Have you ever wondered what type of main sewer line you have at your home? Probably not. If your home’s plumbing and drain lines are all working well, it’s not a question most people seek the answer to. But, if you need to have your main line cleaned a couple times or more every year due to back-ups, it is a good idea to figure out if there is a larger issue going on. Knowing what type of material your sewer line is built out of could be determined by a camera inspection. A camera inspection can also identify if your pipe has any issues such as extreme scale and corrosion, heavy roots and debris, breaks, bellies, back-pitch, collapse.
Most older homes in the Twin Cities area that were built prior to the 1950’s have a clay sewer pipe, a cast-iron pipe or a fiber conduit pipe called Orangeburg. Beginning in the 1950’s and until the 1970’s, clay and cast iron were still being used, and piping made from an asbestos-cement product called Transite was also an option. Before we knew the dangers of carcinogens like asbestos used for Transite and lead-poisoning, sewer lines were also constructed out of lead. New or newer homes constructed since the 1970’s tend to have plastic sewer pipes called PVC or ABS.
Clay Sewer Pipe: Vitrified clay pipe is still a viable pipe used today and can last up to 50-60 years. Clay is highly resistant to chemical degradation, but it is porous, so it is more susceptible to invasive tree root growth.
Cast Iron Pipe: One of the best things about cast iron is that it is immensely strong and can survive 75-100 years. One of the worst things is that they are prone to scale build-up, rust and corrosion.
Orangeburg Pipe: Orangeburg pipe was used from the 1860’s until the early 1970’s and typically lasts or lasted only a few decades. They were constructed out of wood pulp/fibers bound with adhesive and lined with a liquefied coal tar pitch. If you still have an Orangeburg pipe, chances are it has deformed or deteriorated.
Transite Pipe: Original Transite or AC (asbestos-cement) pipes had 15-20% of asbestos fibers added to a cement base to provide tensile strength, and it is relatively resistant to corrosion. If you have a Transite line, the technology today to repair/retrofit these lines has greatly improved.
Lead Pipe: Prior to the serious findings that Lead piping adversely affects your health, this type of material was commonly used in homes built before the 1930’s and has a sustainability of around 100 years. If you have a Lead pipe, please consider replacement as a break or blockage can leach lead into the groundwater and/or into your basement.
PVC Pipe: Polyvinyl Chloride (typically a white pipe) is most commonly found in new and newer homes. It is a cost-effective choice, is highly resistant to chemical degradation, has a smooth interior which is ideal for the carrying capacity of solid waste matter and the plastic material helps prevent root growth.
ABS Pipe: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (always a black pipe) is also used in new and newer homes since the 1970’s. ABS is another cost-effective choice, it is a bit stronger than PVC and has the same smooth finish, it will not flake/peel, rot or dissolve. It’s an ideal choice for underground use with our colder climate.
If you are curious about your main sewer line’s material, need to investigate a potential issue with your main line if you are having frequent back-ups or unusually wet areas in your yard, please reach out to Ken’s Sewer Service today.
One of the most important aspects of a home’s regular maintenance, that may be overlooked because it’s hidden in floors, walls and cabinetry, is your essential and often mysterious plumbing drain system. Out of sight, out of mind – as the old saying goes. Your residential home has a kitchen sink, a sink drain line, and possibly a garbage disposal. Some have original or older pipes such as cast iron or galvanized steel, and others have been replaced or built new with PVC piping, and some are a combination of two or more. While each type of piping is dissimilar in material, each with their positives and negatives in terms of durability and function, they all share one thing in common – they are all frequently used (sometimes neglected) and they all end up getting clogged at some point in time. We will get more in depth with the benefits and drawbacks of certain drain pipe materials in a future post… today we are focusing on your garbage disposal in conjunction with your drain system, and how to utilize your garbage disposal in the correct way so you can minimize untimely back-ups.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, “Is a garbage disposal a good thing or a not so good thing?”. I always tell my clients that if you do not use the garbage disposal like you use your trash can, and you know how to properly treat the garbage disposal, then it is definitely a great amenity for your kitchen. I tell all of my clients the same answer, and here are few of the do’s and don’ts of garbage disposal usage and maintenance.
