Common Drain, Sewer and Water Line Problems
We Separate the Minor Inconveniences from the Major Headaches
Got a backed up or slow moving drain? A toilet that won’t flush? Waste water that comes back up your sink, shower or tub drains? A foul smell in your yard or basement? JOIN THE CLUB! As the weather gets cooler, we at Horizon Services usually begin to see an increase in drain, sewer and water line service calls. For many homeowners, the recent intense rainfall and flood conditions in the Mid-Atlantic states — particularly our service area of Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Gloucester, Camden and Burlington County New Jersey and Northeastern Maryland — have brought latent drain, sewer and water line problems that have been lurking invisibly in the shadows out into the open in a very dramatic fashion.
Face it…there are many things that can go wrong with your home’s drain, sewer and water line system. For example, years of accumulated waste can cause major obstructions in pipes and lines. Old pipes and seals can crack, corrode or collapse. Tree roots can even infiltrate sewer and water lines These are the kinds of drain, sewer and water line problems that can require significant repair and expense.
The good news is that the majority of drain, sewer and water line issues are not that severe. Most are easily and inexpensively repaired. And most are preventable.
The vast majority of drain, sewer and water line problems are usually caused by minor incidents such as something falling down the pipe, clogging due to inappropriate matter being sent down the sink or toilet, and frozen pipes in colder weather.
Identifying The Problem
Identifying the problem is the first step. Visually inspecting your sinks, tubs, showers, toilets and pipes will usually reveal the source of the problem. If the problem isn’t deep down in your drains or lines, there’s a good chance that you can resolve it yourself…or at least save time and money by pointing your drain or sewer/water line repairman in the right direction when they arrive at your home.
Clogged Sinks or Toilets
In the case of clogged sinks or toilets that won’t flush, if the problem isn’t solved by using a plunger to unblock it, then the cause is probably due to an obstruction further down the line. You can use a plumber’s snake or coiled wire (available at most hardware stores) to probe into the drain and get to where a basic plunger cannot to remove the obstruction. If this doesn’t work, your next step may be to remove the toilet bowl or sink to get access to the main pipe. This can be a delicate job, so it is best to call in a professional plumber or drain professional at this point.
In cold weather, frozen pipes is one of the most common causes of backed-up or slow moving drains. This is especially common when homeowners have been away for some time and turned the thermostat right down. Water moving slowly and at a low temperature causes ice to form and expand, causing blockages that exert increasing pressure on the pipes. Wrap the pipes in special wrap heat tape and leave it in place for at least 24 hours or until the blockage is cleared. Also consider leaving the thermostat at a higher setting to keep warm water circulating whilst you’re away for a while.
If you find that your boiler starts making a noise, this is probably because of hot spots forming due to a build up of steam, caused in turn by air building up in the system. The hot spots sometimes make banging noises when they get too hot, which is where the noise in the boiler comes from. The root cause of the build up of air is a lack of water in the system, but it can also be caused by a build up of scale on the inner surface of the boiler, in which case feed a boiler cleanser into the expansion.
Drainage pipes helpfully tend to run in straight lines, which facilitate the sorting out of problems. Inspection chambers covered by manhole covers are placed at each joint, and these covers can be lifted with a crowbar to check for blockages and to clean the manhole of accumulated debris where necessary. If you find the inspection chamber empty, the blockage must be closer to the house, so move on to the next one in that direction, and if it is full move in the opposite direction to look for the blockage. Once the blockage area has been isolated, you can insert the plumber’ snake down the pipe in the direction of the blockage to clear it.
The drain cleaning and sewer/water line repair professionals at Horizon Services encourage all homeowners especially cognizant, vigilant and proactive in the maintenance of their home’s drains, pipes and lines. Be aware of what you are putting down sinks, garbage disposals and toilets — particularly large solid objects, grease and hair. Keep your eyes and ears open for the signs of drain, sewer and water line damage or obstruction. Insulate your pipes in cold weather. If you suspect a problem, don’t delay — call a drain cleaning or sewer & water line contractor immediately to fix the problem before it becomes large and expensive.
Contact Horizon Services
With over 20 years of service experience, we have helped thousands of homeowners in the Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Gloucester, Camden and Burlington County NJ and Northeastern Maryland areas with their plumbing needs. Our team of plumbing professionals consists of some of the most experienced and most qualified plumbers working today in the Delaware Valley. These are top-notch plumbing technicians who can accurately diagnose and quickly fix any and all plumbing problems. Plumbing emergencies are our specialty!.