If you’re a homeowner then at some point you have had to deal with a clogged drain.  Grease, hair and minerals build up along the walls of your pipes and over time the drains slow down or stop draining altogether.  You have probably tried plunging or using a product like Liquid Plumber yet you still have a clog that won’t go away. Plumbers use two different processes to clear out your drains, hydro jetting or snaking your drains.  Both are effective but which is your best option, let’s find out.

Using a Snake

A plumbing snake is a long tube that has a cable inside with blades at one end and a crank for you to turn at the other.  You put the end with the blades down your drain and turn the crank to push it forward.  It will move through your drains smoothly until it finds the clog, then you will feel some resistance.  Once you find the clog, keep cranking the handle so the blades at the other end can cut through the clog until eventually it flows down the drain or you can pull it out.

What is Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting works differently, it uses a high pressure stream of water to clear the clog out of your drain.  Hydro jetting is far more powerful than using a snake and using it for a small clog may be overkill.  Hydro jetting will clean out everything, it is powerful enough to handle regular clogs but plumbers also use to clean out mineral buildup, it will cut through grease and it is even powerful enough to remove tree roots that invade your pipes.  Before you resort to hydro jetting make sure that the pipe is inspected with a video camera first to see if the clog is caused by damage.

When to Use Each One

If you try a plunger first and that doesn’t get rid of the clog your next step is to try snaking your drain.  A snake will usually get rid of most household clogs like hair and grease.  You can buy a plumbing snake at a hardware store and try it yourself before you have to call a plumber.  However if the snake doesn’t get the job done then it is time to call in an expert.  Hydro jetting is not a  project you take on yourself.  Hydro jetting is a lot more thorough than using a snake, it will take care of the clog and everything else that is in your pipes.  You also need to be cautious, hydro jetting can damage your pipes if they are old or weak.  A plumber can determine whether hydro jetting is your best option or if you need to replace some of your pipes.

So What is the Best Choice

There really isn’t one, both are highly effective tools that are used to clear clogs.  It really will depend on the problem that you are having, that being said try snaking your drains first and if that doesn’t work it is time to bring in the big guns and for that you will need a professional plumber.


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