Plumbing Tip 13: High Pressure Water Jetting Clears Pipes

Many plumbing contractors in the Diamond Bar area use high pressure water jetting to clear and clean sewer lines and drains. The technology was adapted from industrial water jet cutters which are powerful enough to cut through stone, metal, and composite materials.

How it Works

The principle is simple. Water is pumped under high pressure through a large diameter hose into a jetter nozzle with a much smaller diameter hole. A thin stream of water shoots out of the nozzle at pressures that can reach 100,000 PSI for industrial jetters. Lower pressures are used for plumbing applications, usually in the 3,000 to 5,000 PSI range, otherwise the water stream would be unmanageable and could damage the pipes.

Sewer jetter nozzles have a forward-firing jet to break up clogs, and back-firing jets to push the nozzle through the pipe while scouring the walls. The nozzle is attached to a long hose that delivers the pressurized water. The nozzle pulls the hose along with it as it moves down the pipe. Debris, grease, and other material loosened by the jets are pushed back to where the nozzle entered the pipe. Plumbing contractors typically have water jets that can clear up to 200 feet of pipe.

High pressure jetters are most frequently used to clear exterior drains, sewer, and septic lines. But they can also be used to clear interior waste pipes.

Benefits over Traditional Techniques

The traditional drain and sewer maintenance runs a flexible metal cable or “snake” through the line which rotates and scrapes the inner walls of the pipe. Snakes do a good job, but they don’t always clear grease or mineral deposits. Snakes can sometimes push through a clog without really clearing it or loosening it. They can also become snagged on tree roots.

Water jets can efficiently remove grease, mineral deposits, and other debris clogging the sewer line. The jet can also cut through roots that have worked their way into the line. The properties that make water jetting so valuable as an industrial tool make it well suited for plumbing applications. Water is non-toxic and doesn’t react with plumbing materials. Water jetting doesn’t release noxious fumes and doesn’t cause the metal piping to heat up. The spent water just continues down the drain flushing any loose sediment with it. To learn more about this type of plumbing maintenance please call Ace Pelizon Plumbing.

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