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Jetting vs Snaking Your Bathroom Sink Drain

plumbing repairs jetting vs snaking

Bathroom Sink Plumbing Repairs: Jet or Snake?

If your bathroom sink is draining slowly, plumbing repairs are in order. But before you pour toxic chemicals down your drain, consider hiring a plumber to do a thorough job. Some clogs require more muscle than those supermarket drain cleaners can handle.

So, what methods do get the job done?

Snaking Your Pipes
A plumbing snake, also known as a cable auger, is a piece of equipment plumbers use to break up clogs deep in your drain pipes.

It’s called a ‘snake’ because it is a long, flexible pipe that can be inserted into the pipes, slowly making its way down to the clog. The end that is placed into the drain has an auger – a drill bit or spiral screw attachment, sometimes with blades – which breaks up the debris clogging the drain. Plumbing snakes can range from about 25ft to 100ft in length.

The plumber slowly lowers the snake into the problem drain, until they feel resistance – this means they’ve found the clog. Now the plumber activates the auger, either with a hand crank or a motorized version. The auger pushes and cuts through the debris, eliminating the clog.

There are a few different types of plumbing snakes, from the manual hand crank type to heavy-duty models. However, for bathroom sink plumbing, clogs are typically caused by a build-up of soap, hair, skin, and other organic waste flushed down the drain. Thus a simple hand crank snake will usually suffice.

Some of the motorized snakes with blades can be used to tear through roots and tougher clogs, but can also damage plastic or copper pipes. This is why it’s best to consult an experienced plumber to determine what kind of snake to use and to get the job done professionally.

Jetting Your Pipes
If a plumbing snake doesn’t alleviate the problem, jetting is the other method for clearing bathroom drains.

Hydro-jetting involves a similar mechanism to the snake – a long, pliable pipe that is lowered into the drain. However, unlike the plumbing snake, this pipe has a specialized nozzle on one end, and is connected to a water tank on the other.

Like the snaking method, once the plumber feels resistance, they’ve found the clog. But, unlike the snake, the hydro-jet breaks up the clog by releasing a high-pressure stream of water from the nozzle. They are incredibly effective, and can achieve about 4000psi (pounds of force per square inch) – that’s about the same amount of pressure as balancing a Jeep Cherokee on a one-inch square!

Because jetting is so powerful, it’s perfect for destroying clogs caused by roots without risking pipe damage. However, if your plumber believes that hydro-jetting is necessary, they will usually perform a camera inspection beforehand to check the pipes for any cracks or damage that could be aggravated by the water jet.

Jetting is also good for removing tough mineral and grease build-ups that line pipes, like a water flosser for your drains.

The advantages of both snaking and jetting is that they are more effective than commercial drain cleaners, and they’re better for the environment than all those nasty chemicals. For more information, contact Art Plumbing, AC and Electric.