drains in a timely manner. A company that is available 24/7 for emergencies can be particularly helpful if you have a serious drain clog that needs immediate attention.
  7. Ask for a warranty or guarantee: Choose a company that offers a warranty or guarantee on their services. This will ensure that you can get a refund or additional service if the drain clog persists after the initial cleaning.

By following these tips, you can choose a reputable and reliable drain cleaning company to help you maintain the health and functionality of your home’s drainage system.

Other Questions About Hydro Jetting (FAQs)

How long does Hydro Jetting last?

The duration of the benefits of hydro jetting can vary depending on several factors. These include the severity of the clog, the type and age of the plumbing system and the usage of the system. In addition, since hydro jetting provides a deeper pipe cleaning, it will always be preferable to other drain cleaning systems. With regular maintenance and proper use, the effects of hydro jetting can last for several years.

Is Hydro Jetting safe for pipes?

Hydro Jetting is extremely safe for pipes and uses a balanced level of water pressure. However, it is best done by a licensed plumber to avoid any functional damage. In most cases, hydro jetting is in fact better suited than using a metal snake. To make sure hydro jetting doesn’t cause any damage, it is important to ensure the pipes are not in very old or damaged condition.

Is Hydro Jetting better than snaking?

Hydro jetting and snaking are both effective methods for clearing clogs and obstructions and pipes but they have different applications and pros. Snaking is a more effective and appropriate choice for cleaning small residential pipes and for removing specific types of blockages like solid blockages, hard objects and tree roots. Hydro Jetting on the other hand is a better choice for removing softer blockages like sludge, grease and debris that cannot be removed with a snake. Hydro Jetting is also more suitable for use in commercial or industrial settings. Hydro jetting is also more thorough and ensures the insides of the pipe walls are also cleaned up in the process of drain cleaning.

How much does Hydro Jetting cost?

The cost of hydro jetting can vary depending on a few different factors. These include the location and size of the pipes, the severity of the blockage, and the location of the blockage within the pipe. In general, the cost of hydro jetting can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.

For example, hydro jetting a small residential drain might cost between $300 to $500, while hydro jetting a larger sewer line or commercial pipe could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.

It’s important to note that the cost of hydro jetting may be higher than other methods of clearing clogs, such as snaking or using chemical drain cleaners. However, hydro jetting is often more effective and longer-lasting, which can save money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent cleanings or repairs.

Can I Perform My Own Hydro Jetting?

While Hydro jetting may seem like a simple task, it is not recommended that you perform your own hydro jetting. Hydro jetting uses highly pressurized water streams, and if not handled properly, it can cause injury to yourself or others nearby. Hydro jetting also requires extremely specialized equipment like high pressure hose, nozzle and pump. Even if you have access to these equipment, you will need to have the specialized know-how to identify the exact type of blockage and choose the correct pressure and nozzle for efficient cleaning. If not done correctly, hydro jetting can cause major damage to pipes leading to costly repairs and replacements.

Contact Us Today For a FREE Estimate

Looking for the best solution for hydro jetting in San Francisco? Look no further than O’Grady Plumbing! Our team of experienced plumbers uses state-of-the-art hydro jetting technology to quickly and effectively clear even the toughest clogs in your pipes. Contact us today to schedule your hydro jetting service and experience the O’Grady Plumbing difference for yourself. With 60 years of experience in the plumbing industry, the largest full-time master plumbing team on staff and one of the best ranking citywide for plumbing services, you will not be disappointed!



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