Drain Jetting 101


Drain jetting is eco-friendly way to clear blocked and near blocked pipes. The process is most useful for sewer lines. Many professional plumbers offer some form of drain jetting in their services. Some call it “jetting,” “hydro jetting,” or “rodding.” They all mean the same thing. A jetting system comprises of a motorized pump that hooks up to a water source and pushes water out of a long nozzle. Some nozzles have 3 openings for water, while others only have 2 openings on the sides for pipe wall cleaning. A flexible hose allows for the rod to angle down pipes and move through filth packed pipes

Uses of Drain Jetting:

There are many uses for a jetting system including:

  • Drain cleaning
  • Sewer line clearing
  • Cutting tree roots from pipes

A jetting system has a variety of hose sizes and engine sizes to fit the job. A jetter can be connected to truck or a handcart. There are electric and gas powered jetters available on the market. Of course an electric motor will not offer the same force as a gasoline motor. To give you an idea of the differences:

  • A 1.5 horsepower electric motor will clean a pipe up to 4 inches in diameter.
  • A 13 horsepower gas motor will clean a pipe up to 6 inches.
  • The largest is an 83 horsepower gas motor and it will clean pipes 4 feet to 36 feet wide!

A professional who does a lot of this work will know what your city uses for pipe size.

A plumber will also know what rods are best for your job. There are 3 types of jetting rod:

  • Mini Jetter
  • Full Size Jetter
  • Sewer Flusher

A mini jetter pumps less than 5 gallons per minute through the rod. This is for those pipes that require a gentle blast.

A full size jetter will pump up to 30 gallons per minute.

The largest, a sewer flusher pumps the most water, anything over 30 gallons.

Drain jetting is definitely a professional’s job. Jetting involves large amounts of pressure that can harm a non-professional. If you need your sewer line cleaned or a clog flushed out look for someone who has experience. Also remember that when a sewer line has a clog it may not be a good idea to jet it. The process could make the problem worse. Trust your professional to decide what will work best for the problem.