Is Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning Worth It? Hydro Jetting Pros and Cons

Do you know what hydro jet drain cleaning is? If not, you’re missing out on a lot!

At the same time, you might find yourself confused about the costs of this procedure, or you might think that the videos showing hydro jetting cleaning grease, grime, gunk, and tree roots in mere seconds are staged.

Hydro jet drain cleaning

This is one of the newest procedures that can help clean your sewage lines without too much hassle. It can even deal with most clogs and blockages, no matter how stubborn they might’ve appeared to be.

If hydro jetting sounds interesting to you, then this is the article for you! We’ll explain how does this procedure work, what are the pros and cons, and how much does hydro jetting cost.

Let’s get right into it.

How Does Hydro Jetting Work?


Hydro jet drain cleaning uses the power of pressurized water. There is no other method or magic that goes into it – just pure water.

Believe it or not, many industries have been using pressurized water to cut various materials for decades. It can even be used to cut diamonds and metal!

Of course, these industrial machines work at a much higher power compared to hydro jet drain cleaning. Water jet machines used for sewage pressurize water at 3,500 to 4,000 psi (although this can vary a bit). On the other hand, industrial machines use 20,000 psi, or even more!

A hydro jet drain cleaning machine has a nozzle that will help guide a hose through the pipe. You’ll use this to break up and clean any debris that might be clogging your pipe.

Most of the time, these nozzles will have a single forward-facing jet, as well as several rear-facing jets. The forward jet is used to create a hole through the clog, while the rear jets will wash the debris out of the pipe.

To make sure your sewer line is cleaned, the professional plumber using it will usually start from the lower system’s end and go all the way up toward the building.

The hydro jetting will wash the debris in the direction it came from. Thanks to this, it will ensure the material forming the former clog will go toward larger city pipes instead of back into the tinier residential pipes.

Hydro jetting can also be used for septic tanks, and the cleaning process will be done from the opening. This can keep you from putting various chemicals that break down solids.

Most of the time, hydro jet drain cleaning will be done in several stages:

  1. The nozzle will be moved with a stronger forward force to break up hard debris, such as sludge or tree roots.
  2. Then, you should use a nozzle with a wider back spray, as it will help remove even the thickest tree roots.
  3. Finally, use the nozzle that can help descale the sides of the pipe.

Does Hydro Jetting Work on Roots?



Roots are some of the main reasons behind the damaged pipes. They can grow fairly fast, and the worst problem is that you won’t even notice them until it’s too late. This is why homeowners and experts alike are trying to find the best way to prevent root damage from happening, or at least to reduce it. Hydro jetting is one of them.

Yes, hydro jetting will do an amazing job when you need to remove roots from pipes. The pressurized water has enough force to cut through the roots, break them down, and flush them.

In fact, this might be the most effective method out there, especially if you use it together with a hydraulic root cutter. These two make a perfect team that no roots can match.

Hydro Jet Sewer Cleaning Cost

Unfortunately, hydro jet drain cleaning is one of the most expensive methods of cleaning drain pipes, especially when compared to other ways of unclogging, such as:

  • Running hot or boiling water through the pipes, which is free other than the minor utility costs that shouldn’t be more than a few cents.
  • A plunger that is very affordable to buy – you can find products as cheap as $2.
  • Chemical cleaners and treatments that can cost anywhere between $5 and $300.
  • Plumbing snake – calling a professional to snake your drain will cost $100 to $250.

On the other hand, the average cost of calling someone to help you unclog your pipe by using a hydro jetting machine is $350 to $800, but the prices can be higher if the issue is severe.

In fact, to remove some of the most challenging obstacles, you will need to prepare a lot of money. Hydro jetting costs for these tough cases can be higher than $1,000!

Also, commercial hydro jetting can cost even more. The average price of hydro jetting for commercial properties is $500 to $3,000.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind that hydro jetting will do more than just removing the clog. It will also clean up your pipe, ensuring the chances of the clog reappearing are very low. Sometimes, with the help of a good hydro jetting machine, the pipes can be almost as clean as new! This will increase their lifespan while decreasing the costs of future repairs.[2]

Can You Rent a Hydro Jetting Machine?


Hydro jetting rentals exist in many areas. Such services will help you rent a hydro jetting machine so you can clean up the clog on your own.

Unfortunately, these rentals can end up being as expensive as calling the plumber. Almost none will rent machines for a price lower than $300 a day. Sure, $300 is much better than $1,000, but this is only assuming you know how to use it properly.

Not just that, but many rentals will provide their services to professional plumbers and sewer repair contractors only. This is to prevent the damage that might occur to the machine if used improperly.

As such, most hydro jetting rentals are intended for professionals who don’t feel like buying their own machines.

