Pipe Repair and Replacement

How will I know when to repair or replace any pipes?

There are several key indicators that it’s time to repair or replace. Water pipes are always under constant pressure which makes them susceptible to leaks, breakages, and low water quality. If you are experiencing any problems with incoming water, here is how you will know:

  • You are experiencing higher water bills
  • You are noticing the presence of mold, mildew, and moisture/dampness
  • Damage is taking place in the walls and tiling of your bathroom
  • Water stains are appearing on your ceiling

As for outgoing wastewater, these are some common indicators of piping problems:

  • You hear the sound of water constantly running
  • The floors in your home are damp and moist
  • Unpleasant odors are permeating your home (e.g., the smell of sewage)
  • Plants and flora near your sewer or water line are overgrown
  • Rats are infiltrating your home due to the smelliness of your plumbing

What are the different types of piping?

There are an array of piping materials available for commercial and residential use. The more common types of piping that you will find in the average American home or business include cast iron, lead, copper, galvanized steel, PEX, and PVC. Cast iron piping was the go-to choice about 50 years ago, but in the past couple of decades, there has been a major shift toward PEX supplies. That’s because it’s easy to install and incredibly long-lasting.

What techniques are involved in repairing sewer lines?

There are two primary ways to repair your sewer. The more traditional approach requires you to dig up entire sections of your yard to reach your sewer line. The more modern and safer way to repair your sewer line is through trenchless technology, which requires very minimal digging. Trenchless repair solutions will save you a ton of money on labor especially when it comes to any major sewer work. The more conventional method of excavating your property poses a major environmental risk and you can potentially cause damage to nearby structures.

How will I know that replacing my sewer line is the only viable solution?

As you may or may not already know, replacing your sewer line is a lot more costly than repairing it. However, situations will arise where a replacement is 100% necessary. This includes if you have dilapidated lead pipes, significant pipe corrosion, or major structural problems with your sewer line which is typically caused by tree root intrusion and other geographical factors. Also, if your sewer line is experiencing a lot of small leaks, then it is also time to replace it. Constantly repairing it will not permanently fix the problem. Also, many piping materials become brittle and unreliable over long periods of time.

What are some important reasons to consider a repair or replacement service?

Several factors play a role in your decision to repair or replace your piping. What you want to do is assess the current damage and determine how bad it will likely get in the future. You also want to take into account the cost to repair versus replacing it (you should ensure that you are making a budget-friendly purchase). Also, if you do end up having to replace your sewer line, then you might also have to excavate your property. If this is the case, then you may also need to cover the potential costs of re-landscaping and street repairs.

How do you install a cured-in-place pipeline?

Cured-in-place repairs will require you to inspect your pipeline with a digital camera so that you can determine the length and size of the liner. You will then cut the liner, saturate it with epoxy, and then place it into an inverter which enables you to unroll into the pipe. You also want to apply pressure to the liner so that it strengthens the bonding agent. Once the epoxy hardens, the liner is all set to go.

How can I access clean water for drinking and cleaning while you replace the piping?

Even though our replacement services are fairly quick and expedient, you likely won’t have access to your home water supply for a few days. We understand that this can be very frustrating, but we can assure you that we’ll try to keep your old piping operable while work on your plumbing. If this isn’t feasible, then we recommend that you stay with a relative or in a hotel. Before we shut down your water supply, we will also determine if we can complete any repairs or replacements in less than a day.

How does trenchless technology save money on pipe repairs?

The most straightforward answer to this question is that there is a lot less work involved. Also, trenchless methods make the repair process go by a lot quicker, and it’s also easier to obtain a permit. Trenchless repair solutions will cause less of a disturbance to nearby businesses and residents as well as limit the damage that is done to your landscaping and nearby concrete roads (subsequent road repair can be outrageously expensive). Trenchless technology is the best solution because it eliminates a lot of the hassle and challenges involved with underground pipe repairs.

Will piping repairs save me money?

Yes, but this depends on the condition of your current piping. A band-aid solution will not go a long way in saving you money because you will inevitably need to repair your piping again. However, if you don’t need to replace any pipes in your plumbing, then we recommend that you have us repair it instead. Our repair services are much more affordable and they will do just as much good as if you were to replace anything. Also, with a simple repair service, you will likely avoid having to demolish any walls in your home just so you can reach the pipe that needs replacing.

How long will it take to repair my piping?

Typically any kind of repair service only takes us a day to complete. However, the time it takes to repair or replace anything will depend on the extent of the damage as well as the length and diameter of the pipe. Also, if there is a lot of debris stuck in your plumbing, then it can also take us a considerable amount of time just to remove it all. We also want to mention that because of trenchless technology, any damaged plumbing located underground should never take too long to fix.

Drain Cleaning

Are commercial drain cleaning products safe to use?

