A Comprehensive Guide on Power Rodding

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog, Plumbing Systems, Plumbing Tips

When a stubborn clog comes between you and your plumbing system, you want it taken care of right away. Your trusted plumber will have plenty of tools in their arsenal to quickly dislodge clogs and return your drains to normal.

Power rodding offers a powerful way of tackling tough clogs and other obstructions that prove difficult or even impossible to remove any other way. Read on to discover everything you wanted to know about the tools and processes behind power rodding and how it benefits your plumbing system.

How Power Rodding Works

The humble drain snake is a popular go-to tool for any clog-busting homeowner or plumber, but there are times when this tool is not enough to remove a tough clog. Think of power rodding as a larger and more powerful form of drain snake. Like a drain snake, a power rodding machine snakes through your home’s plumbing system to break up any blockage it encounters.

Instead of being manually operated like an ordinary drain snake, a power rodding machine uses an electric motor to rotate the semi-rigid rod it uses. At the end of the rod is a sturdy cutting head capable of grinding up clogs and other blockages. As the rod rotates, the cutting head tears the clog into smaller, more manageable pieces that can safely pass through your drains and sewer lines.

Power rodding equipment comes in a wide variety of lengths and diameters depending on the size of the pipe that needs clearing. These machines can also be set up with different augers and cutting heads for specific tasks. For instance, a dedicated grease cutter features blades that are angled specifically to better cut through and push away grease and fat buildup.

How It Benefits Your Plumbing

Whether you deal with slow drains or completely clogged drains, power rodding offers a literal breakthrough for your plugged pipes. Power rodding works on many types of plumbing, from old to new.

Stubborn clogs aren’t the only plumbing issue that power rodding takes care of. Fibrous tree and plant roots can also push through your home’s sewer lines, creating blockages that ordinary drain snakes can’t touch. A plumber with the right power rodding equipment can power through the tough growth, leaving behind a clear path for normal drainage to take place.

Since there aren’t any harsh chemicals or potentially harmful enzymes involved, power rodding is also safer for the environment. Chemical treatments can cause damage to pipes while allowing toxic materials to enter streams and water treatment facilities.

How Power Rodding Differs from Hydro-Jetting

You may have heard of other firms advertising hydro-jetting as a way to quickly remove clogs. Power rodding and hydro-jetting are both processes that use slightly different means to get the job done.

Just as the name implies, hydro jetting uses water as an aid to cut through clogs. Instead of a metal cutting tool, hydro-jetting equipment relies on the cutting force created by their specially-designed nozzles to remove clogs and other blockages. A typical hydro jetting nozzle creates up to 5,000 PSI of force – enough to knock out even the most stubborn of clogs.

Not every plumbing situation is ideal for hydro jetting, as explained below:

  • If you have an older home with equally old sewer lines, hydro-jetting’s intense water jets can disturb or even damage those pipes.
  • Portable and pressure washer-based hydro-jetting equipment may lack the power to completely push tree roots and other hard debris from sewer lines, potentially leading to clogs further along the sewer line.
  • Hydro-jetting sometimes requires large truck- and/or trailer-mounted rigs to deliver the cutting force needed to cut through clogs.

These considerations not only make hydro-jetting a less convenient option for clog removal but also a more expensive one when compared to power rodding.

When to Have Your Drains Cleared

Prevention is always the key to keeping your home’s drainage and sewer lines in great shape. The sooner you have your trusted plumber maintain your plumbing, the less likely you’ll run into issues that require a power rodding.

Nevertheless, you can always tell when it’s time to have your drains and sewer lines cleared. If you encounter any of the following issues, you need to consider a professional power rodding:

  • Your home’s sinks and bathtubs take a long time to drain properly.
  • Water constantly backs up into your sinks, tubs, and toilets.
  • A camera inspection reveals roots growing into the main sewer line.

Power rodding is also ideal after holidays and special occasions when heavier use of your plumbing system leads to unexpected clogs. A thorough video camera inspection can help you decide if and when you’ll need your drains and sewer lines professionally rodded.

The seasoned experts at Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. have the right tools and extensive training to tackle a broad range of plumbing and sewer issues. If your home’s plumbing needs power rodding, call us today at (630) 964-2222 and we’ll be glad to lend a hand.


Jim Dhamer
Plumbing and Sewer, Inc.


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