High Pressure Water Jetting

High pressure water jetting is a tool we use to clear sewer and drain lines. A water jet truck uses 4,000 lbs. of pressure to create a powerful cone of spray which flushes roots, paper and other debris out of your line, and then scrapes the side of your pipe clean. A water jet is not needed for all lines, but is very effective in removing built-up roots, sludge, grease and pipe scale.

Grease tank lines | Stack linesMain sewer linesStorm drain lines | Area drains | Flammable waste traps

Watch a water jet in action

This video shows one of our water jets in action. Notice how it creates a pressurized umbrella of water to thoroughly clean the pipe.


Grease tank lines

Grease tank lines transport grease from a restaurant grease trap to a grease tank. Because grease is highly corrosive, these lines need regular cleaning to extend the life of pipe.

While we have several solutions for cleaning grease traps and tanks, the most effective way to clean the lines to and from these units is with a water jet. Grease is by nature a very slick and fluid substance, which means that while cleaning with a simple drain snake can clear a grease blockage, it won’t be as effective for clearing a line completely. The volume and pressure of water offered by a Water Jet will thoroughly clean the entire drain line and flush away the grease with it, leaving you with the best possible cleaning of your grease tank lines.

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Stack lines

Stack lines are a type of drain system often used in apartment complexes, hotels and buildings with multiple floors. All of the individual drains from each apartment or floor flow into one long vertically positioned drain, a stack line, that curves at the bottom and then flows into the city sewer system. A clog can result in a lot of damage quickly, as many units can be affected. Limit your liability and potential repair costs by regularly clearing out this main drain.

Most stack lines are cleaned with a mobile water jetting unit.

Most stack lines are cleaned with a mobile water jetting unit.

If your building has a clog or has been experiencing many clogs, it may be time to hire a stackline cleaner.

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Clean stack lines regularly

Because of their design, stack lines require regular maintenance to keep them clog free. Problems can occur when stack lines are not cleaned because all of the dirt, hair, soap scum and debris from all of the rooms or units that collects at the base of the drain. Often, many units are affected by a clog, potentially causing a lot of damage.

Regular cleanings are important and easy to set up. If you contract with John’s to do preventive maintenance on your stack lines, we will track your cleaning schedule for you. See how preventive maintenance can help you manage your drains effectively.

How we clean stack lines

We often use a water jet machine to clean stack lines because it has enough power to flush out the debris in the drain.

Main Sewer Lines

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The main sewer line is the section of your sewer system that goes from your house out to the city sewer or a septic tank. If your main sewer line clogs, you will experience backups with any drain you attempt to use in your building.

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Cleaning your main sewer line

Sometimes, using a “snake” machine is enough to get a newer sewer line up and running again. However, in many situations, we recommend utilizing a water jet to eliminate particularly pesky clogs or lines that may contain larger amounts of debris, blockages, or sediment. A water jet is the most powerful tool in the battle to keep your pipes clean, and when it comes to your Main Sewer Line, sometimes it’s best to use the most powerful tool at your disposal.

We have the equipment and experience to safely and thoroughly water jet your Main Sewer Line, and give it the best cleaning it can get.

Maintenance can prevent problems

Even though your main sewer line connects to a city system, you are responsible for maintaining it—including any needed repairs. If your main sewer line requires a water jet cleaning, it might be in your best interest to ensure that it remains clean to reduce inconvenience and future damage. We often advise homeowners to setup preventive maintenance plans for their main sewer lines to help ease the potential pain that these issues could cause.

catch-basinStorm drains

Storm drain lines are high capacity lines that run between catch basins (also called storm drains) and discharge stormwater from your property. When they clog, nearby parking lots flood and often cause damage to vehicles. It only takes a couple of inches of rain water to cause a 3- or 4-foot back up. Property managers are responsible for cleaning these lines and could be responsible for any damage caused by backups.

Typical entry points are at catch basins, and they usually drain into detention ponds, waterways, and larger drainage systems, often by way of Water Quality Units and/or Oil-Water Separators.

Most stormwater lines can be flushed out with a normal water jet truck. We have all the attachments and equipment necessary to deal with these larger lines, and can typically clean your stormwater line with ease.

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Area drains

Area drains are small outdoor drains. They differ from catch basins in that they typically have smaller sumps, or lack them completely. They can be on sidewalks, in stairwells, low lying grassy areas, or any other area that tends to collect water. Area drains can be tied into typical larger stormwater drainage systems, or have perforated floors that allow collected water to leech back into the ground.

Water Jetting is a simple and effective way to clean most area drains, especially the drainage lines from them. We recommend Water Jetting area drain lines on a regular basis.

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Why do I need area drain cleaning?

Area drains are typically located outdoors in areas that collect water. As such, they also find themselves susceptible to dirt and other debris. They typically aren’t as prone to collect sand and other dirt that larger catch basins collect, however their nature as smaller units mean that it takes less debris to cause problems.

Tips for keeping area drains clear

  • Area drains are not trash cans. If you find an area drain in an area that collects dirt, do not sweep dirt into these drains.
  • Avoid using mulch and similar landscape material around area drains, as it tends to wash into these units quite easily, and can quickly fill the drain or line and cause problems.
  • Remove leaves and other fall debris quickly and regularly throughout the season in order to avoid their washing into area drains and catch basins
  • Inspect area drains on a regular basis to ensure that debris has not collected.
  • Consider a preventive maintenance plan. By scheduling regular drain check-ups, you can minimize emergency calls.

Flammable Waste Traps

Flammable Waste Traps, sometimes called Oil-Water separators, MDC or gas traps, are found in many parking lots and garages, among other places. They are typically chambered tanks that allow for water to drain through while collecting any oils, greases, and other contaminants that may be in the stormwater system. These structures should be kept clean in order to maintain proper function and avoid contamination.

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Rules and regulations for Flammable Waste Trap maintenance

Flammable Waste Traps are required on many sites to protect watersheds from contaminants. As such, they need to be maintained properly to ensure continued protection. Many cities and towns have their own guidelines and requirements for cleaning, inspection, and maintenance. We will work with you to ensure that your preventive maintenance plan for your Oil-Water Separator meets the standards and guidelines for your area. 


If the sediment level is low enough, Flammable Waste Traps can often be cleaned with a standard pump truck. However, due to their nature as traps for contaminants, it is important to make sure that any contaminated materials are disposed of responsibly. We often recommend having the contents of your unit tested before cleaning, to determine whether or not it must be treated as a hazardous material. In many cases, the oil content is low enough that it can be disposed of safely without being treated as hazardous waste, which can reduce costs.

However, if your system does contain an amount of oil that deems it necessary to be disposed of as hazardous, you can rest easy as John’s can help with that as well.

Flammable Waste Traps are often exposed to sediment that collects in the sumps. Sometimes, if there is too much sediment, a pump truck won’t be able to clean the unit properly. In these cases, we would recommend employing a vactor truck. A vactor truck is a type of pump truck that utilizes a large volume vacuum hose to suck out the contents from your Flammable grease trap. Its great power allows a vactor truck to remove both liquid and solid material from the sump.