Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
What is high pressure drain cleaning and why should you consider using a plumber who has high pressure drain cleaning equipment? In the past, plumbers used long electric snakes (or augers) to remove debris from drains, but electric snakes have metal parts that can damage all kinds of pipes. Snakes can also leave debris in the pipes and the debris may cause problems later on. Many plumbers have switched to high pressure drain cleaning and don't damage pipes in the process.
Using a DIY acid treatment can also damage pipes and can take years off a pipe's lifetime. High pressure cleaning has been proven to be an effective way to clean pipes.
High pressure drain cleaning involves using a high pressure machine to wash out clogged drains. They use approximately 80 litres of water per minute and can clean a drain quickly. High pressure drain cleaning is now considered the best way to clean drains because:
If tree roots are the cause of the problem, a high pressure drain cleaning can eliminate the tree roots, but you may have to have your pipes replaced because tree roots break pipes to get inside them. High pressure cleaning can also break up the roots on the outside of the pipes and may be a less expensive solution to paying upwards of $1000 to have tree roots removed and pipes replaced. It will depend on the extent of the damage, though and if there is severe leakage, you may need to have your pipes replaced. It is also possible to reline pipes and that may be a less expensive option than having pipes replaced, but relining is recommended only for pipes that are not too damaged. It may be a temporary solution for damaged pipes and you may have to replace the pipes later.
High pressure drain equipment costs between $6000 and $10,000 and requires maintenance. Plumbers generally charge around $300 for the first hour and $100 an hour after that. High pressure drain cleaning is faster than using an old fashioned electric snake, so you may only have to pay $300 for the service, but if there are other blockages, you may have to pay more.
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A plumbing service may also use a camera to find the source of a drain blockage. Some offer this service for free, but will charge you for the time it takes to find the blockage. Other services may charge a fee for the service. It can be faster to find the source of the blockage with a camera and then use high pressure cleaning to eliminate the blockage. CCTV cameras can do more than locate the source of a drain blockage. They can also locate:
Basically, a camera can detect any kind of problem in pipes. When combined with high pressure drain cleaning, most drain blockages can be cleared and the plumber can tell you about other problems you may be having.
High pressure drain cleaning isn't the only expense you will face when your plumber comes. If the job is a short one, the plumber may charge a call-out rate of between $60 and $100. They will also charge an hourly rate of between $100 and $150 per hour, depending on the plumber you hire.
If a plumber detects more problems in your plumbing system, they may charge:
Of course, you may only need to have high pressure drain cleaning done and $300 to $500 will be all you will have to pay. Read How Much Does a Plumber Cost? for more information about their costs and make sure you hire only a licensed plumber who carries insurance. Get quotes from plumbers, but look for a plumber with years of experience in your area and one who can provide you with references. A good plumber will work quickly and efficiently and your plumbing problems will be over.
High pressure drain cleaning has many benefits when compared with using a snake. A snake can remove some debris, but because it doesn't flush it out, the debris remains in the pipes and can clog the pipes again. High pressure drain cleaning cleans out all the debris and washes it down the pipes. Some other benefits of high pressure drain cleaning include:
Most plumbers are switching to high pressure drain cleaning because of the advantages of the system. They use different sized nozzles for different jobs and can increase the pressure for tough jobs, like tree root removal. Today, they use high pressure drain cleaning even for small jobs like clogged drains in the kitchen, but the high pressure drain cleaning can reach even further down sewerage lines and clogged pipes at a distance. They work from a variety of angles and ensure a pipe is completely clean and the water washes any debris away so it won't be a problem later.
When you contact plumbers for drainage problems, ask them if they use high pressure drain cleaning. Most plumbers do, but if a plumber still uses a snake, you may have to call the plumber again to clear another blockage. High pressure drain cleaning will clean out all debris and you won't have to pay extra for a problem later on.
*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.
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