DO: Use the disposal for disposing of most leftover food from your plates and other dishware. Use the disposal for most food scraps leftover from preparing meals.
DON’T: Expect the disposal to grind down the leftover bones from your favorite chicken wings. Try to avoid putting these other foods down the sink as well: eggshells, rice, fibrous vegetables like potatoes, potato peels and carrot peels, raw meat, corn husks and coffee grounds. Don’t dump large piles into the drain all at once, let the disposal work on a little bit at a time.
DO: Run the cool/cold water 30 seconds before, during disposal use and 30 seconds after your disposal is turned off. The cold temperature helps to keep any fats in the food congealed and solid inside the appliance during grinding, so the waste flows easier throughout the drain line and out to the city. It will put less stress on your unit over time.
DON’T: NEVER! Pour or dispose of leftover cooking oils in your drain. All oils solidify at different temperatures. Oils may be liquid when pouring down the drain, but they can solidify, and eventually create blockages and clog the disposal and drain lines. Let your oils cool down completely, and then dispose of those in the regular ol’ garbage. Or you can properly cool, strain and store for future use.
DO: Periodically use home cleaning remedies to help remove small blockages, food stuck to the disposal blades and to keep foul odors under control. Baking soda and vinegar, lemon peels and ice cubes.
DON’T: Use harsh drain cleaning products. These products are too chemically strong and corrosive in nature, and are not meant for kitchen sink drains, garbage disposals or dissolvement of food particles.
Whether you have a garbage disposal unit or not, your kitchen sink drain line will eventually get clogged up from time to time. Clients also ask me if it’s a good idea to have their kitchen sink drain line snaked and cleaned out on a regular preventative maintenance schedule. I explain to my clients that a drain pipe does become very greasy and sludgy (even from dish and hand soaps), and that it’s a good idea to get them flushed and snaked before a clog occurs. This will also make it an easier and faster fix if your drain line does get a back-up in the future.
If you would like to schedule a kitchen sink drain line cleaning on preventative maintenance, or if you happen to currently have a slow draining or clogged kitchen sink drain line, please reach out to us today.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Over the past several years, Ken’s Sewer Service has noticed a growing trend of new clientele who regularly schedule to have their main sewer lines cleaned and homeowners who are actively choosing to rectify the ‘trouble’ areas in their main sewer line. It is very common for clients who have lived in their homes for decades to clean out their main sewer line yearly, or sooner if they develop any back-up in their basement drain. While our younger generation of homeowners is proactively approaching to restore main sewer lines with camera inspections and necessary repairs/replacements as to minimize issues for years to come. Please keep in mind, even when you repair a section or sections of your main sewer line pipe, you still need to clean the line annually at the very least. It is very important to cut out the roots, remove hygiene products and hair, grease and soap build-up that have hardened to the pipe walls. This build-up or ‘fatberg’ (interesting topic for our next blog) typically results in restrictive water flow and debris unable to pass along and move through to its final destination, which is the city’s main line. It’s best to eliminate the possibility of untimely and emergency back-ups into your basement, sinks, tubs and toilets with regular cleaning.
If you are in need or curious to view a camera inspection of your main sewer line to see if you are a candidate for repairs or a routine scheduled cleaning, please call Ken’s Sewer Service today and schedule an appointment. We have been in the industry long enough to understand and know what you need accomplished, what you don’t, and the best referral for your excavation needs.
Being a proud property owner has its perks and pits, and you can trust that Ken’s Sewer has the experience and knowledge to handle your ‘pit’ situation correctly the first time so you can relax and enjoy the perks.
We look forward to hearing from you.
You can now schedule service online at: http://www.Kensewer.com
1. Drano/other drain cleaners
-Drano products are not meant to be used for garbage disposals because they are too strong. Drain cleaning products contain chemicals specifically made for clearing blockages of inorganic materials – things like hair and sludge build-up – in bathtub drains. It is a foaming solution designed to dissolve inorganic buildup while simultaneously not causing damage to the heavy drains and pipes that make up your bathtub. As a result of this, the chemicals in Drano products are extremely corrosive in nature, and can eat away at the plastic lining of your garbage disposal, ultimately destroying it.
