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The Jetter Versus The Eel.

Drain cleaner

We are asked on a daily basis, what’s the best way to clear a drain?

As far as we are concerned, it’s no contest. We use Water Jetters for 100% of our drain clearing. We have an old Electric Eel sitting in our shed covered in cobwebs, it cost us a fortune to buy at the time too! ( I better put it on E-bay now). You may be thinking this comparison is biased, well it’s not. For years we used Electric Eels, lugging around big drums of metal sprung cables that we slowly wound into the sewer. Thrashed them around inside the pipes, leaving mess everywhere and most importantly – leaving a lot of the blockage behind in the pipe we were supposed to be clearing.

Then we had an epiphany. We invested money into purchasing Drain Cameras. Our first cameras were black and white had terrible picture quality but they showed us very clearly how many roots were being left behind after an Eel was used. At the same time we invested in our first Water Jet machines. We repeated this process and saw entirely different results. The inside of the pipes were crystal clear, all of the roots were gone and the inside diameter of the pipe was back to what it should have been.

So what exactly is a Water Jetter you ask? A water jetter is a drain clearing machine that combines the use of a motor and pump to deliver water at very high volumes and pressures to cut whatever is in its way. There are many variations on Jetters. Some expel more water per liter than others, other expel a lower quantity of water at a higher pressure to cut. We prefer the high pressure machines. They are perfectly suited to domestic applications. Coupled with the correct cutting tips and used with well trained technique these machines can be undefeated at clearing drains. Note how I said used with correct technique, as our marketing states – “Not all plumbers were created equal”. The use of these machines is something that takes years of practice. Don’t get me wrong, a poor operator can still do a poor job at clearing a drain with a jetter – we see this all the time.

A word of warning: If a plumber is advertising to clear a sewer with a jetter for $99 or a price that seems too good to be true, then beware, because they are not even going to try to clear your drain. They’ll put a camera in your pipe and then try to convince you to renew it and charge thousands. Even if it didn’t need replacing. A proper attempt at clearing the drain would have fixed the problem and saved you thousands.

The moral of the story is to choose a plumber who is genuinely going to try their hardest to clear your drain. If it is found then to be broken, then that’s a different story.
Every Mr. Mike’s Plumbing truck you see around Calgary has a Water Jetter built into it. Our entire fleet uses Honda motor jetters running at 4500psi. We find this to be the perfect pressure for our day to day drain clearing. All of our trucks are also fitted with 100 meter long self levelling colour drain cameras as well. We can clear drains and view them all in one visit.
Your Calgary Plumber is brought to you by Mr. Mike’s Plumbing, Calgary plumbers with the experience & know-how to handle all your plumbing needs. Whether you need help with clearing a blocked drain, hot water systems & tanks, gasfitting, rainwater tanks or many other plumbing services Mr. Mike is Calgary plumbers you can trust!