Question: We use cable drain cleaners at our facility, but my young guys keep telling me I should switch to high-pressure water jets to do the same job. Are they right?
Answer: Well, yes and no. Traditional cable drain cleaners do a great job cutting up tree roots and retrieving objects. But when it comes to grease clogs, cables have a difficult time.
Water jetters are ideal for clearing grease, as well as for flushing sand and melting ice. Jetters use a stream of high-pressure water that cuts the grease off the walls of the pipe and flushes it away. The thrust of the nozzle drives the hose down the line for wall-to-wall cleaning action.
Electric sewer jetters typically offer a maximum of 1,500 psi at about 2 gpm. Trying to get more pressure from an electric motor runs the risk of pulling too many amps and popping breakers. It’s better to use a gas-powered jetter. You get twice the pressure and flow rate of electric jetters to handle larger and longer lines. Gas jets can also clear indoor drain lines with a portable reel. This lets you use the power of gas sewer jetters in buildings and confined spaces where exhaust fumes could be hazardous, while the jetter motor stays safely outside.
But beware of trying to convert your pressure washer into a water jetter. Water-based sewer jetters use vibration to overcome the friction in the pipe and to help the hose glide around bends and go farther down the line. If you don’t have pulse action, the hose could get stuck in the pipe. General’s water jetters come with Vibra-pulse™. This is what separates General’s sewer jetters from ordinary pressure washers – Vibra-pulse breaks the initial tension between the surface of the hose and the walls of the pipe, thus helping the hose to slide around tight bends and propel itself farther down the line. Vibra-pulse increases the cleaning power of jetters, and is particularly useful in jetting around bends in small drain lines.
For more information, or to ask a question, call the Drain Brains® at 800-245-6200, or email [email protected], or visit www.askthedrainbrains.com. Contact us here via online form. See all our water jetters available here. Lastly, you can find a retailer or distributor near you via our Where to Buy page.