The right way to unclog a drain with a pressure washer

Pressure washers have been proven to be highly effective cleaners. They have the power to remove stain from wood, or paint from a building. They even contain enough power to break human flesh. If they have all this power, then why not use it to get rid of the clog in the drain?

Pressure washers can remove clogs from drains when the correct equipment is used. A jet nozzle and jetter hose will be critical to get the job done, and can be fed into the pipe to ensure the clog is broken up. Two or three bursts of water should be sufficient to remove clogs.

When using a pressure washer to remove clogs, there are slightly different variations in the instructions of other methods. Pressure washers can prove be very handy around your home. Purchasing the right equipment is essential to ensure that you can reap all the benefits of using a pressure washer.

How to Unclog

1. Find Clog

It is important that you find the drain access point that is closest to the clog. This way the pressure will be enough to force the debris through the pipe. “A sink or bath drain can be accessed at the spout in the sink or bathtub. A sewer clog will require you to find the nearest drain access point, which will be in the form of a capped pipe near the main sewer access point in your basement, under your house, or outdoors in your yard or driveway” source. Once you have got it located, you can begin to set things up.

2. Attach Hose & Unscrew Cap

Now, you can set up your equipment. You will need to screw the jetter hose on the end of the pressure washer spray wand and click the nozzle into place. Be sure that the hose fitting and the nozzle are the correct size so that it doesn’t spray water everywhere as soon as you pull the trigger.

Unscrew the cap of the pipe if it is a sewer drain with a wrench. Watch out for water and overflow as it could be lightly pressurized and cause stuff to come spewing back at you. If you cannot get the cap to come off, add some lubricant and allow it to soak in and get in between the treads (wait about 3 minutes) and then try again.

3. Feed Hose into Pipe

Once you have got the cap off and taken care of any overflow, start up the pressure washer. Thread the hose down into the pipe and keep feeding it through until you feel the hose hit the clog. It will not go any further once you have found the clog. Next, you will need to adjust the hose to the lowest possible pressure setting.

4. Clean the Drain

Then, begin cleaning the drain by releasing the trigger of the power washer and get the water flowing. As you hold down the trigger, gradually pull the hose back away from the clog. As you do this, you may release the trigger and give it a few sudden bursts of water quickly to try and release the clog. Pull the hose out and do it one more time to ensure that the clog is gone and the surrounding pipe has been sprayed clean. Slide the hose back and forth to check for resistance again. Then turn off the machine and pull the hose out slowly.

5. Clean

After you’ve pulled that hose out of the sewer, or a bathroom sink, it is bound to not be the cleanest thing around. Be sure to scrub it clean with bleach or another antibacterial. If needed, replace the cap an screw it back on tightly.

Equipment Needed

The equipment that you need in order to complete a job like this is essential. If you already have a pressure washer, you are ahead of the game and don’t have to buy a lot in order to get rid of the clog. The equipment you will need primarily is a jetter hose and a jetter nozzle.

A Jetter Hose

A jetter hose, or a sewer jetter hose is “a long, flexible, high-pressure hose with a jet nozzle on one end” source. These hoses can be as samll as 1/4′ inch in diameter, or as large as one inch. They can also be anywhere from 50 to 500 ft long. They do there job well and normally will be cost efficient.

“The nozzle typically has a front-firing jet to break apart clogs, and back-firing jets that propel the jetter hose forward into dirty drains and scrub the sides of the pipes. The other end of the sewer jetter has a coupling that attaches to the spray wand or trigger gun of your pressure washer” source. That leads us to the other 2 pieces of equipment you will need in order to use a sewer jetter hose: a coupling and a jet nozzle.

Jet Nozzle & Coupling End

A jet nozzle will also be needed to screw on to the end of the hose in order to get the high powered jet stream to clean your pipes. It is important to make sure that the nozzle matches the flow rate of the machine you are using and sprays in a way that will best help to clean your pipes. Not only does this nozzle release high pressured water forward toward the clog, but it also has back-firing holes which help to clean the walls of the pipes and propels the hose down deep into the drain to find the clog.

A coupling end will be needed for the other end of the hose, in order to get it to correctly connect to the power washer wand. Be sure that it fits snug and it tight to ensure that no water can leak out and it keeps the entire hose pressured.


This equipment, and the power washer will a great help as you begin to unclog your drain. Not only is it easier to use because of the back-firing jets, but it also cleans your pipes as you go, making it less likely for you to get another clog. It also forces water forward it is really effective at cleaning out any residue left from the clog.

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