Water jetter, sewer jetter, or hydro jetter; it doesn’t matter what you want to call it as long as it finishes the job of clearing out the blockage for you.
Calling a professional may seem like an obvious choice, but you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by performing preventive, regular cleaning.
Also, with a simple attachment, you can take your pressure washer and turn it into a sewer jetter that can clean your drains and sewer lines without an issue.
Get a conversion kit and attach your pressure washer’s hose to the pressure washer unit and take your hose and run it outside or inside of whichever drain you want to unclog or clean. Remove your wand or gun and replace it with a ball valve, hose reel, or jumper hose. Next, install the jetter hose into the machine’s hose reel and attach whichever nozzle you want to complete the project.
No matter which pressure washer you have on hand, you can turn it into a sewer jetter. You don’t need to contact a professional and have them bring a unit in.
All you have to do is follow this guide and learn how to turn your pressure washer into a water jetter below.
Defining a Sewer Jetter
Before we give you the necessary steps that’ll allow you to turn your pressure washer into a water jetter, you have to understand how this machine works, so you know how it’s similar to a pressure washer.
Simply put, a sewer jetter can spray large amounts of water using a high-pressure water jet into your drains to push out clogs.
This unit has a hose, pump, engine, and several different nozzles to produce a high-pressure spray of water. The engine will power the pump, and you can connect a hose straight to this pump.
The next step is to connect the nozzle to the hose before directing the water spray directly into your chosen piping system.
They work exactly as a traditional pressure washer does, and this is why it’s relatively easy to turn a pressure washer into a water jetter.
If you’ve ever used a pressure washer around your home, you know how powerful the jet of water is that it produces.
A sewer jetter comes with a very long hose with a nozzle attached that lets out anywhere from three to six pressurized water jets into your pipes.
As you start to run your hose through your pipe system, the water jets will blast your pipe walls with a huge amount of force to break down any clogs. They make clearing blockages quick and easy.
Can You Use a Pressure Washer as a Sewer Jetter?
A hydro jetter is a high-pressure pump with a nozzle and a long hose at its core. This is why putting one together yourself using a pressure washer is relatively easy and straightforward as getting the correct attachment for your pressure washer.
You should note that professional-grade sewer jetters are pieces of equipment that have extremely powerful pumps, so a domestic-grade pressure washer won’t give you the same power levels.
A trailer-mounted, large sewer jetter could have a pump that puts out 25 gallons of water per minute, so an actual water jetter is much more powerful than you’ll get if you make your own using a conversion kit.
Your home pressure washer is much weaker, but it also works very well to clear out smaller obstructions and to perform regular maintenance from your pipelines.
If your goal is to avoid calling contractors to bring in large equipment, converting this pressure washer is the best choice you have.
However, not every pressure washer is fit for the job because you still need a strong stream of water and a more powerful machine for the conversion kit to work well.
GPM and PSI Requirements
You can choose from several shapes and sizes when it comes to your sewer jetter, and the PSI ratings are usually low enough for domestic-use pressure washers to reach, including electric ones. The pump on a sewer jetter will pressurize your water between 1,500 and 4,000 PSI.
The gallons per minute rating is much higher on sewer jetters compared to pressure washers, even smaller systems.
A gas pressure washer usually has a rating of two and four gallons per minute, and jetters typically start at four gallons per minute and go up to nine gallons per minute for portable models. Trailer-mounted models can easily reach 30 gallons per minute.
For your project, you’ll typically need at least one gallon per minute for every inch of your pipe diameter that you want to clear the clog out of. However, even if the pipes are a little wider than your gallons per minute rating on your pressure washer, it’s worth it to get an attachment and try to clean out your pipes, unless you’re dealing with a heavy clog of tree roots or grease.
So, cleaning your pipes routinely using a pressure washer with this attachment kit is recommended if you have smaller diameter pipes. When it comes to the PSI rating, a gas pressure washer with 2,000 to 4,000 PSI is good for any pipe with a diameter of 3 to 12-inches.
However, if you have a large buildup of tree roots, grease, or sludge, a regular pressure washer may not be powerful enough to cut through them and clear out your pipes.
Nozzle and Hose Attachments
The nozzles and hoses are what turn your pressure washer into a sewer jetter, and jetter hoses are usually very long so that they can extend far down your piping system.
The hoses usually resist abrasion, are very flexible, light, and tend to be slippery. The hose gets pulled by the nozzle design and the jets of water when they flow out, and they can typically withstand 3,000 to 4,000 PSI.
You’ll get different types of nozzles for a sewer jetter, and the biggest difference is the angle of the jet holes that face backward.
The nozzle’s hose doesn’t have to be front-facing, and it usually has a zero-degree stream of water that will slice through buildup and clear the way for the rest of the hose to come along the pipe. You can get a pointed jet nose or around the button-type nose.
Several backward-facing holes will propel the jetter through your pipe system, and you can set them at different angles.
If the hole angle is between 15 and 20-degrees, the nozzle gets a large amount of penetration power and thrust behind it, but it won’t clean the walls well. If you set your nozzle to 30 to 35-degrees, they work well for regular use to give you clean walls and great thrust.
If your nozzle has more than 40-degrees in jet angles, you call them flushing nozzles, and they’re great for cleaning since they don’t have low thrusting power.
You won’t use them in more than 100 feet of pipe either. Some nozzles will rotate by themselves, and they give you excellent forward thrust while rotating to agitate any sludge or buildup in the piping system.
Eight Steps to Convert a Pressure Washer Into a Sewer Jetter
Now that you understand how a sewer jetter works, you can follow eight steps to transform your pressure washer into one to help clean out the pipes.
You will need to purchase a conversion kit, and the kits come with all of the parts and tools you need to make the conversation. You can buy a kit online for around $300. In the kit, you’ll find:
- Ball valves
- Hose reel
- Jetter Hose
- Jumper hose
- Nozzles – rotating, laser, and ram
Once you have the kit, all you’ll need to do to complete the conversion is:
- Attach the pressure washer how to the pressure washer
- Take the spray gun out of the pressure washer hose and put the ball valve in place
- Attach the ball valve to your jumper hose
- Connect the jumper hose’s other end to the jetter hose’s end
- Wrap the jetter hose around the hose reel
- Select the correct nozzle and put it on the end of your jetter hose
- Put the jetter hose into the pipe that you want to run it in
- Switch on the pressure washer and start the cleaning process
If you have a powerful enough pressure washer and the correct conversion kit, you can quickly and easily switch your pressure washer to a sewer jetter.
This allows you to clean out your drains or piping systems to help them run more efficiently without having to call in a professional and spend hundreds of dollars to complete this project.