What Is A Sewer Jetter?


You know, over the years in this blog we’ve talked quite a bit about rooter service. Most of the time we’ve referred to the mechanical sewer snakes that head down the pipe and grind everything in their path and on all sides of the pipe, taking care of grease, toilet paper clogs, and all of the roots that are causing you problems. But sometimes clogs need something bigger like a sewer jetter. Why?

Just Add Water: The big difference between traditional rooter service and a sewer jetter is the addition of water. Sewer jetters offer hydraulic sewer cleaning by spraying water at up to 5000 PSI (pounds per square inch) in order to dislodge debris from a sewer line and send it down into the larger municipal sewer system. It connects to a large, usually truck-based engine that compresses the water to get it up to these clog-destroying levels of power. It has some of the same properties of a purely-mechanical system in that you still need the sewer snake portion to move the hose down the sewer pipe so that the water can get to the clog.

Sewer jetters offer a great advantage because they’re using both mechanical and hydraulic means to get rid of clogs and potential future clogs.

But Can A Sewer Jetter Handle Roots?: You might wonder if a sewer jetter is strong enough to take care of roots. Oh yeah! At the incredible PSI that we’re talking about, there isn’t much that can stand up to a professional sewer jetter. Also, remember that the roots that have gotten into your sewer pipes are generally thin, new roots (unless you have a complete sewer line break, in which case we can send the sewer camera down for sewer inspection). These roots have to be small enough to fit between the joints of your sewer pipes, so they tend to be small. But their thin, weblike structure actually makes them worse than larger roots, because they’re more likely to capture the stuff that you’re sending down the drain. That’s what makes a sewer jetter so important. The initial, smaller nozzle pushes through the clog, and then the larger nozzle sprays backward to cut the roots from every direction (spraying backwards makes sure that it isn’t pushing itself away from the clog).

The Down Sides: So if sewer jetters are so amazing, why don’t they come out every time we do?

  • Because they have the water aspect, they have to combine the mechanical and hydraulic components, which makes them considerably more complex than your standard mechanical-only rooter.
  • They’re truck-or van-based, so we can’t just wheel them into your home with as much ease as a standard mechanical service.
  • This additional complexity means that you’re not only dealing with metal blades but also with water under enough pressure to cut bone, so we have to be extra-careful and attend tons of training in order to use it properly. If it’s unnecessary to introduce this safety concern, we probably won’t.

You won’t see a sewer jetter every time we stop by for one main reason: many of the blockages we encounter are perfectly fixable with traditional rooter service. But when you need a sewer jetter, we’re ready! Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service today!