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Commercial plumbing is often subjected to far greater pressures than its residential counterparts. In most instances, commercial systems are more complex and see far heavier usage than the plumbing found in a typical household. After all, residential plumbing only has to serve the limited needs of the family living in the home. Commercial plumbing, in many instances, has to provide service to dozens, perhaps even hundreds of people, sometimes even around the clock.

When it comes to drains, that heavy usage can quickly take its toll. Public restrooms are easily overwhelmed by a sudden influx of visitors. Depending on the type of business, commercial drains may not only have to deal with more frequent usage, their drains may undergo damaging abuse on a regular basis. From restaurants dumping oil and food waste down the sinks to industrial facilities hosing debris and chemicals down floor drains, commercial properties are more likely to run into clogging problems very quickly.

No matter what business a commercial property is engaged in, dealing with clogged drains and sewer lines is a serious problem that can’t be ignored.

Fortunately, property owners have an ideal solution for dealing with backed up lines. Hydro-jetting not only clears out blockages effectively, but also works as an ideal preventative measure to keep pipes clean and in good working order. Although hydro-jetting can be used in residential properties as well, it really shines when it comes to handling the heavy-duty problems that so often plague commercial plumbing.

What is Hydro-Jetting?

A truly professional solution for clogged plumbing, hydro-jetting is best described as power washing for pipes. The process involves a high-pressure water hose equipped with a specialized nozzle that blasts water through the line while also sending spinning jets of water behind it as it snakes through the pipe. Any material clogging the line is broken apart by the forward spray and forced through the pipe. Meanwhile, the rearward facing spray cleans up the mess, scraping residual materials away from the sides of the pipe and creating a backwash of water that forces any remaining debris down the line.

Depending on the extent of the clog and the condition of the pipes, hydro-jetting can adjust water pressure from a fairly modest strength (1,500-7,000 psi) to high intensity, “hydro-blasting” levels (10,000-60,000 psi) to clear serious blockages. By way of comparison, a typical firefighter fire hose shoots out water at about 300 psi.

While people typically don’t think of spraying water as dangerous, even consumer grade pressure washers can generate enough force to cause skin lacerations. Given the pressures involved, hydro-jetting is strictly something best left to professionals.

Benefits of Hydro-Jetting

Hydro-jetting can clear away not only the usual source of clogs (hair, food waste, etc), but it can even break up tree roots and more substantial blockages. Since it scours the inside of the pipe, it’s also an effective means of removing long-term gunk, grease, and oil buildup as well as collected sediment that can restrict water flow and form the basis of future clogs.

In addition to cleaning away built up materials, hydro-jetting is also powerful enough to wash away bacteria that settles in the pipes. While this is less of a problem in sewer drains than water lines, bacteria accumulation can still lead to other problems that affect the long-term health of commercial pipes.

Since hydro-jetting is carried out completely inside the pipe, it can be completed without having to dig up the line. Since many commercial plumbing lines are located beneath pavement or inside walls, this method can greatly reduce the costs of repairs, making it a very economical solution for clogged lines.

Versatility of Hydro-Jetting

The basic mechanics of hydro-jetting are relatively simple, so the technique can be easily scaled to meet the needs of almost any commercial property. By changing the hydro-jetting equipment used, professional plumbers can remove clogs from pipes anywhere from 1 1/2” to 48” wide.

Although hydro-jetting can be applied to multiple pipe materials, including concrete, steel, cast iron, PVC, and clay, a video inspection is usually performed initially to determine whether or not the pipe has any pre-existing damage. Given the immense power of the water being flushed through the line, the pressure may have to be adjusted to avoid causing damage to weakened sections.

For commercial properties looking for fast and easy methods to address serious clogs, hydro-jetting offers an effective solution at a cost-effective price. Not only will it resolve the immediate problem, but it can also provide a long-lasting preventative measure to safeguard against clogs and pipe damage in the future. If you’re interested in finding out what hydro-jetting can do for your commercial properties, be sure to contact an experienced plumbing professional to discuss an ideal solution that meets your specific needs.

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Topics: Trenchless Technology, Commercial Plumbing