Factors that can cause backups and other questions and concerns
How can you tell if your lines are flowing properly?
What is the difference between cabling and jetting services?
What are ways to prevent backups in the main line sewer?
Had a backup problem last year. Why did the line backup again?
What is involved in removing roots from your line?
What can you do to reduce the risk of your lines backing up?
thinking about purchasing a property. The former owner does not furnish any information on previous problems or history of maintenance.
What are some factors that can cause backups? | BACK TO TOP
One factor is buildup such as soap residue, garbage disposal waste, hair, and grease. Buildup leads to unwanted backups, but can be the easiest to correct and control.
A second factor which can contribute to backups is the age and/or condition of your drain lines. The oldest pipes were made of terra cotta or clay and usually came 2 feet in length. Because an average line had many joints, the rate of failure increases due to poor grouting, root infiltration or pipe degradation.
Next, orangeburg pipe was introduced as a new concept in pipe manufacturing. Made of many layers of tar paper, the interior of this type of pipe tends to fail when the inner most layer bubbles and/or deforms from outside pressures such as rocks or bracing.
Then, cast iron was introduced as strong and more durable pipe. The biggest problem with cast iron is rusting from the inside causing restriction. Today, plastic pipe is commonly used proving itself to be very reliable when installed properly.
Proper installation of your pipes is imperative to keep them free flowing. Improper bedding of drain lines can cause settlement resulting in improper slopes or dips, sunken joints, root infiltration or breaks. The result of these problems is improper flow and buildup.
How can you tell if your lines are flowing properly? | BACK TO TOP
You may experience few or NO warning signals prior to your lines actually backing up. Although each situation may differ for each household, you may notice a slowing of the lines or drains prior to a complete blockage. Often you will hear gurgling or bubbling sounds in the lines, or you may smell an odor emanating from your drains. If you experience any of these warning signs, call us to schedule an experienced technician to come out and troubleshoot your drain line problem.
What is the difference between cabling and jetting services? | BACK TO TOP
Cables or “snakes” can be used on lines or drains from 1-¼” to 6″ in diameter. Our cables can reach inside a line up to 100 feet. If the line is longer than 100 feet, our 4000 psi water jet can do the job. The water jet is effective on lines from 2″ to 54″ in diameter and up to 500 feet in length.
The cable will remove debris eliminating the immediate blockage and opening the line. Our high pressure water jet will wash down the buildup on the inside of the pipe reducing the risk of further clogging problems due to buildup. With proper maintenance, you can keep your lines open and flowing.
What are ways to prevent backups in the main line sewer? | BACK TO TOP
Grease: Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of, after it cools off, in the garbage, not the drain. Some people assume that washing grease down the drain with hot water is satisfactory. This grease goes down the drain, cools off, and solidifies either in the drain, the property owners line, or in the main sewer. When this happens, the line constricts, and eventually clogs.
Paper Products: Paper towels, disposable and cloth diapers and feminine products cause a great deal of problems in the sewer main. These products do not deteriorate quickly, as does bathroom tissue. They become lodged in portions of the lateral/main, causing a sewer backup. These products should also be disposed of in the garbage.
Roots: Shrubs and trees, seeking moisture, will make their way into sewer line cracks. These roots can cause extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. After time, this causes your sewer line to break, which in turn allows debris to hang up in the line, thus causing a back up. One way to prevent roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe. The other alternative is to be careful about planting greenery around your sewer line. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your lateral, you may have to have them cut periodically.
Sewer Odor: Another concern that property owners have is that they can smell sewer odors inside their home or building. There are many ways to prevent this from occurring. Under each drain in your plumbing system, there is a “P-trap”. If there is water in this fitting, odor or gases from the sewer cannot enter through the drain from either the property owner’s lateral or the sewer main. Periodically, check to make sure that unused floor drains, sinks, etc have water in the “P-trap”. Another way to prevent sewer odor is to ensure that the vents, which are located on your roof, are free from bird nests, leaves, etc. When these vents are clear, the sewer odors will escape through these vents.
Illegal Plumbing Connections: DO NOT connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.
Needles: Unfortunately, some people dispose of hypodermic needles in the sewer system. The presence of these needles in the wastewater collection system presents special and possible deadly problems for wastewater collection and wastewater treatment employees. PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH NEEDLES. The proper method of disposal is to re-cap the needle and put it into a “sharps container”. (This could be any rigid plastic container such as a bleach bottle…no milk bottles please.) When it is full, tape the container securely, and call your local pharmacy for advice on proper disposal methods. PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH THEM OR THROW THEM INTO THE GARBAGE!
Had a backup problem last year. Why did the line backup again? | BACK TO TOP
You may have defects in your plumbing lines. If you have a chronic problem with a particular drain line, you may need to repair or replace the problem line. A service technician can help you determine where the problem lies. We can provide our Television Camera Inspection Service and Line Locating Service to save you time and money over conventional excavation methods. Using our camera and locating equipment, we can look for isolated problems, check the condition of the entire line, and provide an estimate to correct the problem.
What is involved in removing roots from your line? | BACK TO TOP
Roots can cause back ups in most types of pipe. Commonly, small fibrous roots can infiltrate any joint or crack in your pipe and grow thick enough to clog a line. The best solution is to cut the roots out using cutters or blades and then treat the line with a foaming root killer, such as Rootx ®. Rootx is a non-systemic chemical with the active ingredient Dichlobenil that retards any further root growth for up to one year. If you choose not to treat the line with a root killer, the roots will grow in thicker and heavier causing another blockage before long. In time, root growth will ultimately destroy the integrity of pipe leading to pipeline replacement.
What can you do to reduce the risk of your lines backing up? | BACK TO TOP
A few simple practices can help to alleviate problems:
- Use a lighter weight toilet paper
- Make sure there are baskets or screens on every drain.
- When using your garbage disposal, make sure you run plenty of water and have the blades sharpened often.
- Heavy grease should be disposed of in your residential trash.
- Use liquid soaps. Powdered soaps are made with wax that can leave behind a residue.
- Do not flush feminine products, baby wipes or paper towels down the toilet.
- Make sure all outside drain caps are fitted & secured properly. Clean area drains frequently.
thinking about purchasing a property. The former owner does not furnish any information on previous problems or history of maintenance. | BACK TO TOP
DrainXpress can locate and inspect drain lines for defects and answer questions such as: Is it a shared line with a neighbor? Is there any evidence of root infiltration? Is the line excessively dirty? Is there any evidence of pipe deterioration? Any information gathered may be put in report form and given to you with all our recommendations.