Electric Eel vs Water Jetter: Which is Better?

Electric Eel vs Water Jetter

All plumbers have an opinion on whether electric eels or water jetters are better for clearing chokes or drains.

If you’re new to clearing blockages, an electric eel is a machine consisting of a flexible steel pipe attached to a motor. It is also known as a plumber’s snake or drain snake. A water Jetter is also used to clear out blockages; however, it uses high-pressure water to clear out gunk. Recently Aussie Pumps ran a competition that asked plumbers “why Aussie Jetters are better than electric eels?”. We were blown away with the responses and in this post we summarise what you told us.


Most plumbers are looking to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible, not only to satisfy the client but to maximise the use of their time.

While electric eels have been around for decades now, the fact of the matter is that modern innovations have practically made them obsolete.

Unfortunately, an electric eel rarely clears out drains and chokes fully. Instead it simply cuts a hole through the middle of the choke, leaving pipes lined with gunk and the flow remains restricted.  The springs are difficult to manipulate, can cause hand injuries and sometimes damage the pipes. Once the choke is cleared the worksite is often a contaminated mess that needs to be cleaned up.

On the other hand, water Jetters use powerful high-pressure water jets to blast debris from inside the pipe. The remains of the choke are simply flushed down the drain and the pipes are left undamaged and the site clean. The powerful water jets even break through tree roots removing the need to excavate infested drains.

Jetting is not only more effective, but also much faster at getting the job done.


Plumbers tell us electric eels are ‘hard on the back’. They are heavy to manhandle and you can sometimes be stuck operating them for hours. There’s a danger of electrocution, the springs are unhygienic to handle and the reach is limited to about 30 metres.

A Jetter is usually permanently mounted on the ute. Using a mobile mini reel, the operator can reach chokes up to 120 metres from the vehicle. A safety plate covers the drain entrance containing the jetting nozzle within the drain. The jets pull the hose down the drain so the operator simply controls the speed and direction of the hose.


Electric eels are a cheaper option to buy initially. However, although a more expensive investment, water Jetters provide with real value for money through increased productivity.

Check out this competition entry we received from Russell in Noranda:

“I have used a standard drain machine now for 16 years.  I had always thought that electric eel could always do what a jetter could do. I borrowed a jetter off another plumber recently and found that not only was it lighter to handle but it was faster, easier and more powerful than the eel.  It also cleaned the drain a lot better.  I was completely blown away by this and ate my words.”

Ditch the Electric Eel for an Aussie Jetter

There are plenty of reasons why Aussie Jetters are superior to electric eels when it comes to clearing chokes from drains. So if you’re ready to join the drain cleaning jetter revolution, why not give us a call?

Built to be powerful and highly effective, you can trust Aussie drain cleaning Jetters to make your job as easy and safe as possible. We manufacture a wide range of Jetters with both petrol and diesel drive options that can be ute, skid or trailer mounted.

For more info on our Aussie drain cleaning Jetters, call us now!

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