What Is Hydro Jetting

The average cost to replace your home’s main sewer line falls between $3,000-$25,000. Even at the less costly end of the spectrum, replacing the line comes with extensive inconveniences and clean-up. Most people don’t even know they have an issue until they have a flooding issue.

Given the cost and the inconvenience, you might wonder if there’s a way to prevent the need for sewer line repairs. There is, and this preventative service is known as hydro jetting.

What is hydro jetting? Read on to find out all about this preventative maintenance for your sewer line.

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting service is a specialty of professional plumbing companies. These companies use specialized nozzles and blast pressurized water through your home’s pipes to clear any clog or build-up.

For kitchen pipes, a plumber jets water at 1,500 PSI. For main sewer lines, the pressure is 4,000 PSI.


The main sewer line in your home is the viaduct for all wastewater to reenter the municipal water system. Over time, the fats, oils, and greases found in this wastewater cling to the walls of your pipes. This clinging fat and grease are like a magnet for debris.

Debris build-up begins to slow the flow of your sewer line. Should this slow pipe go untreated, your toilets and sinks may back up into your home. These sewer line backups are how people end up with flooded basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.

The worst part? You now not only need sewer pipe plumbing treatment, but you also now have a hazardous clean-up. Wastewater from backed-up sewage lines contains bacteria, viruses, and other germs harmful to your health.

Should sewage water enter your home, the bacteria and other pathogens will seep into carpet and wood. You’ll need to hire a professional to perform a deep cleaning to rid your home of E. coli and other microbial contaminants.

Causes and Signs

Fats, oils, and greases are the primary cause of sewer line clogs, though there are many others. Improperly flushed items like sanitary napkins, baby wipes, and dental floss can all contribute to a sewer line clog. Another common cause of sewer line backups are tree roots that grow into the line.

Should you notice any of the following signs of sewer line clog, you have to act fast:

  • Foul drain odors
  • Multiple slow drains
  • Drain gurgling
  • Fluctuating toilet water levels

These are the tell-tale signs of a clogged line. The quicker you act, the less likely you’ll have a mess on your hands. You must call a plumbing or a hydro-jetting company, or your problem will only get worse.

How Does Hydro Jetting Work?

Hydro jetting, or water jetting is the process of shooting highly pressurized water through your pipes to clear any clogs and debris. The process is best left to a professional because improper procedures will cause pipe damage. Old, fragile lines are susceptible to this damage.

Step 1: Inspection

Before a professional begins the process, the plumber will perform a complete inspection of your plumbing system. They will explore any clogs as well as the condition of your pipes. Should your lines be too fragile to withstand commercial water jetting, they’ll discuss other options available to clear your clogs.

These other options include a drain snake and an eco-friendly drain cleaner that won’t cause any more pipe damage.

Step 2: Assessment

Before a jetting, a plumber will snake your line and assess the clog with a pipeline camera. They do this to examine the clog’s severity and to determine any damage water jetting may exacerbate. Hydro jetting can clear clogged lines but will cause damage to any pipe that’s cracked or broken.

Should your plumber spot a crack or a low spot, they will recommend either a partial or a complete line replacement.

Step 3: Jetting

Once your pipes receive the inspection, your plumber begins the jetting process. Depending on the location (sewer or kitchen), they will use a varied amount of pressure.

They’ll start by inserting a self-propelled hose into your pipe or drain. The plumber will then shoot the pressurized water (as much as 20 gallons per minute) through your lines. All debris clinging to your pipe walls will break free and deposit into the sewer system.

Hydro Jetting as Preventative Maintenance

If you have strong pipes, you can schedule annual water jetting to keep a free flow. This preventative process is only recommended for newer pipes. Older home plumbing systems may experience damage should they see extensive and frequent hydro jetting.

Hydro jetting as preventative maintenance is best served for commercial restaurant kitchens. These kitchens dump an incredible amount of grease down the drains each day. Though frequent grease trap cleanings will help keep your lines clean, they won’t prevent hardened grease build-up on your pipe walls.

Restaurant owners should get a hydro jetting consultation and schedule a jetting at least once a year.

Benefits of Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a simple process that involves only a few tools: A hose, a tank, and pressurized water. Chemical drain cleaners cause more damage to your pipes and pollute the municipal water system.

Water jetting cleans all of your pipes. Rather than relieving a clog in a specific area, your home plumbing will flow free everywhere. You’ll spend less long term by experiencing fewer plumbing issues.

The process is also fast and takes little more than a few hours. Pipe or sewer line replacement can take days, and you’re unable to access your home plumbing.

Does Your Home Need Hydro Jetting?

If you’ve never had a professional hydro jet your home plumbing, it’s probably time. Years of grease and other debris live in your pipes, and it’s far too easy to ignore your pipes and sewer line until there’s a disaster.

You don’t want to ask, “What is hydro jetting?” when you have a basement full of wastewater.

Are you ready to clean your pipes? Right Away Sewer and Drain Cleaning offers professional home hydro jetting. Contact us today to make an appointment.