Q. Why is it important to annually clean-out your main sewer line?
A. Tree roots break through your pipes walls and get worse with time damaging the structure and integrity of your main line. Digging/excavation and any other vibrations nearby could shift, move or crack your main sewer line. By professionally maintaining your sewer line yearly and cleaning out the tree roots, scale and/or any other types of build-up will slow down the process from possibly needed repair. Tree roots can and will break one’s sewer system. Main sewer lines should be camera inspected before purchase of any property.
Q. Do Unused Drains Dry Up and Get Clogged Inside?
A. Yes, drain pipes do dry out and get real rough if not used for a period of time. All drains need water to flow through them. This could also cause smells and sewer bugs to come up.
Q. Should I turn my main water valve off when I leave town?
A. Turning off your main water valve when leaving town for any extended length of time is a good idea. Especially during the cold winter months where winterizing is also a good idea. Just in case one of your pipes decides to spring a leak. If you leave town for extended periods of time you should assign someone to check on your property often. There is a lot that can go wrong when you’re away. There are also devices you can purchase and put down near your floor drain in case of a flood.
Q: Where do I find the main water shut-off valve in my home in case of an emergency?
A: The main water shut-off valve is normally located in the lower level of a property. If you have trouble finding your main water shut-off valve source, contact a plumber asap. This valve like most others should be labeled so all people living in the property know how/where to turn off the water. In case of any emergency water leak it’s a good idea to be aware. If your shut-off valves show signs of age and discoloration or color it might be a good time to consider updating and replacing older valves.
Q: How often should I have my main sewer line cleaned?
A: If your property had a previous issue we recommend you clean the sewer line annually and also camera inspect after cleaning to verify the current condition. If the mainline is getting worse it’s very important to be aware of this before you get unexpected excavation costs. If your mainline seems to never have issues we recommend cleaning the floor drain and main sewer line every year on preventative maintenance. Scale is a very common cause of clogged mainlines and other hard debris flows through your sewer system and hardens over time as well. Giving the sewer walls a good scraping and cleaning is always beneficial when owning property. It’s easily forgettable to not clean and do what’s needed for something underground that we aren’t aware of. We’ve heard from countless homeowners that they didn’t know this was something they had to do on a routine basis when purchasing their home.
Q: Does your company offer preventative maintenance plans on drain lines?
A: Yes, our company offers any maintenance plan that is needed for each individual drain. Cleaning drains on maintenance typically keeps the cost down as well and you avoid high emergency rates. You can also clean your sinks and tubs on maintenance, too. Keep in mind sinks and tubs get clogged up with grease, oils, soap scum, hair and all other sorts of debris we aren’t even aware goes down. Keeping lines open and clear will also keep nasty sewer smells out of your house as well. Have you ever unclogged a bathtub and pulled a slimy hairball that was a couple feet long and smelled it? It’s not a pretty sight or smell.
Q: Does your company use hand snakes or motorized snakes to clean drain lines?
A: Our company uses professional state-of-the-art motorized snakes, unless a situation presents itself otherwise.
Q: What is Hydro-Jetting?
A: Cleaning your drain lines with extreme water pressure. This service is not like any other service and has to be performed by a professional. Most common times hydro-jetting is needed is in commercial buildings and restaurants that use grease and have hard build ups. It’s also called water jetting. We recommend this cleaning mainly at commercial properties but will also use it at times with residential. Mainlines at a residence that’s over 125ft long, I will suggest water jetting because it may be more beneficial. Cleaning with snakes and blades over 125ft is hard and also less effective. The further you go out the rotational force slows down and the cutter loses what it’s meant to do. Water-jetting may be more expensive but all the force is always at the end of the nozzle.
Q: Our sewer line is clogged up, should we have it snaked or jetted?
A: Unless your drain line is known for needing to be water jetted you always start by snaking. Jetting costs are double and triple the price of power snaking. 95% of all drain lines only need to be snaked. If a company tries and sells you a water jetting from the get-go there better be a good reason for this.
Q: Why does my garbage disposal always clog up in my home?
