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The Ultimate Showdown; Hydro Jetting vs. Snakes

When it comes to clearing clogged drains and sewer lines, there are two main methods that plumbing professionals use: hydro-jetting and sewer snake. Both methods have their own benefits and drawbacks, and it can be difficult to determine which one is the best option for your specific situation.

In this article, we will explore the differences between hydro-jetting and sewer snake, and help you decide which method is the ultimate winner in the battle of clearing clogged drains and sewer lines.

What is Hydro-Jetting?

The Process

hydro jetting
hydro jetting demonstration

by Osman Talha Dikyar (https://unsplash.com/@osmantalha)

Hydro-jetting, also known as sewer jetting, is a method of cleaning clogged drains and sewer lines using high-pressure water. A specialized machine is used to blast water at a high pressure of up to 4000 PSI (pounds per square inch) through a hose and into the clogged pipe.

The water pressure is strong enough to break up and flush away any debris, grease, or other blockages in the pipe, leaving it clean and clear.

The Benefits

  • Highly effective: Hydro-jetting is one of the most effective methods for clearing clogged drains and sewer lines. The high-pressure water can break up even the toughest blockages, including tree roots and hardened grease.
  • Thorough cleaning: Unlike other methods, hydro-jetting not only clears the clog but also thoroughly cleans the inside of the pipe. This helps prevent future clogs and keeps your pipes in good condition.
  • Environmentally friendly: Hydro-jetting does not use any harsh chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly option for clearing clogs.
  • Versatile: Hydro-jetting can be used for both residential and commercial plumbing systems, making it a versatile option for all types of clogs.

What is a Sewer Snake?

The Process

plumbers snake
Sewer cloggs sewer snake

by Jensine Odom (https://unsplash.com/@jenimaye)

A sewer snake, also known as a drain auger, is a long, flexible cable with a corkscrew-like tip that is inserted into the clogged pipe. The cable is then rotated, allowing the corkscrew tip to grab onto and break up the clog.

Once the clog is broken up, the cable is retracted, pulling the debris out of the pipe and clearing the clog.

The Benefits

  • Affordable: Sewer snakes are relatively inexpensive compared to other methods of clearing clogs, making them a popular choice for homeowners.
  • Quick fix: Sewer snakes can quickly clear simple clogs, making them a convenient option for minor plumbing issues.
  • Portable: Sewer snakes are small and portable, making them easy to use in tight spaces or on the go.

Hydro-Jetting vs. Sewer Snake: The Showdown


When it comes to effectiveness, hydro-jetting is the clear winner. The high-pressure water can break up even the toughest clogs, while a sewer snake may struggle with more stubborn blockages.


As mentioned earlier, hydro-jetting not only clears the clog but also thoroughly cleans the inside of the pipe. A sewer snake, on the other hand, only removes the clog and may leave behind debris or residue.


While both methods can be used for residential and commercial plumbing systems, hydro-jetting is a more versatile option. It can be used for a wider range of clogs and is suitable for all types of pipes, including older or fragile ones.


Sewer snakes are generally more affordable than hydro-jetting, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. However, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits of hydro-jetting, such as preventing future clogs and maintaining the health of your pipes.

Environmental Impact

Hydro-jetting is a more environmentally friendly option as it does not use any harsh chemicals. Sewer snakes, on the other hand, may require the use of chemical drain cleaners to fully clear a clog.

Which Method is Right for You?

When to Choose Hydro-Jetting

  • Stubborn clogs: If you have a clog that has proven difficult to clear with other methods, hydro-jetting is your best bet.
  • Regular maintenance: If you want to prevent future clogs and keep your pipes in good condition, regular hydro-jetting can help achieve this.
  • Grease buildup: Hydro-jetting is highly effective at breaking up and flushing away hardened grease, making it a great option for commercial kitchens or homes with a history of grease buildup.

When to Choose a Sewer Snake

  • Minor clogs: If you have a simple clog that is easily accessible, a sewer snake can quickly clear it.
  • Budget-friendly: If you are on a tight budget, a sewer snake may be a more affordable option for clearing clogs.
  • Portable: If you need to clear a clog in a tight space or on the go, a sewer snake is a more convenient option.


In the battle of hydro-jetting vs. sewer snake, the ultimate winner depends on your specific situation and needs. While sewer snakes may be a more affordable and convenient option for minor clogs, hydro-jetting is the clear winner when it comes to effectiveness and long-term benefits.

If you are dealing with a stubborn clog or want to prevent future clogs, hydro-jetting is the way to go. Contact a professional plumbing service to schedule a hydro-jetting appointment and keep your pipes clear and healthy.