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    << Back to Facilities Management Plumbing & Restrooms Category Home

When Holidays Lead to Drain Clogs

By Marty Silverman

It happens every holiday season — typically Thanksgiving or Christmas — when tenants cook the turkey, pour the grease down the drain, requiring maintenance and engineering managers to summon a technician or call a drain cleaning company when the grease clogs the line.

The best tool for a job to quickly and easily clear the clog is a water jet. 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. Water jets are ideal for clearing grease, as well as flushing sand, and melting ice. 

Electric jets typically offer a maximum of 1,500 pounds per square inch. 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, since they provide twice the pressure and flow rate of electric jets to handle larger and longer lines. Gas jets can also clear indoor drain lines with a portable reel and let you use the power of gas jets in buildings and confined spaces where exhaust fumes could be hazardous, while the jet stays safely outside.  

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. 

Marty Silverman is the vice president of marketing for General Pipe Cleaners, www.askthedrainbrains.com. Or email info@drainbrain.com or call 1-800-245-6200.