Water Jets vs. Cable Machines: What’s the Difference?

Since the introduction of water jets more than 25 years ago, drain cleaning professionals have pondered this question – do high pressure water jets replace cable drain cleaners?

The answer is yes and no. Traditional cable drain cleaners do a great job of cutting up tree roots and retrieving objects. But when it comes to grease clogs, cables have a difficult time.


Water jets, on the other hand, are ideal for clearing grease choked lines, as well as flushing sand from bellied lines, and melting ice clogs. 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 1500psi at about 2 gpm. Trying to get more pressure from an electric motor runs the risk of pulling too many amps and popping breakers. Better to use a gas-powered jet. You get twice the pressure and flow rate than that of electric jets. It gives you the power to cut through tough stoppages, pull the hose down longer lines, and the flow to flush larger lines clean. Gas jets can also be used to clear indoor drain lines with a portable reel. It lets you use the power of gas jets in buildings and confined spaces where exhaust fumes could be hazardous, while the jets stay safely Jet-Setoutside.

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 further down the line. If you don’t have pulse, the hose could get stuck in the pipe.

For more information on what water jets can do for you, watch this video.

About DrainBrain

The Drain Brains at General Pipe Cleaners have been part of the drain cleaning industry since 1930. We offer you our combined experiences to assist you with your drain cleaning question or clogged drain problem. General Pipe Cleaners manufactures a full line of drain cleaning equipment including high pressure water jets, video pipe inspection systems, water leak locators, pipe freezers, pipe thawers, and more.
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3 Responses to Water Jets vs. Cable Machines: What’s the Difference?

  1. A K PAL says:

    We want to General Pipe cleaning machine for our factory , how to purchase this machin in India

    • DrainBrain says:

      You can find a distributor in India using our global dealer finder. Here’s the link: http://drainbrain.com/dealer_finder/index.php?c=29

    • Sylvan Tieger says:

      To AK Pal.

      If your going to to buy a General machine for your factory may I strongly suggest you buy the Speed rooter 92 with the large drum and 100 ft of 3/4 cable and the smaller drum with 100 ft of 1/2″ cable for the smaller drains

      You may also want to consider buying an electric water jetter as a follow up after snaking a line to scour the lines to restore full flow

      If you want to have a really get set up that will give you many decades of trouble free drains buy 2 or 3 Clog Choppers for 2″ – 3″ and 4″ lines

      These Choppers negotiate bends a lot easier then normal cutters such as the
      2 U and the Chopper will remove all types of build up crud and they are self sharpening

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