Hot Water Jetter vs. Classic Cable Machines: What’s the Difference?

At some point in time, every homeowner has to deal with a drain clog.  It’s inevitable.  Toilets, sinks and showers all collect stray materials over time, which builds up to cause slow drainage and overflow.  It can be messy and frustrating, depending on its severity, and sometimes, a standard plunger just won’t do the trick.  For these particular situations, you need something with a bit more power.

There are a few different options when it comes to clearing out your clogged drains, and each option is designed to clear different types of clogs.  For the tough ones we here at Tritan Plumbing like to use our high pressure, hot water jetter to clear those clogs. While water jets aren’t necessarily superior to the classic cable machines, they definitely do a much better job in certain situations.  Cable machines are simply designed to perform different tasks.  So let’s take a look at the differences between the two and what each has to offer:      

Classic Cable Machines

Cable machines, often referred to as plumbing snakes or plumbing augers, are long metal tubes that hold a cable inside. The cable corkscrews out of the tube and into the pipes via a hand crank. When the cable reaches the clog and you feel the resistance, you keep turning the crank until it pushes through the clog.  Once it breaks through, you’re able to pull it out of the drain.    

There are couple of different types of cable machines.  Some have a straight tube, designed for sink drains and showers.  Others have a J-shaped bend to them for navigating toilet drains.     

Cables are great for minor clogs and blockages in drains. So, if your plunger is unable to remove the material, plumbing snakes are usually enough to get the job done, or at the very least, alert you to more serious problems and blockages. They are not, however, a permanent solution, as they won’t thoroughly clean your pipes.       

Hot Water Jetting

Hot water hydro jets are high-pressure hoses with special nozzles that are connected to pressurizing machines.  They are able to produce highly powerful streams that can push out and completely clear your drains.  It forces water down the drain until it pushes out grease, mineral build-up, hair, and other debris and materials.  In the most extreme circumstances, if your pipes have tree roots growing through them, water jetting can even break up those roots and push them out of the pipes.   

Hydro jetting isn’t for a do-it-yourselfer, however. You will need a plumber to come out and inspect your pipes for any damage or potential damage before using the hot water jetter.  The good news, though, is that hydro jetting doesn’t just break up clogs, it completely clears your lines of any materials and build-up.

What’s the Best Choice for You?

Now that we’ve looked at two options for clearing your pipes, it’s obvious that both are effective and have great benefits, but your choice will really depend on the cause and severity of your problem.  Classic cable machines are ideal for removing small blockages and slow-draining lines, such as food debris stuck in your sink or too much toilet paper.  The hot water jetter is best for tough clogs that can’t be removed with a standard plunger or plumbing snake, such as grease build-up, sand from bottomed-out pipes or tree roots.    

Whatever your need, Tritan Plumbing is here for you.  If you have any questions or need some plumbing advice, give us a call. We can help!


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