Ask an Expert

Water Jetting FAQ

Q: What’s the quickest and most efficient drain clog solution?

A: Your best bet would be to hire a professional to attack your clogged drain with a powerful water jet.

Q: What is a water jet?

A: Water jetting or hydro jetting is an eco-friendly, highly cost-effective drain cleaning procedure that uses extremely pressurized reverse water streams to clear out drain blockages with brute force. These devices can generate pressures of up to 4,000 pounds per minute.

Q: Can I use water jets on clogged sewers as well as clogged drains?

A: Yes, water jetting can be an awesome solution to sewer back ups, which, for my money, are the most disgusting and distressing plumbing mishaps a homeowner will ever encounter. But I digress… Water jets—yes, they can help a great deal with sewer back ups. They are powerful and versatile enough to punch through most any serious sewer line clog. The highly pressurized water jets will scour the inside of your sewer line and improve the flow of your sewer system without causing damage to it.

Let our water jetting experts take care of your pipe problems. Call us today to learn more.

Sewer Back Up FAQ

Q: What are the top 3 causes of sewer back ups and how can they be prevented?

A: 1. Clogged lines: These occur when waste, inorganic debris, paper products, tree roots, grease or saturated ground build-up in your sewer lines until they are creating a traffic-jamming blockage. Prevent such clog causing build-up by performing regular maintenance or hiring a professional to do it for you. Here’s a clog-killing tip: flush tree root killer down your toiler annually and stop them from ever taking hold of your vulnerable pipes.

2. Heavy rain: When heavy rain strikes, a sewer back up usually manifests in the homeowner’s basement rather than outside the house in the yard. Obviously, there’s not much you can do to prevent the rain, but you can try and stay ahead of the flooding by hiring a professional to maintain your main lines. That way when the heavy rains do hit, your plumbing will be adequately prepared.

3. Human interference: Unfortunately, in some cases, sewer back ups are caused by humans. They can result from illegal activity such as placing unauthorized items in manholes or common vandalism. Similar to the unpredictability of rain, you can’t exactly forecast human stupidity. But what you can do is install gates and locks to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the lines.

Q: What else should I know in terms of sewer back up prevention?

A: Here are a few simple devices that can stop a backing up sewer in its tracks:

  • Floor drain plug: Most sewer back ups start in the floor drain. This handy plug seals off the drain and prevents liquids from passing through in either direction.
  • Standpipe: A cheaper alternative to the floor drain plug. The standpipe allows water to enter through the drain, while still keeping it in the pipe. This is more than a half-measure than anything else, however. If you encounter a more severe back up, pull one of these other options from your bag of tricks.
  • Overhead sewer: An overhead sewer works by intercepting the back, just as it is occurring. It has an ejector pump that moves sewage out through an appropriate exit, away from vulnerable areas of your property.

More questions about sewer back ups? Call today to learn how our sewer services can help!

Tree Roots FAQ

Q: What is the most common cause of sewer line damage or clogs?

A: Tree roots, by far. These sinister, creeping tendrils will strangle your vulnerable pipes until they’re so squeezed and overgrown that nothing can flow through.

Q: What about tree roots makes them such pipe pulverizers?

A: Because they’re opportunists! Tree roots are most likely to penetrate sewer lines that were already damaged and rest in the top 2 feet of soil. Try to avoid planting large trees that grow quickly anywhere near your sewer lines. Also try to keep the root systems of existing tree in check through careful pruning and landscaping.

Q: What types of trees are my sewer lines’ biggest enemies?

A: There are no “safe” trees when it comes to protecting your sewer lines. But be sure to steer clear of the following at all costs: ash, sweetgum, poplar, cottonwood, lowland oak, locust, willow, basswood, tuliptree, sycamore, box elder and many maple varieties such as sugar, red, Norway and silver.

Q: How can I protect my sewer lines through landscaping efforts?

A: Well, first off, water seeking trees like the ones listed above should be replaced every 8-10 years before they can grow into pipes and sewer lines. In addition, plant only small, slow growing trees near sewer lines. When replacing old sewer lines or installing brand new ones, do whatever you can to ensure root infiltration won’t be a problem down the road.

Q: What if it’s too late and I’m already dealing with root intrusion? Is there anything I can do to minimize the damage?

