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Hydro Jetting VS Snaking

Most homeowners will eventually face the problem of a clogged sewer line. In order to prevent clogging, the main drain of a home’s sewer line should be cleaned on a regular basis. Regular cleaning eliminates tree roots, hair and soap residue which are the things that can eventually cause serious clogs. The two methods most plumbers use to clean sewage lines and eliminate or prevent clogs are hydro jetting and snaking. Homeowners who want to choose the right method for cleaning their sewage lines should explore the benefits and drawbacks of each. Here is a look at how hydro jetting and snaking differ from each other:

Hydro Jetting

This method is similar to power washing and involves using a powerful stream of water to clear out debris in the sewer line. The water comes from a hose that has a special nozzle. The water is usually pressurized to at least 3,000 PSI but the pressure used may be anywhere up to 8,000 PSI. In most cases, the force of the water is sufficient to break up clogs and dislodge any debris that may be inside the line.

Benefits of Hydro Jetting

  • Its Effectiveness: Hydro jetting works well for clearing out clogged sewer lines and for ensuring that they remain clean. The jet of water can be powerful enough to remove tree roots and other stubborn clogs.
  • Its Versatility: Hydro jetting may be used to clean both residential and commercial sewer lines.
  • No Chemicals Necessary: Hydro jetting uses only water to clean the drain. This means that the plumber does not have to use harsh and potentially hazardous chemicals to get rid of a clog.

Drawbacks of Hydro Jetting

  • Not for DIY people: Hydro jetting is not an option for homeowners who want to do remove clogs themselves. One reason is that the highly pressurized water used for hydro jetting can be too much for older, more fragile pipes. A professional plumbing service will use a video camera to inspect the pipes prior to using this method to ensure that they are strong enough to handle the stress.


This method involves the use of a tool called an auger. An auger is a steel cable with a tip that is designed to penetrate and break up clogs.

Benefits of Snaking

It is the Tried and True Drain Cleaning Method. Snaking is the older and more basic way to break up clogs in sewer drains. It has been used for many years and continues to be reliable.

  • It Does Not Damage Pipes: Pipes that are too weak to stand up to the rigors of hydro jetting can usually be snaked instead. This means that snaking is often a better choice for homes with older infrastructure.

Drawbacks of Snaking

  • Limited Ability to Remove Clogs: The path that the auger clears will only be as wide as its tip; essentially, it makes a hole in the clog. It is therefore better suited to clogs that are relatively minor but that are too much for a plunger to dislodge. While it still manages to be effective for clearing drains, snaking tends provide only temporary relief from clogged drains.

Both methods of clearing sewer lines are effective to some extent; however, hydro jetting is the more powerful method and can be used to deal with a broader range of clogs.