Blocked Drain? What’s Better An Electric Eel or a Water Jetter?

We don’t use any guess work when it comes to your blocked drain, because we can see what’s going on inside your pipes by using our drain camera to locate the problem and clear your pipes with our high pressure water jetter…. This can be done all in one visit.

Need to clear a blocked drain? At Tap King Plumbers unblocking and fixing drain blockages is what we do best!

To diagnose the cause of a blocked drain we use a specialised video camera that is inserted down your pipes. The camera is then pushed down the drain line and provides us with a live video feed of what’s going on that can be recorded on a DVD.

So what exactly is a High Pressure Water Jetter?

A Water Jetter is a drain clearing machine that delivers water at very high pressure and volume inside your blocked pipes that cuts away what ever is in its way. Our jetter runs at 5000psi which is perfect for clearing blockages during our day to day drain clearing.

What is better – A Water Jetter or an Electric Eel?

The Electric Eel (also known as a plumbers snake or a drain snake) is very frictious and abrasive. It has a cable that spins around inside the drain pipe which rubs against the pipe. If it rubs in the same place for long enough it can cut or crack the pipe and even punch a hole through the pipe.

There are a lot of plumbers that still use the older Electric Eel method today and only a few that use a High Pressure Water Jetter. A common question is “which is the better choice to clear a blocked drain. An Electric Eel or a High Pressure Water Jetter?”

The advantages of using a Water Jetter are:

Saves Time:

Water Jetter – The Water Jetter is much faster at clearing a blockage. The average time to clear a blockage is 45-60 minutes.

Electric Eel – The time it takes can vary depending on the depth of the blockage and how bad the blockage is. Some badly blocked drains have taken up to 8 hours to clear with an Electric Eel.


Water Jetter – The Water Jetter clears pipes very effectively. It scrubs the inside of your pipes only using water, clearing tree roots so well that you can no longer see them with a drain camera. It also cleans the walls of the pipe washing away old waste, debris, fats, oils and anything that has built up on the pipe walls. The Water Jetter can travel up to 140 metres and maintains its effectiveness right to the end which is long enough to clear the majority of buildings.

Electric Eel – When an Electric Eel clears a blocked drain or clogged drain it often leaves behind tree roots and debris. This can lead to future waste and debris getting stuck on the uncleared roots and debris easily creating another blockage. The Electric Eel has a cable and cutting head that spins and thrashes around in the pipe, banging and hitting the pipe walls. This can chip, cut and crack the pipes leading to further damage and even collape of the pipes. An Electric Eel will lose its effectiveness the further it travels into a pipe, usually no longer being effective after 25 metres.


Water Jetter – The cost involved to get a pipe cleared with a Water Jetter will always be cheaper than an Electric Eel because of the time involved. The exact location of the blockage can be pin pointed with the drain camera and then cleared with the Water Jetter. This allows the blockage to be cleared much quicker so you won’t be paying for hours and hours of labour.

Electric Eel – The costs involved to get a pipe cleared with an Electric Eel are usually higher because Electric Eels can be very labour intensive depending on the depth and location of the blockage and how bad the blockage is. The Electric Eel can not be used together with the drain camera and it does not flush the debris out while in operation, unlike the Water Jetter. The clearing has to be done first, and then the pipe work needs to be flushed before the drain camera can be inserted to assess the cause and extent of the blockage. This means a lot of time wasted … more time equals more money.

Do you need an experienced plumber to operate a Water Jetter?

By using the correct cutting tips for the job together with a well trained plumber, Water Jetters are unrivalled at clearing drains. The use of these machines is something that takes years of practice and a poor operator can still do a poor job at clearing a drain with a jetter…. We see this from time to time.

By | 2018-11-21T04:42:38+00:00 November 15th, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments