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Jetter Vs. Cable

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  • Jetter Vs. Cable

    I am not trying to start a debate here just some questions. I just finished building my jetter and i have used it on 2 sewer main jobs and a rain drain job. i am having a trailer built for it now loading that pig into my van sucks. on the 3 jobs ive used it on it was just a breeze. one was a chinese restaraunt 4" main i pushed the cable in 15' and stepped on the pedal and within seconds it was drianing. im not sure how long it would have taken my k-7500? i dont like the fact you cant feel whats going on but it does clean alot better right? what are your opinions? when do you use the cable or jetter? what are your deciding factors?
    Clark County Plumbing And Drain

  • #2
    Re: Jetter Vs. Cable

    I jet darn near everything. It does a better job on most things, especially grease, and is just as easy if not easier in most situations. It's the only way I know to thaw a frozen line; ice just laughs at a cable.

    Exceptions for me are:

    - tubs and showers; they are usually hair, and the cable grabs hair better

    - residential toilet lines where I know the stoppage is within the building, and I can't get at it from below the clog (ie jet up from an exterior cleanout). this especially applies to multi-unit buildings where I'd have to sling hose up stairwells, etc.

    - a situation where I really don't want to have to manage water from jetting; bad consequenses from flooding and or difficult to prevent the flooding. (I will often jet with a pump or wet vac or both pulling water out of the system to keep from flooding, this gets old after hauling out more than a couple wetvacfulls, but sometimes it is the only way, like a frozen main line on a house with no outside cleanout).

    - the rare situation where I've jetted and failed to do any good

    - an object or something I want to grab and pull back or need to break before I can push it out
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.


    • #3
      Re: Jetter Vs. Cable


      A cable with blades works best to scrape build-up, especially a log of grease, from the side of the pipe.

      The jet works best for loose blockages like sand, thick toilet paper or loose grease "muck" that the cable will not move.

      I only use my jet when the cable does not work.

      I only use my jet about once a month, and I average 50 to 55 sewer & drain jobs per month.


      • #4
        Re: Jetter Vs. Cable

        I don't own a jetter yet, but I know I am somewhat limited without one. The obvious jobs that a jetter is superior are: grease, sludge, mud, sand, ice, etc.
        The cable machines are superior at retrieving objects, and of course their main advantage is the fact that you don't have to worry about flooding or making a huge mess.
        For roots, its about even. I have seen cable machines with a full-pipe-size cutting head do a great job, and I have seen a jetter absolutely obliterate roots with the right cutting nozzle and power.
        I am currently contemplating a jetter purchase, and I will likely only use it for special jobs, like hebert does.
        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information


        • #5
          Re: Jetter Vs. Cable

          The last 2 jobs that the customers had roto rooter there and couldn't clear the drain then recommended jetting called me I showed up to jet but after hearing more details I cabled and camered the lines no jetter was really needed. In most cases on a stopped line I won't jet unless I can at least open the clog up a little with the snake so the water has a place to go. But with the seesnake and the jetter that pipe looks like new. Wish the jetter could fix the pipe seperations while it's in there. lol
          Seattle Drain Service


          • #6
            Re: Jetter Vs. Cable

            pretty much as was already mentioned.

            the jetter has an advantage on dirt, grease, and sometimes roots.

            a definite advantage is when only a small c/o is located. the jetter and hose can access a small line and still clean a larger pipe.

            but once again. a jetter is sized like a cable machine. too small a machine and it's all show and no go.

            i was going to post a photo of the dangers of jetting, but joey would freak out what i did to my finger the other day.

            nothing like a spray gun at 3000# and 5.6gpm with a 0 degree nozzle from a couple inches away the jet cut through the glove and into my finger like a hot knife to butter. all in a fraction of a second.

            all i can say is glad i had on a glove. glad i had a first aide kit, lad my brother in law is an e.r. doctor too bad he doesn't know to keep quiet about it. so now joey knows why i didn't hold her hand the last couple days.

            phoebe it is


            • #7
              Re: Jetter Vs. Cable

              We jet as much as possible when we will not make a huge mess. Lav drains, tub and shower drains are also out for us. They get the 100 machine sent after them.

              I will always camera when jetting for the same reason that has been mentioned. It is difficult to feel what is happening. We keep the camera in the line a ways back at a safe distance and inspect as we jet. Since we started this it has improved the time it takes to clean a line.

              We use 2 way radios if we can jet and cam from both ends of a line. It also helps when a customer can see the jet in action in some cases rather than a before and after.

              If i get roots when snaking a line I will stop right away and offer the jetting option. Nothing beats a properly sized jetter and Warthog for cutting roots IMO. But then again...with the monster jetter i have, there aren't many roots that can stand up to it. At least around here.

              If they choose that option i will offer a warranty of 1 year. If i snake and camera it is 6 months. Snaking only gets 30 days.