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An Overview Of Snaking Vs Hydro-Jetting For Drain Cleaning

Snaking and hydro-jetting are some of the most common and effective ways of dealing with drain clogs. Here is an overview of these two techniques plus their pros and cons:


Snaking a drain involves using a flexible cable, with an auger attached to the end, to clear drain clogs. You insert the snake into the drain and thread it along until you feel some resistance; the resistance is usually due to the debris blocking the drainpipe. Once you hit the snag, you twist and turn the snake while pushing and pulling on it to get work the drain lose and break it down. After the debris is dislodged, you can put it out with the snake or flush it down the drain.


For hydro-jetting, the plumber doesn't use a solid object to clean the drain, but rather water (hence the term 'hydro'). The water is pressurized and sent through the drain at high speeds, giving it the power to break down the offending debris and send it through the drains.

Advantages of Snaking

  • It can remove solid debris, such as toys, that hydro-jetting may fail to break down
  • It can alert you to serious problems; if you meet resistance that the snake can't pass through, then it's probably a serious clog and damage such as that caused by a tree root
  • DIY drain cleaning is possible with snaking

Disadvantages of Snaking

The main disadvantage of snaking is that doesn't get rid of small debris, such as grease or dust accumulation on the inner surfaces of the drainpipes. This means if you have only been using the snaking method for cleaning your drains for a long time, its walls are probably covered with debris by now.

Advantages of Hydro-jetting

  • One of the best things about hydro-jetting is that it gets rids of all sizes of debris; it leaves the pipe squeaky clean
  • It can clean all manner of plumbing drains including long commercial drains that a typical snake may not handle

Disadvantages of Hydro-jetting

One of the risks of using hydro-jetting to clean your drains is that it can lead to further damage if your pipes are already weak. For example, an old and rusty drain system that has been affected by tree roots may crumble under the high water pressures associated with hydro-jetting. Also, this is not a suitable DIY project; the risks mean its best handled by a professional.

Contact a company like Sparrow & Sons Plumbing and Heating for more information and assistance.