Electric VS. Petrol VS. Diesel: Drain Cleaners Edition

Electric VS. Petrol VS. Diesel: Drain Cleaners Edition

If you’re choosing new pump equipment, a big decision you’ll need to make is whether to choose electric, petrol or diesel. Drain cleaning is so wide and varied that choosing how you power your unit is a crucial decision that will impact the efficiency of your work. Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming with all the information, but here we make it simple, taking it back to basics to ensure you pick the right drain cleaner for your job.

What are drain cleaners?

Drain Cleaners (also known as Drain Jetters) can be used for commercial, domestic, residential and municipal applications. Typically drain cleaners are a high pressure piston pump powered by an engine or motor. They clean using a long, flexible, lightweight thermoplastic hose with a small array of different nozzles. Hoses are small in order to fit into tight areas and around bends. With an array of different drain cleaning nozzles, drain cleaners can not only clean blockages but also clean the inside of the pipe walls. Pumps Australia stock a range of different drain cleaners that can accommodate various performance requirements.

Electric drain cleaners

Electric drain cleaners are powered by electricity and need to be connected to power in order to perform work. Electric drain cleaners are ideal and effective when petrol or diesel drain cleaners cannot be used, mostly due to sound and fumes. But there are limitations to the GPO power (240V) outlet, with maximum horsepower is around 2.2kW or 3HP. This limits what flows and pressures your drain cleaner can achieve. If possible Pumps Australia always recommends you choosing the 415V option. But of course this is only viable if you have that power available on site.

240v is Ideal for:

  • Clearing small blockages in undersink applications. 
  • Drain Jetting up to 50mm (2”)

415v is ideal for:  

  • Everything 240v can achieve
  • Drain Jetting up to 150mm (6”)
  • Storm water pipes
  • Clearing drains, sewage, roots.
  • Managing soil build up in pipes.
  • Multi-storey building applications.
  • Removing roots in sewers

Choose electric drain cleaners for operations that require a portable drain cleaner and where operations are predictable and manageable. Pumps Australia provides long lasting and high performing electric drain cleaners, browse Pumps Australia’s range of drain cleaners for more information.

Engine Drain Cleaners (Petrol or Diesel)

Drain cleaners that are powered by petrol/diesel engines are quick, fuel efficient, deliver high power and withstand heavy-duty cleaning applications. Pumps Australia drain cleaners have been built to survive harsh conditions for long periods of time by using quality Brands such as Honda, Vanguard & Kohler. Engine driven drain cleaners are a great investment and are very portable units.  

Ideal for:

  • Clearing drains, sewage, roots. 
  • Storm water pipes.
  • Managing sewers with various obstructions. 
  • Culverts
  • Builder clean ups

Petrol/diesel engines make a great choice for drain cleaning jobs across a variety of industries. If you’re looking for impressive performance, fuel efficiency and a long lasting engine – a petrol/diesel drain cleaner is for you. Pumps Australia can also mount these units in your work Van, Utility Vehicle or even a road registered trailer.

Diesel driven units are for industrial areas such as mine sites or where there is a requirement for higher pressure.

Choosing a drain cleaner

When choosing your drain cleaner you want to keep in mind the following:

  1. What size does the pipe need clearing (1” or 10”)?
  2. How long do you need the drain cleaner hoses (usually 60m)?
  3. What would be the ideal PSI (3000, 4000, 5000psi)?
  4. Will I require drain cleaner accessories e.g. nozzles (nozzle kits, remote reels)? 
  5. Do I prefer petrol/diesel or electric engines? Petrol is the most common and great performance for the amount paid.


If you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry, let us guide you to what is best for your application and budget, Pumps Australia is here to help. Contact our team and we’ll make sure you have the best equipment for the job.

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Pumps Australia is a unique force in the Pumping and High-Pressure water industry as we are continually researching and developing new initiatives to endeavour to improve our products to meet your changing needs.