A: Most users put items down garbage disposals that their units can’t handle. If you’re having problems often, hire a plumber to install a waste disposal (garbage disposal) with more horsepower. Maybe your unit is old and the blades are dull, and it just needs to be replaced. Foods like eggs shells, potato skins, coffee grounds, fats and grease, pasta, rice, glass, chicken bones and much much more clog the unit. Remember, if you know how to properly use a garbage disposal unit it saves a lot of time and helps, but if you treat it like a garbage can it won’t treat you nicely back. A trick I always use is that after I’m done using the garbage disposal unit, I run cold water for 1-2 minutes making sure to flush out the entire kitchen sink stack line. Having to use a little bit more water might save you on frequent plumbing service calls.
Q: How do we know what faucet to purchase and if it will fit where the existing one sits?
A: Make sure you measure the distance between the handles. It’s either going to be 4 or 8 inch spread faucets for bathroom sinks. If you buy the wrong faucet it won’t fit unless you replace the sink as well. For kitchen sink faucets make sure you know what type of faucet you like, most come with a plate at the bottom and newer renovations we see a lot of clients installing ones with a single hole. We call this the clean look. As far as faucet brands to purchase, contact your plumber for suggestions.
Q: My sink drain was cleaned out and a few days later it was clogged again. What is the most common reason for this?
A: Overloading the sink or garbage disposal and not running enough water through the drain after using the disposal. Or, the line is still very greasy and needs a water jetter ran through it.
Q: How long will it take to clean-out my floor drain and main line?
A: That all depends on the condition of the main line itself, how long your line is, what type of clean out we are working with and what we are trying to remove from inside your line.
Q: What are the long term effects of using a store bought chemical drain cleaner?
A: Plumbing and drain cleaning sometimes doesn’t have long term effects, but you can always try using baking soda and vinegar for maintenance cleaning before you develop a clog.
Q: Is it okay if I pour my bucket of dirty cleaning water down the toilet or the sink?
Q: What is scale?
A: Scale is a build-up of minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium naturally found in water. Over time these minerals form a layer and/or nodules inside your main line that can catch waste and debris, reduce the water flow and can cause back-ups.
Q: Is it a better idea to replace an entire main line or just the failing section(s)?
A: That all depends on pricing/budget, type of pipe and city requirements.
Q: I don’t have a main line clean-out in my home. Can I add one?
Q: What are some preventative steps to reduce drain clogging?
A: It depends on the drain. For interior tub/shower drains, kitchen sink drains and laundry tubs, it’s helpful to use a strainer to catch debris before it goes down the line. Use baking soda and vinegar for maintenance cleaning.
Q: Do you have suggestions on when it’s time to replace my toilet instead of repairing failing plumbing and parts?
A: When the repair parts keep failing faster than you think they should.
Q: How does a water leak detector/alarm work and is it worth spending money on?
A: There are simple low-priced options and more expensive high-tech systems. A basic water alarm is placed on the floor near your water heater, washing machine, floor drain, toilet and when the sensor gets wet (some also detect moisture increases), it alerts you with an alarm. This is typically only helpful when you are home to catch the water leak or back-up in time.
Q: What’s the safest way to remove an object from the garbage disposal?
A: Unplug the power always and use a needle nose pliers.
Q: What garbage disposal should I install?
A: Most the time we consider a 1/2 horse power to be effective enough? If you currently have a larger unit then we tell clients to install the horse power that they previously had.
Q: I have a old cement laundry tubs how do I go about replacing this?
A: First call a plumber to make sure you need to replace the laundry tubs unless you just want to. Then the plumber may ask for a few pictures to see what you have or they may insist coming out and seeing it in person. Coming out in person shows them all the connections and such they need to replace and hook back up to. Most the time when replacing client choose to have a smaller single compartment laundry tub installed. We have some before and after pictures on our website. https://kensewer.com/before-after-pictures/
Q: Are access panels important?
A: It is best to have access openings to see plumbing water and drain pipes, otherwise ceilings and walls may need to be cut open to perform the work.