Jetter or Vacuum: Which is Best for Sewer Cleaning?

Hydrocleaning is the term used in using highly-pressurized water to wash away dirt, grime, and other particulates from a surface. The Society for Protective Coatings, then known as the Steel Structures Painting Council, identified four levels of hydrocleaning depending on the amount of water pressure used (measured in psi). When it comes to sewer cleaning, the typical water pressure used can range from 5,000 to 25,000 psi; using the latter identifies the cleaning process as water-jetting.

However, sewer cleaning is also a delicate job since water and drainage pipes can be easily damaged if they were cleaned using too much water pressure. Another way to clean sewer systems is to use a vacuum machine to suck out all the refuse from the pipes, without the risk of scratching or cracking them. Unfortunately, this creates a dilemma of deciding what type of system to use when a sewer needs some thorough cleaning.

This is why some sewer cleaning systems utilize both jetting and vacuum technologies. Not only do these systems bring both techniques in one package (thus, simplifying storage), they can also use these two technologies in tandem. Modern jetter/vacuum sewer cleaners can drench a surface with water to break-apart debris so that they can be small enough to be sucked out by the vacuum.

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