Hydro jetting or hydro jet drain cleaning is a technique used for cleaning sewers, lines and tanks and involves the use of streaming, high pressure water to get rid of debris and other types of buildup. This method may be compared to power washing, which is widely used in homes, commercial vehicles, streets and homes.
Sewer Jetting Equipment
A sewer jetter (also called a water blaster and hydro jetter) is built like a pressure washer creating up to 4000 PSI. They are categorized as ultra-high pressure units and designed for surface preparation, water jetting, hydro jet drain cleaning and pipe cleaning. Some run on diesel, gas or electric engines and use either hot or cold water depending on how it will be applied.
Regardless of the build, they’re all ideal for unclogging and removing obstacles in drains, be it in commercial properties or residential homes. Owing to their versatility and reliability, these tools are also used in municipal sewer systems and commercial drain pipes.
There are different types of hydro jetters, and some of them can be installed on trucks with up to 1500 gallons of water for heavy duty sewer cleaning. Others are set on trailers which are pulled by a small truck or van. Hydro jetting units used for light commercial and residential applications are pulled by carts.
How Does a Hydro Jetter Work?
A water jetter is made up of an engine or motor, a pump, a hose reel, a hose and several nozzles. There will be at least one water tank, though the more advanced models usually have four water tanks to help keep the unit balanced as it is being hauled to the location.
It is the high pressure pump that allows the unit to generate the jets of water necessary to clean sewer pipes and drains. On a typical sewer jetter, the high pressure hose is on a reel that allows the operator to pull back and control the hose. To clean a pipe, water pressure from the unit is released via the nozzle. The water pressure is controlled throughout the process so it flows properly into the jet and into the sewer pipe. Using this method, the obstruction and clog in sewers and drain lines are removed.
The Power of Water Pressure
These hydro jetters run on water pressures ranging from 2000 to 4000 PSI with 2—25 gallon flow rates per minute. The ones used for heavy duty municipal sewer cleaning on the other hand, have a flow rate of up to 120 gallons per minute. The bigger the pipe, the larger the hydro jet cleaning hose has to be for efficient and effective cleaning.
Sewer pipes are often cleaned off the pipe’s lower end while the hose is propelled on the pipe’s higher end. As the jet hose is withdrawn slowly, the flow and water pressure cleans the line more efficiently. If it’s not possible to clean from the lower part of the pipe, jets of water have to be applied on the pipe numerous times to get rid of the debris. As long as the operator is skilled and the machine is working properly these obstacles will be removed.
Who Uses Hydro Jetters?
These water blasters are used by drain cleaning companies and plumbers to service homes and commercial establishments. Facility administrators often purchase these units for cleaning and maintenance, and they are also more effective in the long run. Clogged drains cause a lot of problems in homes, and the same can be said for business operations as these blockages can lead to disruptions in functions.
Flow and Pressure
Water is a much more powerful and reliable cleaning tool than any chemical. When there is high pressure you can clean debris and obstruction on pipes, and an operator can use the flow or volume to get rid of debris stuck on the pipe downstream.
High pressure is applied on the sides of the pipe using a jetting hose capped with a nozzle. The nozzle limits the water flowing in the hose and allows it to go through via small openings at the sides, back or front of the nozzle. These hoses come in varying sizes with some as large as one inch and others only ¼ in diameter.
The pump is the center of any hydro jet drain cleaning equipment, as it holds the water supply and transmits it down the hose, and the flow and pressure are configured beforehand. A lot of services will claim their water blasters can generate a specific amount of flow and PSI. This might be the case, but you have to ask if the jetter can operate at maximum flow and PSI settings at the same time.
Maximum PSI For The Job
For instance, a company might say their hydro jetter has a maximum rate of 4000 PSI / 18 gallons per minute, but can the unit do both at the same time? You also have to consider how much pressure is required for the job, and it depends on the size of the pipe, what the clog is and what type of nozzle will be used. To give you an idea, 2000 PSI is enough to remove the paint on your car.
If a 4 inch pipe needs cleaning and the nozzle is running by the bottom, the operator won’t be more than four inches from whatever is clogging the pipe. At a distance of 4 inches and a force of 200 PSI, that’s strong enough to remove hair, soap scum, goo and even tree roots. For homeowners, a hydro jetter can be used to remove everything from sand, scale buildup, silt, hair and other residues that could clog your pipes. Hydro jet cleaning is also useful in restaurants and diners for removing grease and food build-up.
Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning
One more thing needs to be said: hydro jetting sewer lines and pipes is more effective compared to snaking out pipes. Snaking only breaks the clog up but doesn’t remove the residues on the drain pipe walls, and over time this results in another clogging. Jetting on the other hand, completely removes the clogging while removing the accumulation on the inside of the pipe, without the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals. Due to the nature of the equipment however, the unit should only be used by a hydro jet drain specialist such as Protek Plumbing and Drain Specialists. Please call us today at 941-575-7324.