While we’re at buying, the cost of buying residential cart hydro jetting machine is $1,000 to $4,500 on average. We found budget version for less than 600$. If you’d like to buy commercial trailer model, you need to prepare $5,000 to $20,000.

In the long run, buying a hydro jetting machine can be a better option, especially considering the fairly high rental prices.

However, if you simply want to use it to do a quick cleaning process, renting is certainly the more affordable way to go.

Pros of Hydro Jetting

Many professionals consider hydro jetting to be the best possible tool for cleaning up clogs. This is a non-invasive method that has proven to be rather effective for many benefits it can bring to the standard cleaning process.

Here are some of the most important benefits of hydro jet drain cleaning:

You Can Use It for Any Type of Clog

Hydro jet drain cleaning can be used for all types of obstacles. It can even help get rid of the most stubborn clogs.

In fact, it’s even more effective than using a plumbing snake!

Sure, plumbing snakes are a great choice for most obstacles. They use force to remove any debris, and they can be very effective.

However, plumbing snakes can only push the obstacle or poke a hole in it. While this will help the wastewater flow once again, it won’t clean the inside of the pipe. This means that the next clog can happen very soon.

On the other hand, hydro jetting can clean your pipes and make them appear as new. It can even break up smaller tree roots, keeping them from growing larger and causing significant damage to your pipes and your property. [1]

It’s Non-Invasive

If you have a clog in the underground pipe, most methods include digging and opening up the pipes to remove it. This is costly, and it might lead to even more problems in the future.

Hydro jetting doesn’t require any digging or cutting. You simply put the nozzle inside the pipe and start the water. The cleanout serves as an easy access.

It’s Safe

Hydro jetting doesn’t use any chemicals or harmful substances. The only thing needed to clean the pipes is the water pressure – or, in other words, pure water.

This makes hydro jetting one of the safest methods of sewage cleaning.

It’s Environmentally-Friendly

As we’ve said, hydro jet drain cleaning uses nothing but water. As it doesn’t contain any chemicals, this makes it safe for not just you, but for the environment, as well.

In fact, hydro jetting might be the greenest cleaning method out there. You won’t have to pour any baking soda or bleach to break down roots and other debris. All you’ll need to do is to pressure it out using water.

Cons of Hydro Jetting

Unfortunately, no method is without its cons, and this includes hydro jet cleaning.

While this might be the safest method out there, it is still far from perfect. There are a few things that can ruin the overall experience or even keep you from using this cleaning method entirely!

Here are some of the biggest drawbacks of hydro jetting:

It Can Damage Pipes

When they see how the hydro jet drain cleaning works, many homeowners wonder can hydro jetting damage pipes – and unfortunately, it can.

Old sewer pipes might be frail and they can easily break. Such pipes are not suitable for hydro jet drain cleaning as pressurized water might cause significant damage. If this happens, you’ll end up with costly leaks and water damage.

This is why it’s always suggested to conduct a CCTV video inspection of pipes you’d like to hydro jet. Even newer pipes might have some damage you are not aware of. Without knowing the true condition of the pipe, hydro jetting can be risky.

It’s Not Suitable for Newbies

Because it requires extensive knowledge of the pipes and the sewage system, hydro jetting shouldn’t be done by newbies but rather by experienced professionals.

The equipment used for this process can be challenging to use, especially if you consider that the pipes should be inspected prior to the cleaning. Due to this, everyone will advise you against using a hydro jetting machine on your own.

It Uses a Lot of Water

While hydro jet cleaning is considered a green process, it still uses lots of water. Most of the stronger hydro jetting machines shoot approximately 20 gallons of water a minute. This means the amount of water used can end up being quite high.

Not just that, but this also means that hydro jet drain cleaning might be impossible during drought seasons, especially if you live in drier areas.

When Should You Use Hydro Jetting?

You don’t have to use hydro jetting the moment you notice the clog. You should try using traditional methods first, such as a plunger or even snaking. Such tools are pretty useful, especially for regular clogs caused by toilet paper and food.

Hydro jet drain cleaning is a great option for stubborn clogs that cannot be removed in such methods.

It is also a good idea to conduct annual hydro jet drain cleaning every few years or even annually to ensure the pipes are squeaky clean.

However, it’s important to note that this isn’t the right method if you have old pipes. Otherwise, you might end up doing more harm than good.

Is Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning Worth It?

Hydro jetting is a very expensive method that might not be worth it for all types of issues. You can solve minor clogs with a plunger or a snake or even by using some home remedies instead.

However, if you have a persistent clog that you cannot fix in any other way, then hydro jet drain cleaning might be the best option for you. This will not only unclog your drain but also clean your pipe and make it as good as new from the inside.

Just remember to always consult a professional. This isn’t something that is smart to attempt on your own, unless you had training or supervision.