Hydro Jetting

Have you lost count of how many times you’ve poured drain cleaner down your sink and your efforts to unclog your plumbing? Have they been unsuccessful? Did you know that not only will significant debris build up to decrease your water pressure, but it can stick to the walls of your pipes and cause cracks and breaks?

So, What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is the process of using a high-pressure flow of water to scour the interior surfaces of the plumbing pipes, removing scale, grease, and other debris that’s built up inside the pipe walls over time. As opposed to rodding, where a plumber uses a tool to power a hole through the buildup, hydro jetting achieves a comprehensive cleaning of the pipes. Luckily, hydro jetting is a fast and effective way of clearing your plumbing system. 

knoxville leak detection and repair of sink by technician

How Does Hydro Jetting Work?

First, your HEP, INC. plumber will inspect your system to find the ideal spot to insert a hose and begin pumping the water. This high water pressure will force the material blocking the pipes to flow down the sewer system and out of your home’s pipes. 

But, hydro jetting isn’t as simple as sticking the hose down the drain and firing up the hydro jetting machine. If you get hydro jetting wrong, you can break your pipes and seriously damage your plumbing system, resulting in a hefty repair bill. For that reason, it’s best to leave this project to a local professional plumber who has the right tools and experience to complete this job safely.

Here’s how hydro jetting works and what you can expect from the service, should you decide this process is the solution you need:

Step 1: Our Plumber Inspects Your System and Locates Major Blockages

The plumber will perform a video inspection of the system to locate any major blockages and areas of heavy buildup. They’ll also inspect the pipes to establish whether they can withstand hydro jetting. In some cases, very old or weak pipes cannot tolerate the intense pressure. 

If your pipes aren’t suitable for hydro jetting, they’ll snake the pipes (a less intense method—more on that below) or use an auger to break up any tree roots that have moved dangerously close to your plumbing system.  If your plumber determines hydro jetting is not safe considering the condition of your pipes, you may want to consider installing new, more efficient piping if you are dealing with frequent clogs and drainage issues.

Step 2: High-Pressured Water Cleans the Pipes

Once access points are located, the plumber will drop hoses into your pipes and activate the hydro jetting machine. This machine has the power to pressurize the water up to 35,000 psi, but the plumber will adjust the pressure based on the needs of your system. 

As the water runs, the hose moves through the plumbing system, scouring the pipes free of buildup and heavy clogs. As the hydro jet dislodges the debris from the pipe walls, the debris travels downward (thanks to gravity) and is flushed safely out of the plumbing system.

What’s the Difference Between Hydro Jetting and Snaking a Drain?

Hydro jetting cleans pipes and removes clogs more comprehensively than drain snaking by aggressively flushing the system. It also doesn’t include the use of chemicals, only water. 

Snaking punctures clogs and breaks them apart, but it doesn’t reach the pipe walls to grab super stubborn debris. However, snaking is often the chosen method for older homes or homes with weakened pipes because it’s less intense and doesn’t apply pressure to the pipes as hydro jetting does. 

What Can You Remove With Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting can remove all kinds of debris in pipes, including:

  • Hair clogs
  • Mineral deposits
  • Grease and fat deposits
  • Food deposits
  • Silt
  • Sand
  • Tree roots (in some cases)


How You Know When you Need Hydro Jetting

There are a few telltale signs that your system needs hydro jetting:

  • Your plumbing system backs up regularly
  • Your bathroom or kitchen sink drain smells
  • You hear noisy or gurgling pipes
  • You get a lot of clogs, even though you’re mindful of what you put down your drains
  • Your drains run slow


If you’re in any doubt about whether you need a hydro jetting service, it’s worth calling a local plumber and asking for a video line inspection. The cost of a sewer line camera inspection is insignificant compared with the cost of replacing your sewer line.