3 Tools for Clogged Pipes

Clogged Pipes Seattle Best Plumbing

3 Tools for Clogged Pipes

February 22, 2019

A clogged drain can be a source of instantaneous dread. Figuring out what and where the clog is can be challenging, especially if your Seattle area home or business has old plumbing. And, even if you know what the problem is, you may not have the know-how or the tools or the to fix it. Fortunately, at Best Plumbing of Seattle, we have over 50 years of experience, and some pretty cool gadgets too. Here’s a quick description of a few of the tools we use to vanquish plumbing woes all over the Puget Sound area.

Drain Snake

A drain snake (sometimes called a plumbing auger or one of several other names) is a hand-held device that has a coiled-wire cable with a corkscrew at the end. When a drain is clogged, the cable is inserted into the pipe and rotated until the corkscrew twists itself into the blockage and collects enough of whatever is down there to allow the water to drain.

Because they use a thin, manually powered cable, drain snakes are typically used for smaller jobs in bathrooms and kitchens.

Plumbing Rooters

A plumbing rooter uses a machine-turned cable with a special head on the front. It’s basically the industrial-strength version of a drain snake and can be used in the larger pipes found in main lines that connect to the city sewer. With the proper head for the task, rooters are capable of spearing through thick sludge, scraping debris from the side of pipes, and even sawing through roots.

Although they are powerful, plumbing rooters do have some limitations. While they’re great for cutting through tough blockages, they don’t always clean the line very well. This is particularly true in areas around pipe fittings or if the obstruction is composed of greasy materials that clings to pipe walls.


Hydro-jetting is another technique regularly used to clear clogged pipes and sewer lines. As you might infer from the name, a hydro-jet uses water-pressure to cut through obstructions. There are several types of hydro-jet nozzles for use in different situations but they generally all work the same way. A powerful jet of water at the front of the nozzle creates a hole in the obstruction, while more jets at the back push the nozzle forward through the hole, often spinning the nozzle as it goes. The jets can produce water pressure in excess of 2000 lbs. per square inch, allowing the hydro-jet to shred through blockages, essentially pressure wash pipe walls, and flush debris through the line.

Because hydro-jetting machines clean pipes so thoroughly it is recommended to have done every few years (or even annually for businesses in Seattle’s foodservice industry).

If you’ve noticed slow drains in your home or business, it could be a sign that a plumbing emergency is just around the corner. Don’t wait until the situation is out of hand. Call Best Plumbing of Seattle at (206) 823-1652, and get the situation assessed by a professional today!

Photo credit: JWPhotowerks, available under Creative Commons CCO.

Plumbing Archives