2. Cooking Oil
-Leftover cooking oil from frying pans – such as coconut oil, canola oil and olive oil – cool down after being taken off the stove top. When cooking greasy, fatty foods in these substances, the oil can harden and solidify after cooling down completely, often turning to a yellowish color. (If you fry bacon or any other pork product on a frying pan, it eventually turns to lard). This is especially true with coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature and liquefies in hot temperatures. Oils may be liquid when you pour them down your drain, but as they cool down, they can solidify, and eventually create blockages and clog your garbage disposal.
3. Inorganic materials
-Garbage disposals are also known as food disposals, so it should go without reason to say that anything other than solid food should not be placed into it. This includes eating utensils like forks and spoons – metal and plastic alike. The same also applies for straws, napkins and other eating utensils and accessories. Garbage disposals are not built to handle heavy, hard objects like metals and most plastics. In many cases, they will end up destroying your garbage disposal entirely. But keep in mind to much food scarp will also clog the sink drain line bends and eventually develop a impossible clog to rid of unless you hire a professional.
Garbage disposals are meant for disposing chunks of food leftover from plates and other dishware. Putting anything else in them will likely end up destroying the disposal, and will cost you more money in the long run to replace it.
One of the dirtiest jobs in plumbing. Can you imagine cleaning a urinal in a commercial building that everyone uses.
When tackling cleaning and unclogging a urinal there are sometimes multiple way to perform this type of work. No matter how you clean a urinal it’s going to be a very dirty smelly drain cleaning job. Urinals are just like toilets, very breakable and must be handled with care from whomever is working on them. Once you get the urinal removed from the wall it sits on make sure to place down carefully. With the urinal removed from the wall you now have access to the drain itself. We’ve unclogged urinals in the first 5ft and sometimes we’ve had to run cables over 50ft cause the plumbing didn’t tie in for a while. Worst case scenario is hat you have to bring a jetter to open and remove hard built up calcium within the drain line.
Access water leaking causing unnecessary water bills. If you find any water running and or dripping get it repaired right away.
When your undergoing your next plumbing leak call us today!
Support your local small business’s this Saturday. Weather it’s your local coffee shop down the street or the family owned sporting goods store, or plumbing company let’s keep these companies around. The world is better with small companies around.
Small companies work hard at what they do to try and compete with their bigger rivals. Try and help out and spread the word about “Small Business Saturday” as we all help support our local neighborhood companies.
Ken’s Sewer Service
Tree roots are poison in any sewer system but fortunately if you act quick you can maintain them for years if it’s not to late. Make sure you clean you line before this happens to you. Read below.
There are several sewer lines in the world we can help and prevent excavation but sooner or later something will go wrong. No one wants to spend money to repair their broken collapsed sewer line but you have no choice at that time. I wish we could predict when it will happen but we can’t. Customers much appropriate when our drain technicians open their sewer system cause then they know that digging is not needed “yet”. Excavating a section of pipe isn’t cheap by any means so try and plan and keep current on the condition of your sewer line yearly.
Call us today for annual main sewer line cleaning and see where your sewer lie falls on a scale 1-10.
The picture above shows the red arrow pointing at the a clump of thick tree roots that broken through the sewer pipe. When I drain technician suggests camera inspecting your sewer line there’s a reason for it. If your smart next time you have your sewer line cleaned get it video taped and see what condition your line is in. If you are lucky enough o have a good sewer line we suggest getting it televised every 3-4 years after to make sure it’s in tact. Think of it as an x-ray that dentist use to view the condition of your mouth.
Also, if your uncertain that the technician or company is leading you in the wrong direction ask your family and friends who’ve they have used in the past. make sure they were confident in there work and give them a call. You don’t always have to make decisions quick. Take time and do your due diligence.