We often recommend that you avoid using drain cleaning products because they can end up doing more harm than good. Liquid drain cleaners will release a pungent odor into the air that is dangerous to inhale. The fumes can exacerbate any pre-existing health conditions you may have and make it more difficult for you to breathe. These cleaners are also very detrimental to the environment, and they can also potentially put your pets in danger. Acidic cleaners can also have a corrosive effect on plumbing and eat away at it. You should always be wary of a few ingredients commonly found in commercial cleaners: Sodium Hydroxide, Sulfuric Acid, and Lye. These ingredients are always harsh on piping.

How can I prevent clogged drains?

There are several proactive steps that you can take to ensure that clog will never occur. First, you want to make sure that you are always throwing away your food scraps in the garbage that’s separate from your drain. Some items you should never allow to enter your drain include grease, oil, coffee grounds, eggshells, starches, seeds, and fruit. You should also install a drain screen in your shower because hair is the number one cause of clogs in bathroom drains. You should also have a drain screen in your kitchen sink so that it catches food scraps and other items.

Should I regularly clean my drain?

It’s extremely important that you clean it as often as you can. Many of us assume that there is a clog only when the draining process is slowed down. Cleaning your drain routinely, however, will prevent any major disasters from occuring. This includes the elimination of smelly odors and major structural damage. Removing a smaller clog will preclude it from becoming a lot worse. Regular cleanings will also ensure that you can also easily remove any buildup or debris stuck in your plumbing. Drain cleaning ultimately allows you to prolong the lifespan of your pipes.

What are the signs of a clogged drain?

There are several indicators of a clogged drain. If the water is draining slowly, then this is usually a tell-tale sign that there is a clog somewhere in your pipes. Also, if you flush your toilet and the water backs up, then you most certainly have a clog. The blockage will unfortunately prevent any wastewater or sewage from leaving your home. You might also hear a lot of gurgling noises emanating from your plumbing, and in some cases, you may also smell a nasty odor. This is due to organic waste materials that are stuck in your sewer line while they are rotting.

At what point should I contact a professional?

If you are experiencing any major – or even minor – drainage issues, then you should contact a professional plumber immediately. They can locate and diagnose what’s wrong in no time. They will also clean out your drain and remove any major obstructions. If you wait too long to fix the issue, then sewage can make its way into your home, and this can create a major health risk for you and your family. Clogged sewer lines can also lead to major structural damage, which can end up costing you a lot of money to repair.

What are some of the best cleaning methods?

The way you should go about cleaning your drain will depend on several different factors. For example, if there is a major blockage in your drain due to debris and other waster materials, then you can use an auger to remove it. In other instances, you may want to consider hydro-jetting, which is also used as a preventative solution to clogged drains. If you are using an auger to remove any clogs from your drain, then you can definitely do it on your own, but we always warn people to exercise caution. If you apply too much pressure to the auger, then you could end up causing damage to your plumbing. For hydro-jetting, you will want to hire a professional.

Are there any drain cleaning products that are safe for me to use?

There are indeed a few alternatives to commercial drain cleaners that we recommend to our clients. They involve homemade products that can remove smaller clogs. Baking soda and vinegar are perhaps one of the more effective homemade solutions. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into your drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. You can do this up to once a month to keep your drain free of any gunk and buildup. Another way to clear out a minor clog is by pouring boiling water down your drain. For this, you want to pour the water in stages, and you also want to be very careful handling the water.

Are drain clogs usually minor?

Minor clogs are certainly more common, but you should never assume that it’s something as simple as a little buildup of grease or soap scum. Drain clogs can be an indicator of a more serious problem, such as tree root intrusion or a broken pipeline. If you don’t immediately fix any of these problems, then they can quickly get a lot worse. Sewage could end up surfacing in your home, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Why am I still encountering clogs when I’m careful about what I put down my drain?

You are doing the right thing by being mindful of what you send down the drain. What we recommend is that you install a drain cover to prevent anything unwanted from making its way into your plumbing. That being said, it can be difficult to prevent waste from entering your drain. A drain is inevitably going to become clogged – especially if you live in a home with an outdated plumbing system. Clogs can also happen when hard water forms calcium deposits on the inside lining of your pipes.

Can I purchase high-end equipment to remove the clog myself instead of hiring a professional?

We strongly discourage inexperienced individuals from attempting to remove a major clog. That’s because there is a lot more to it than simply removing an obstruction. You should always have a professional plumber inspect your drain to diagnose the issue. This way you can take the proper steps towards fixing the problem, rather than going at it blindly. Hydro-jetting is something that many people assume that they can do on their own, but if you’re not using the equipment correctly, then you can end up creating more problems.

Residential Plumbing Repairs

What should I do when I pipe bursts in my home?

