Using High-Pressure Water Jetting to Clean Drains

Using High-Pressure Water Jetting to Clean Drains

Blocked drains can be a frustrating problem and can happen to commercial properties and home users alike.

When this happens, it can lead to unpleasant smells, slow draining basins, issues with appliances, and more. 

Minor blockages can be fixed with chemical cleaners, but when blockages become more severe other methods of clearing them becomes necessary. 


High-Pressure Water Jetting is Not New

High-pressure water jetting is not a new idea. It has been around since the mid-1800s when it was pioneered in the mining industry. 

More recently it became popular as an industrial cutting solution, and it is still used to clean and cut large stones. 

Similar techniques to the ones used in stone cutting can be helpful for pushing large objects through drains into the sewer or in some cases, to get rid of tree roots, which are a common cause of mainline blockages. Pressure Works’ high velocity water jetting is used to remove silt, roots, debris and fats.


What to Know Before You Jet

Jetting can be an effective way of getting rid of grease, sand or sludge, and also smaller blockages such as flushed baby wipes or sanitary products. 

It is not a good solution for all kinds of blockages, however. In some cases, manual clearing, or even chemical products, is sufficient. 

Chemical drain cleaners are useful for getting rid of grease, soap, and other substances. They do not have to be harmful to the environment, either. 

For minor grease-related blockages, a combination of salt, baking soda, and hot water can often be sufficient for getting rid of the blockage, without posing a threat to wildlife or to the water supply.

It is a good idea to use a drain snake to clear blockages first of all, and then to jet the pipe after to finish the job. 

It is important that you use the right size of hose, and the right PSI, to clear the blockage effectively. 

Using a hose that is too large could lead to the hose getting caught in the pipe. 

A large hose, however, will have more pressure at the nozzle which can be useful for clearing a stubborn blockage.


Avoiding Damage to the Drain

One of the dangers of using too much pressure is that it can cause damage to the drain pipe and to the surrounding soil. 

The water might penetrate the drain itself and could cause gas in the filter cloth which might allow soil into the drain. 

You may not even notice this in the short term because the water will have temporarily cleared the blockage. 

In the longer term, however, the drain will become clogged more easily. 

Finding the balance between freeing the blockage and preventing damage to the drains is something that takes skill and experience.

This is why it is so important to use the right equipment, at the right pressure, and to start with a drain snake to clear smaller blockages. 

A pressure of 7 to 10 bar is usually enough to loosen the contaminants, allowing them to flow into the pipe, without issue.

High-pressure water jetting is a good option for a lot of clogged drain scenarios but it is not always the best choice. 

Rather than attempting DIY drain clearing, we recommend that property owners call in the experts and seek advice before beginning work on their drains.