A clogged toilet can be fixed within 30 seconds using nothing more than a plunger. A clogged sewer on the other hand is a bit more complicated.
Without a background in plumbing, it may be hard to tell the difference between a clogged toilet (or drain) and a clogged sewer.
To help identify the problem, here are some distinct symptoms associated with clogged sewers:
- After turning on one water fixture and there’s a leak from another e.g. while using the washing machine water comes out of the kitchen sink
- Disgusting smells are emanating from more than one of the drains in the household
- More than one faucet has low water pressure
- The toilet is making a “gurgling” noise
If any of these things occur within a house, the sewer is likely clogged.
Luckily, sewers can be unclogged fairly easily. This article will explain how to unclog a sewer with a plumbing jetter.
What Is A Plumbing Jetter?
A plumbing jetter is a device that was specifically designed to unclog drain pipes. It is an improvement to snaking, an older method used to clear clogged pipes.
To clean a pipe using the snaking method, an auger (a long piece of metal wrapped in a layer of corkscrew-shaped metal) is shoved into the pipe, clearing a path for water and other waste to pass through.
Meanwhile, plumbing jetters use advanced technology to propel a powerful stream of water at high speeds through the pipes. The water has so much force that it can clear anything in its path that may be stuck in the pipe.
It’ll even clear the natural build-up of grease and other gunk stuck to your sewer lining, leaving the piping more efficient than it was before the clog.
Due to its high performance, plenty of professionals have adopted the plumbing jetter as their primary method of choice for unclogging pipes.
How To Use The Plumbing Jetter
If you’re wanting to unclog your sewer without calling in a professional, you can use the plumber jetter to do so.
The machine is straightforward to use and with some assistance, most people will be able to figure it out.
Although, we do need to warn you that high water pressure machines such as the plumbing jetter have the potential to injure those using them if they are used improperly.
High water pressure can break through the skin, and if for some reason you are cut by the plumbing jetter, you should seek out medical care immediately.
Don’t get too worried though; these injuries are rare and most people use the machine without any problems.
To unclog the sewer follow these steps:
- Identify the location of your sewage drain (it is a brown metal structure most likely somewhere in your front yard)
- Position the plumber jetter a few feet away from the drain you’d like to use it on so that you have some space to work with the hose
- Locate a water supply hose and attach it to a water supply source (make sure to use a hose that is at least ¾” in diameter to ensure the water jetter has an adequate water supply)
- Connect the water supply hose to the valve on the plumber jetter
- Unravel the power cord attached to the plumber jetter and plug it into a nearby electrical outlet
- Unravel some of the narrower hose that is attached to the plumber jetter
- Attach one of the nozzles that came with the plumber jetter to the end of the narrow hose
- Pull the nozzle and hose into the drain you are unclogging and slide it into the drain as far as you can (it should go at least as far as the first bend in the drain in order to avoid water splashing back up towards you through the drain)
- Turn the water supply on as high as possible to ensure maximum water supply to the plumber jetter
- Turn on the jet output valve
- Turn on the electrical or gas-powered switch on the plumber jetter
- Slide the hose deeper into the pipe until the sewer is unclogged (if the hose gets stuck you can turn on the vibra-pulse setting)
- Once the sewer is unclogged make sure to turn off the jet (again, high water pressure can break through the skin and is very dangerous)
- After the jet is turned off, bring up the hose
It Really Is That Easy
The average cost of unclogging a sewer is between $350 and $650. Although, by following the steps listed above, anyone can unclog their sewer using a plumber jetter.
For those who are not mechanically inclined, consider reaching out to a friend who is. After reading this article and watching a YouTube video or two, they’ll be able to figure it out.
Now, plumber jetters can cost thousands of dollars. For someone who is only going to need to use the machine once in a blue moon, the purchase doesn’t make sense.
Here at Northside Tool Rental, we recognize that the average person will not need to unclog their sewer enough to justify buying the machine. Correspondingly, we provide plumber jetters on a rental basis.
This way homeowners have the opportunity to unclog their sewers and avoid overpaying for labor costs.
Here at Northside Tool Rental, we have a large inventory of plumber jetters (and plenty of other tools) available for rental.
If you’re not working on projects that require a specific tool on a weekly or even monthly basis, why buy when you could rent?