Earlier this week my roommate made a pan of chicken enchiladas, which happens to be one of my favorite foods. I carefully pulled the plastic container out of the fridge, put a generous serving of cheesy goodness into my bowl and put it in the microwave for one minute. Eager to devour, I plopped a dollop of sour cream on top, stirred my bowl and took a bite. Unfortunately, the microwave had created a hot spot in my meal and what should have been a delicious bite felt like a hot coal in my mouth. It resulted in me burning my mouth, significantly enough to leave a blister. My impatience caused a serious problem.
At this moment you may be asking yourself how this relates to an emergency plumber or a hydro-jet, so let me connect the dots: sometimes our impatience causes serious problems. If we have a sewer line back up, the first thing we want is for it to be resolved. It is not a pleasant experience- it can smell bad, stop the ability to use water, appliances, and the toilet. However, calling an emergency plumber with a hydro-jet to solve the problem isn’t always the answer. Well, let me rephrase: in the case of a sewer line back up you will want to call an emergency plumber, but you may not want a hydro-jet.
It’s Important to Use the Right Tool for the Job
First, it is important to know what a hydro-jet is best suited for and what it’s not. So many times we have homeowners call to have their sewer line cleaned and they request a hydro-jet. An emergency plumber will typically carry one of two types of sewer line clearing equipment- a rooter machine or a hydro-jet.
The truth is a hydro-jet (also sometimes called a jetter) is best suited for commercial use. The high PSI of truck mounted units was designed for commercial grade 6” and larger pipes. These pipes are found in commercial buildings and typically are responsible for taking all the waste from smaller lines and pushing them out to the city main.
In a residential home in Denver, pipes are typically 2-4” and aren’t designed to handle the amount of water or pressure from a hydro-jet and can result in flooding. Additionally, many Denver area residential sewer back-ups are caused by root growth in the line, which are better cleared with a rooter machine. This type of machine has sharp blades on the end of a tightly wound cable that cut roots out of a line, unlike a hydro-jet.
A mini-jet is the similar concept of a full size hydro-jet but, as the name suggests, is much smaller. It’s application for clearing grease out of a kitchen sink line makes it desirable, but a rooter machine can do just as well if not better.
Don’t Make It Worse
If flushing toilets, using appliances or running water makes a sewer back-up worse, know that an emergency plumber with a hydro-jet isn’t a good idea. Instead, look for a plumbing contractor who uses a rooter machine to clear the clog, causing the water to drain to the city main as it should, without the risk of flooding.