A clogged drain eventually becomes an issue for most every homeowner. Food particles, hair, dirt, soap scum, wipes (yes, even flushable wipes can get stuck in the drain pipes), beauty products, feminine hygiene pads and tampons, condoms, cotton swabs, small objects and more can inevitably get trapped in your toilet, sink, and shower drain. A partial blockage can cause other substances to accumulate too, creating a buildup as time passes, and the outcome results in extremely slow flowing drains or overflows. At times, using a plunger is just not sufficient to break up a stubborn clog, and a different approach with a specialized plumbing tool is required. For this type of job, we frequently use a plumbing auger (sewer snake) or hydro-jet to clear a challenging blockage in your septic system or sewer drains. Each of these tools is a kind of specialized plumbing equipment that is intended to fix different kinds of clogs:
Plumbing snakes, also known as plumbing augers or sewer snakes, are comprised of a long metal tube at one end together with a cable inside which has a corkscrew auger or blade attached, and a hand crank at the other end. The cable end is positioned inside the drain and the crank end is rotated to extend the cable down the clogged drain. When it reaches the clog, we can sense resistance. We then turn the crank in order to thrust through the clog and pull it out. J-shaped snakes are intended for use on toilets, and straight tube snakes are meant to be used in sinks.
An alternative approach to fix a drain clog is hydro-jetting which involves using a high-pressure hose with a specialized water jet that is connected to a machine that pressurizes the water. This method creates a strong and forceful water stream which will ultimately clear your drain. Hydro jetting is typically done through a cleanout (an opening which allows plumbers access to clean out clogs). The water is then forced down in through the clogged drain, pushing hair, grease, mineral build-up, and other debris through the drain. When using a strong enough hydro-jet, we are even able to break up tree roots. Although, prior to using a hydro-jet as the method of choice, a good septic system specialist will always inspect the clogged drain first with a camera to determine if the pipe itself is damaged.
Pros and Cons
A drain snake is generally sufficient to eliminate most clogs. A plumbing snake is perfect for slight clogs such as when a small object gets stuck in your drain pipe. In addition, snakes can alert you to more serious issues. For instance, although you may have an assumption that an accumulation of hair is the cause of your drain clog, you might actually have a clump of tree roots blocking the line! On the other hand, a hydro-jet does not simply break up clogs. It will clear plumbing lines of solids that can build up on the interior of the pipe walls, such as grease and minerals. While a snake will not meticulously clean the pipes, this method can be a solution to several kinds of clogs.
Even though hydro-jetting is a good method of clearing many types of clogs, it’s not recommended for the do-it-yourselfer. This is because, as stated above, if your pipes are damaged or frail, a hydro-jet can actually cause further damage. It is a procedure that should be done by a professional in order to avoid creating bigger problems that will affect the overall health of your home or commercial building plumbing system.
Saviour Septic provides inspections, routine maintenance, and emergency plumbing services to homes and businesses throughout Connecticut with plumbing repair, sewer, septic system, and drain cleaning issues.