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What is Sewer Jetting?

Posted by Gary Gray on Aug 19, 2020

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When your sewer line gets backed up, it can cause all sorts of costly problems in your home. To fix it, plumbers have a process called sewer jetting. What is sewer jetting, and how does it work? What other potential sewer problems might you have to deal with? Here's a look at the inner workings of your sewer.

How Sewer Jetting Works

There are a lot of things that can end up in your sewer besides just water. Dirt, grease, and even tree roots can get in there and clog your system. When the sewer line gets backed up, these contaminants must be removed, so the water can flow freely again. That's where sewer jetting - also called hydro jetting - comes in.

A water pump is connected to a high-powered engine, to maximize water pressure (up to 4,000 psi). Then, that water stream is directed into the sewer line, where it forces out any blockages.

By pointing the nozzle head into the sewer line, it can whisk away things like hair and dental floss that are blocking the flow of water. By angling the nozzle to the sides, it cleans the dirt and mineral buildup off the sewer line walls. Both are necessary for getting your sewer clear and flowing properly again.

A professional hydro jetting can cost a few hundred dollars to perform. It's a bit expensive - but it's cheaper than repairing the damage caused by a backed-up sewer. Therefore, you should schedule a jetting periodically to keep your system clean.

Of course, there are other problems your sewer system might run into. Let's take a look at how to deal with some of them.

Sewage Smell

If your house smells like sewage, then the system must be backed up, right? Actually, the most likely culprit is a loose drain cap. Fortunately, the fix is easy. Look for the drain cap, around the outside of your house, and make sure it's screwed on tightly. It's often buried under dirt, leaves, and debris, as it's not used very often.

If you have a sink that hasn't been used in a while, that might also be the cause. You might have a dried-out p trap - the plumbing fixture that keeps sewer gases from entering your home. To fix it, simply run the faucet for a few minutes to get water flowing through it again, or get a couple of gallons from elsewhere and pour them down the drain.

Tree Roots

Certain kinds of trees have root systems that spread aggressively when looking for water. Often, these roots end up in your sewer system, causing blockages. If this happens, the resulting damage will likely require an expensive plumber visit.

There are, however, a few ways to prevent this. Root killer, poured down your drains twice a year, can keep tree roots at bay. However, they can also damage your pipes. A much better solution is to take proper care of your trees.

By watering your trees regularly, it prevents the roots from having to spread to find hydration. You should also avoid planting water-loving trees too close to your sewer line. By keeping them a safe distance away, you reduce your risk.

No matter what your plumbing problem is, David Gray Plumbing can help you fix it. Contact us today!

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