Plumbers use a wide range of equipment to install, repair and maintain plumbing systems, and it can get a bit confusing to keep track. Electric eels, drain snakes, jet blasters—what are these plumbing contraptions, what do they do, and which is better? We’ve got the low-down on the difference between the electric eel and jet blaster, so you know exactly what your plumber is talking about! If you’re in the area, we’ve also found a few Maitland plumbers who can help you out.
What is an electric eel?
Electric eels, also known as drain snakes, were designed in the 1920s to clear blockages, clogs and other obstructions in clay pipes. This system uses a coiled metal wire that is rotated through the pipe via a crank to punch a hole through the blockage. With advances in technology and plumbing systems, the electric eel has become somewhat outdated and isn’t as effective as newer systems. However, electric eels are still able to clear blocked drains and are preferred by some plumbers, as they are inexpensive to buy and maintain.
What is jet blasting?
A jet blaster, also referred to as a water jetter, is a flexible, high-powered hose that is fed into the drain up to the blockage. It pumps high-pressure water through a specialised nozzle that blasts through debris and blockages—even tree roots! This system also cleans the pipe walls as it goes, ensuring a full drain clean.
So which is better: the electric eel or jet blaster?
The jet blaster has become the preferred system to removing blockages and obstructions from pipes. Since it uses high-pressure water clearing instead of friction (as the electric eel does), there is no chance of damaging the interiors of the pipes throughout the process. The jet blaster attacks and clears out the entire blockage, so the drain stays clearer for longer, as opposed to the electric eel—which is unable to clear out an entire obstruction.