Skip to main content

Find a plumber near you

We're Available 24/7! (360) 610-7901

Hydro Jetting vs Snaking: Which One Is The Best For You?

Published on November 29, 2023
Written by Bo

Are you facing a tough time with a stubborn clog in your plumbing system? 

Don’t sweat it; Full Speed Plumbing is here to guide you through it! 

We know cleaning a clogged pipe isn’t the most thrilling task on your to-do list, but we’re here to make it easier. In the world of plumbing, there are two heavy hitters when it comes to clearing clogs – hydro jetting and snaking. 

Both have their strengths, but knowing which one’s the best fit for your situation can be a game-changer. Let’s dive in and explore these two methods so you can return to free-flowing water in no time.

Exploring the Methodology of Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting emerges as an invaluable procedure as you navigate the task of preserving a healthy plumbing system. This high-intensity water cleaning strategy refreshes your pipes, restoring them to optimal condition.

The Technicality and Procedure

Hydro jetting requires specific apparatus to execute a potent water flow, effectively eliminating persistent residues, grease, and mineral deposits from your pipes. This comprehensive cleaning process leaves no stone unturned.

The methodical approach to hydro jetting commences with examining the blockage or accumulation. Upon identification, a high-pressure water outflow is directed into the pipe, ranging between 1,500 to 4,200 PSI, providing a forceful discharge that clears all hurdles. The specialized nozzles are engineered to redistribute the water in various directions, guaranteeing a meticulous cleaning of the entire pipe interior.

Hydro jetting has become the preferred choice for large-scale obstacles and heavily soiled pipes thanks to its efficacy in removing even the most obstinate clogs.

Advantages of Hydro Jetting

Some of the advantages of hydro jetting include the following:

Thorough Cleansing

Hydro jetting outshines in eliminating debris, grease, and mineral deposits that accumulate over time. Unlike other methods, hydro jetting doesn’t just fragment the clog, it ensures a meticulous cleaning of the entire sewer pipe, reducing the likelihood of re-occurrence.

For large-scale obstacles and pipes hindered by tree roots, hydro jetting provides an inclusive solution, keeping your plumbing system unobstructed.

Flexibility and Extent

Hydro jetting is a flexible solution capable of obliterating clogs in diverse pipe sizes and materials. Irrespective of your pipe’s make—be it PVC, cast iron, or clay—hydro jetting effectively removes stubborn blockages.

Further, hydro jetting is perfect for extended pipe runs and heavy commercial applications. Its high-pressure water can infiltrate deep into the system, clearing away obstructions that would be inaccessible for other methods.


A significant advantage of hydro jetting is its eco-friendly approach. In contrast to other drain cleaning techniques that depend on potent chemicals, hydro jetting utilizes water as its primary tool. This implies that no harmful substances are released into the environment, making it a sustainable choice for drain cleaning.

Disadvantages of Hydro Jetting

Despite hydro jetting’s efficiency, there are certain restrictions to consider. The intense water pressure used in hydro jetting could potentially inflict damage on fragile pipes or weak joints. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess the condition of your pipes before resorting to hydro jetting.

Moreover, hydro jetting may not be suitable for certain situations where high-pressure water usage is inadvisable. In such instances, other drain cleaning alternatives, such as snaking, may be more suitable.

Utilizing Drain Snakes

At Full Speed Plumbing, we deploy an array of proven solutions to deal with the common issue of drain clogs. Among these, the drain snake or drain auger stands out as a widely adopted tool. This flexible metal wire with a coiled ending, the auger, is maneuvered into the drain to disintegrate and extract obstructions.

How it Works

The process of operating a drain snake is relatively straightforward. The auger is guided into the drain until it encounters the blockage. Upon contact, the operator turns the handle, causing the auger to rotate and fragment the blockage. This rotation also ensnares any detritus, facilitating its extraction from the drain.

If you wish to utilize a drain snake to clear a blockage, here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Insert the auger gently into the drain, applying steady pressure.
  • Keep pushing the auger into the drain until you encounter resistance or obstruction.
  • Turn the handle clockwise to initiate the auger’s interaction with the obstruction.
  • Apply mild but consistent pressure while rotating the handle to disintegrate the blockage.
  • Once you’ve successfully cleared the blockage, gradually withdraw the auger from the drain, ensuring you pull out any debris in its path.
  • Properly dispose of the extracted debris to prevent future blockages.

Advantages of Using a Drain Snake

Some of the advantages of using a drain snake include:

Economic Efficiency

The drain snake offers an economical solution for residential users encountering drain blockages. The cost of procuring or renting a drain snake is typically lower than that of professional plumbing services. Furthermore, the ability to deal with minor blockages independently can lead to substantial savings over time.

DIY Compatibility

Operating a drain snake is generally straightforward, making it a viable DIY solution for clearing minor blockages. With some foundational knowledge and adherence to safety precautions, you can effectively deal with simple blockages without professional intervention. However, it’s crucial that you abide by safety guidelines and operational instructions when employing a drain snake.

Here are some safety and efficiency tips for using a drain snake:

  • Wear protective gear, like gloves and safety glasses, to prevent potential injuries.
  • Always adhere to the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • Begin with a manual or hand crank drain snake for more control.
  • Refrain from applying excessive force, which may potentially damage the pipes.
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize the drain snake after each use.

Restrictions of the Drain Snake

Despite being a valuable tool for clearing blockages, the drain snake does have its limitations. One such restriction is its limited reach. The auger’s length may restrict access to blockages located deeper in the plumbing system or in difficult-to-reach areas of the pipes.

Moreover, some blockages, like heavy grease or mineral deposits, may not be effectively cleared by the drain snake alone. Such obstructions often require more formidable methods like hydro jetting to dislodge and flush them out of the system.

Hydro Jetting vs Snaking: Which One Is The Best For You? — Conclusion

Both hydro jetting and snaking have their unique advantages when it comes to dealing with stubborn drain clogs. The choice between the two will largely depend on the nature and severity of your plumbing issue. 

Remember, what works best for your neighbor might not necessarily be the best solution for you. As always, we recommend contacting a professional before making a decision. Full Speed Plumbing is always ready to assist you. 

We’re just a call away, ready to provide you with expert advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Contact us today, and let’s get your drains flowing smoothly again!

Request Service