If you’re here then you probably have a clog or would like to learn about them. Whether your sink, toilet or if your whole house is stopped up we can help you out. Clogged drains are one of the most pressing issues to solve, close to having no AC in the summer. They can prevent you from using the bathroom, shower, washing dishes or even washing your hands. Clogs can come from many reasons including grease in the sink, “flushable wipes”, tampons, roots, sagging pipe, hair and sometimes even children’s toys. We have plumbers on standby waiting for a call, so if you have an emergency call us, your 24-hour plumber.
Grease is a very big issue affecting your sewer pipes. Especially when put into a septic tank. When grease is poured down your drain it will settle in the p-traps and along the bottom of the pipe hardening making it more difficult for solids to pass by, causing an obstruction that leads to a cleaning being needed. In order to remove grease from a line, you may have to replace it if it is bad enough. Pouring hot water down the drain while pouring anti-grease soap will help as well. The water melts it while the soap helps to wash it away. However, septic tanks are different. Yes, the grease will still settle in your pipes as well as p-traps. When it reaches your septic tank, it can harden and not allow it to drain causing stoppage. It will also get into your drain fills at times, which are not able to be cleaned using a machine. This means that you will have to manually dig them up, which can be thousands in repair costs. It is recommended to never pour grease down a septic tank line. White Pines, NC is filled with many septic tank problems, and grease is one of the biggest contributing factors to them.
Flushable wipes are another huge issue. Although they are technically flushable, they are one of the most common reasons for drain issues. Someone reads a box that says “flushable” but doesn’t consider how they are not degradable in the sewage system like toilet paper. They cling to bends in pipes causing obstructions that grow larger and larger until you inevitably call us. Tampons are also part of the issue. When they are flushed down the toilet, they can stop your toilet up very easily. These are similar to “flushable wipes” as they will cling to obstructions and build up also.
Sink clogs are relatively easy to fix, they can be clogged by hair or other obstructions and build up. This can be fixed by putting a hair snake down the drain and rodding out most obstructions. If we were to be called out, we would have to remove the p-trap and remove the clog inside. To do this type of work, you must be a licensed plumber or work under one. A permit must be pulled due to the escaping sewer gases that are dangerous when inhaled. The p-trap has a barrier of water protecting you from the sewer gases so if it were to be removed without the supervision of a plumber then you could be at risk.
For bigger issues like a toilet clog we use what’s called a toilet auger which has a cable on the end about 6 foot long, long enough to get past the toilet and hit anything in the way. For a bigger issue like your entire house being clogged, we must use a drain machine weighing 150+ pounds. We will either go through a cleanout in the yard or open up your highest fixture like a toilet or roof vent to clean the line. If your mainline is clogging up a lot then you may have roots or a belly (sagging pipe) in your main sewer line. These issues must be repaired in order to permanently take care of the issue, only by digging up the pipe and repairing it can you get rid of the roots or remove the sag.
A belly occurs when an area of dirt was not properly tamped allowing for the pipe to sag, this happens when your sewer line is not correctly “bedded” in the dirt. Basically, it was never properly solidified allowing the dirt to sag. It allows the pipe to have no structure from the dirt above and sag with it. A belly can happen the day it was installed if not performed right. Most homeowners have no clue what happens in the sewer line and usually don’t want to know. If a line has clogged many times we recommend videoing the line after we clean it to ensure the pipes aren’t sagging and that there are no roots in the line. Rather than paying to clean it over and over you’ll definitely save yourself some time and money taking care of the issue right away. Which will usually require that we replace the sagging section of pipe.
Roots begin to grow when a small penetration allows sewage to flow into the ground, as the plants notice this nutrient-rich water they will begin to grow in the direction the water is coming from. Even if a tiny root makes its way through it will begin to grow larger and larger feeding off of your sewage like a flame to gasoline. It will not stop growing until you repair that section. Roots will envelop an entire pipe till there’s no room at all for anything to pass through. Each time a drain is opened from a machine in these cases. It only acts to create a temporary passage. When roots are this size they grow back very quickly. In plumbing, we always say if you’re going to get it done, get it done right.
Sewer Camera Inspection
Most of you have never seen the inside of your pipes and you’d like to keep it that way. A Sewer Inspection is the easiest way to determine if you have any roots, bellies, or breaks in your line. We first have to clean the line if clogged so that proper access is found. If we see an obstruction we will locate the spot with our state of the art locating device telling us how deep the line is. With this equipment, we can pinpoint any sewer obstruction with ease. Or you could get a free inspection every year with our Superior Service Agreement!
A sewer jetter is a high-pressure hose put into the sewer line between 3000 – 5000 psi able to cut through any clog. With this amount of pressure, it can pass through the toughest obstruction. Jetters are called out on lines that need proper cleaning and don’t have roots penetrating the line. While they cut through them very well, they will still grow back and very quickly. Meaning your throwing away money on a fix rather than a proper repair. Jetters work very well in commercial plumbing applications as well. On restaurants with grease in lines to factories and mills, jetters are the best bet for cleaning out the gunk in your piping. Its a semi quick process that will yield instant results.