A: Don’t panic! There are still a couple of things you can do to take some stress off your sewer lines. First, you could try using chemical root killers that slowly release chemicals to stop root growth. You can also try naturally compacted layers of soil to make it harder for roots to penetrate. This involves laying down chemical layers of sulfur, zinc, borate, sodium, salt or herbicides. We’ve also seen some success with folks creating underground air pockets using large stones which encourages roots to grow in that direction rather than toward your pipes. But really the best way to save your root tangled pipes is to contact a drain or sewer cleaning specialist ASAP!

Tree roots ‘stumping’ your pipe system? Get our experts on the job today!

Liquid Chemical Drain Cleaner FAQ

Q: What type of chemical drain cleaning substance should I use?

A: If the clog is even close to a serious one, most liquid or chemicals will not work. Soap scum, maybe a little grease? Yeah, a little Drano might do the trick. But my guess is that if you’re surfing these pages, your problem is more along the lines of a collapses pipe or overgrown tree roots, in which case chemical substances won’t help you at all.

Q: Are there any safety concerns to using harsh drain cleaning chemicals to clear my clogs?

A: Yes, if you decide to use a harsh drain cleaner with caustic chemicals and enzymes, be sure to use them only in well-ventilated environments as they typically give off some seriously noxious fumes. Here’s a safety tip: if you must use one of these substances, DO NOT use them in toilets without first reading the directions explicitly. They chemicals are so heavy they have been known to sometimes make toilets literally explode. So yes, as with any chemical substance, heed the warning label and you should be alright.

Using liquid chemical drain cleaners on your pipes can be a tricky business. Call our drain cleaning experts today to learn what other options we can offer you.

Drain Cleaning FAQ

Q. What can I do in terms of regular maintenance to keep my drains from clogging? 
A. Well for starters, fill up kitchen sinks and laundry tub lines with hot water and let it drain. This allows the pipe to fill with water instead of just letting it hit the bottom of the line. It also serves to push any blockage causing debris out of the main line. If you have a clogging problem that keeps coming back, you may have a bigger blockage. In that case, repeated repairs and maintenance techniques quickly begin to lose their cost-effectiveness. Contact us and we will send one of our highly trained drain cleaning experts to clear your line once and for all.

Q. What (if anything) should I be using to regularly treat my drains and decrease my risk of a clog? 
A. Hot water, for sure. Our expert technicians do not recommend using harsh acid chemical cleaners in your lines as they can ultimately cause more problems than they actually solve for your drain line in the long run. They may offer a temporary fix, but oftentimes the use of such heavy chemicals can present an entire different set of problems to be dealt with. Your best bet in terms of decreasing the chances of experiencing a clog is to call in our expert sewer line cleaners to set up a preventative maintenance schedule using state-of-the-art professional drain cables and augurs.

Q. Why do tree roots repeatedly go after my sewer lines and what can I do to stop them? 
A. Tree roots are naturally attracted to water and one of the most consistent, abundant sources of underground water is in your sewer lines so it follows logically the two might clash eventually, right? Your sewer line is not only a great source of water, but also possesses certain nutrients that tree roots can thrive on. Trees are crafty creatures and their roots need only the smallest crevice to sneak into your drain line where they can grow, prosper, and cause unsuspecting homeowners big-time headaches. And once those nasty root masses are established in your pipes, they can quickly become clogged with toilet tissue, grease and other debris flowing through your plumbing to the main sewer. This type of “hybrid clog” is about as bad as we see and usually results in drastically reduced flow, slow moving drains and a total blockage which can cause other drains in your home to backup. Once you know there is tree root problem in your line, (usually signaled by a bad sewer back up) it is very wise to work with professionals to set up a regular preventative maintenance plan. This can be once a year or every 6 months depending on how severe your tree root problem is. Our trained drain cleaning experts will do their best to prevent you from ever having a messy back up again by working to set up these plans with you. Setting up a preventative maintenance plan with our drain cleaning team will save you time, money and prevent those messy, unsanitary sewer backups in the future.

Q. Rid X or Liquid Drano – are these products I should be using in my lines? 
A. It is best to not use harsh liquid chemical drain cleaners like Drano in your lines. The truth is, these products are only a temporary fix and if they do not break down the clog they actually get trapped in your line causing acid erosion to the line itself. Use them at your own risk. When in doubt contact us and one of our drain cleaning experts can help you decide which other options could better serve you.

More drain cleaning questions? Our drain cleaning experts are standing by. Call today!