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If not, don’t do it! I did that years ago as an apprentice plumber, when a customer was too embarrassed to tell me she had put drain cleaner in her kitchen sink to remove a blockage. It was her secret until the drain cleaner liquid felt slick on my hands and the burning sensation began to take place. Ouch!

I ran to the nearby bathroom lavatory and rinsed my hands for 15 minutes. They turned red and hurt. Luckily, I did not get the drain cleaner in my eyes or have severe skin burns; just some skin peeling.

Luckily, plumbers have rubber gloves and other protection available today when working on sewers. Experienced plumbers just shake their heads when drain cleaners are used. Drain cleaning chemicals are typically very dangerous. They seldom are the right solution to removing blockages. The chemicals damage metallic plumbing parts in sewer systems, such as cast-iron soil pipe. Drain cleaning chemicals are never a good shortcut.

Drain cleaning in general has historically been challenging. For instance, drain cabling machines are often 250 lbs. or more and can cause career-ending back injuries for the technicians. Those machines can break steps and damage walls or flooring.

Cabling sewers will often further damage weak or broken sewer pipes. Cabling breaks loose the buildup of solids on sewer walls, and those solids typically do not get flushed out properly. Cabling fails to reach every surface of the pipe. Even worse is the horrible odor from the cables as they are pulled back into the cabling machine!

Drain cleaning technology definitely needed to change, and the best process today by far is jetting sewers, sometimes called hydro scrubbing. Basically, it’s a high-pressure water cleansing of the sewer system.

John Henry’s has found jetting sewers is a considerably better process. It’s a simpler method that is much safer, cleaner, more efficient, and cheaper in the long run because it does a more thorough job. A small hose is extended from a jetter truck to the sewer. The jetter head is inserted into the sewer, and the cleaning process begins.

The jetter head technology is the secret in the cleansing process. The jetter head is designed to spray high pressure water up to 4,000 lbs. at precise angles. Jetting accurately scours the inside walls of the sewer pipe and does not damage the plumbing system. The jetter hose is cleaned as it’s pulled back!

After John Henry's completes the sewer jetting process, sewers are visually inspected with a sewer camera and customers are given the option to view the scrubbed sewers. Even the smallest defects can easily be detected. Jetting your sewer will provide peace of mind by knowing your sewer is properly installed, free from defects, and very clean.

The cold water jetter process is the perfect answer for residential sewers. John Henry's also can provide a hot water jetting process from the company's state-of-the-art jetter truck. It’s the best cleaning solution for restaurants to remove grease buildup.

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Jetting is also a great sanitary process for other applications like nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and the list goes on.

So why even care about the sewer drain cleaning process? It’s important because all sewers will plug in time. The surfaces of sewers will have a buildup or deteriorate, and it’s inevitable they will fail eventually. It’s good to know the best solutions.

It’s even better to take a proactive approach and get your sewer jetted and inspected with a sewer camera. The average cost to have that done is approximately $350. It’s a much better solution than worrying about a sewer backing up and causing expensive damage!

Another proactive approach is to use a safe chemical like Total-C, which has environmentally friendly enzymes and sludge-eating bacteria. It’s also safe for septic systems. Total-C has a fresh citrus scent and naturally gets rid of common kitchen sink odors. Total-C commercial injection systems work well on commercial applications too. Results are impressive!

John Henry's will have Total-C products, plus plumbing and HVAC experts available at the HBAL Home and Garden Show at the Lancaster Event Center Feb. 8-10. Please feel free to stop by!

People tend to be much smarter about the use of dangerous drain cleaner chemicals today. A good New Year’s resolution would be to never put our hands in the harmful drain cleaners, and always make responsible sewer cleaning decisions!

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L Magazine editor

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