Q. We rent drain cleaning snakes to a local fast-food chain, but my customer is unhappy. They try to clear their grease clogged drains with my snakes, but the clog comes right back. Is there a better tool to clear grease clogs?
A. The best tool to clear grease clogs quickly and easily is a water jet. Grease creates what's called a self-healing stoppage, where it sticks to the walls of the pipe. So, when your snake punches a hole in grease to get the water flowing, you haven't really cleared the clog completely.
Water jets are ideal for clearing grease, as well as flushing sand and melting ice. Jets use a stream of high-pressure water that cuts the grease off the walls of the pipe and flushes it away. The thrust of the nozzle drives the hose down the line for wall-to-wall cleaning action.
Electric jets typically offer a maximum of 1,500 psi. Trying to get more pressure from an electric motor runs the risk of pulling too many amps and popping breakers. It’s better to use a gas-powered jet. You get twice the pressure and flow rate of electric jets to handle larger and longer lines.
But beware of trying to convert your pressure washer into a water jet. Jets use vibration to overcome the friction in the pipe and help the hose glide around bends and farther down the line. If you don’t have pulse, the hose could get stuck in the pipe.