A pipe burst is a very serious issue and you will need to act quickly in these situations. Turn off the water supply to your home via the main valve and then inspect the area where the burst occurred. You should also turn off the electricity in the affected area of your home and take a photograph of the damage so that you can send the images to a professional. If there are any items soaked in water, try to remove them and dry them off. Also, open your windows for ventilation. Next, you should remove as much water as you can. You can use a mop to soak up any standing water on your floor. You always want to try to stem any water damage to your home.

What are some warning signs that I need to fix my plumbing?

There are many indications that you are experiencing issues with your plumbing. You may notice that your monthly water bills are much higher than they normally are, or that the water pressure in your home is a lot lower. These typically indicate that there is either a leak in your water main (or it could be an area-wide problem). You may also notice that there excessively green grass in certain sections of your yard, which usually means that there is a leak in your sewer line. Other warning signs include the presence of nasty odors as well as stains and dampness in your ceilings and walls.

What are some DIY solutions that you recommend for minor plumbing issues?

If you are experiencing a plumbing leak, then there are several solutions you can employ in the meantime before hiring a professional to take care of it. You can always wrap duct tape or electrical tape around your pipe where the leak occurred. You can also use epoxy to seal off the leak, and a pipe clamp will get the job done for leaks that are a little more serious (with some of the more minor leaks, you will want to use a C-Clamp). With any kind of clamp, however, you want to be sure that it’s the correct size for the pipe. You will also need to wrap the leaky area with rubber padding.

Will a tankless water heater help me save money?

Tankless water heater will benefit you in the long run financially for several reasons. That’s because they are much more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters which store your hot water. With a tankless system, there is no hot water on standby; you get your hot water through a device that heats it on demand. You can potentially save up to 50% of the money that you would normally spend on your energy bills. Storing hot water for immediate use will end up costing you significantly over time.

Should I fix any plumbing problems by myself?

If you are not sure how to do diagnose the problem, or if you don’t possess the necessary tools to fix it, then you should call a professional plumber. That being said, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you have the proper equipment? Do you possess the skills and knowledge to perform the repair? Do you have the spare time to get the job done? Do you have enough money in your savings to pay for the repair if you get it wrong the first time? It’s very easy to turn a $300 repair into a $1000 expense if are not careful or unsure of what you are doing.

How do I unclog my drain?

Clogs are one of the more common problems that arise when it comes to residential plumbing. They often happen when you least expect them as well. A minor clog, however, is easily reparable. We recommend that you make use of some common household items to determine how significant the clog is. First, utilize your plunger; it can be an effective tool for removing small clogs. You can also use drain cleaners but we advise that you exercise extreme caution when doing so. Commercial cleaners tend to contain a lot of acid in them which can have a corrosive effect on your plumbing. You can also make use of an auger (drain snaking), but you will need to be gentle with it!

How do I prevent future clogs?

There are plenty of preventative actions you can take to ensure that you won’t encounter any future clogs in your plumbing. You want to avoid pouring grease and oil down your drain because they will coagulate and cling to the inside of your pipes. A drain strainer will also go a long way in preventing unwanted waste materials from entering your plumbing. Make sure you run water while you are using your garbage disposal to clear out the debris from inside your drain. You should also never flush anything down your toilet unless it’s toilet paper.

Why is my drinking water discolored?

There are several possibilities for discolored water. Galvanized plumbing is one of the more common culprits. It’s when pipes in an older home corrode over time and they will release rusty water into your home’s distribution system. With galvanized plumbing, the color of your water will typically be yellow or brownish. Another potential cause of discolored water is your water heater. Sediment can easily build up inside it over time, and if this happens, you will need to flush out your system. Discoloration can also indicate that you need to replace your water heater altogether.

Will I need to worry about hidden leaks?

Yes, hidden leaks are just as serious as a leak that you can detect. A hidden leak will get a lot worse over time if neglect to do anything about it, which is why you should hire a professional to inspect your plumbing. This way you can locate the leak and fix it accordingly. Eliminating hidden leaks will go a long way in reducing the risk of damage and prevent emergency situations.

How much water is wasted from a leaky faucet?

Those little tiny droplets may not seem like a lot of water. However, a simple math equation will put things into perspective. A gallon of water is comprised of around 15,000 droplets. If you have a faucet that’s leaking at least 10 droplets per minute, then that’s a total of 14,440 droplets in a day. That equals 347 gallons of wasted water in a year from a single faucet. If you want to measure how much water is leaking out of your faucet, just count the number of droplets that come out of it in a single minute and go from there.

Commercial Plumbing Repairs

What are some of the common causes of clogs in commercial plumbing?

In a commercial setting, a lot more solid waste will make its way into your plumbing, so a clog will likely form at some point. Also among some of the more common culprits are tree roots. What happens is they continuously grow and eventually wedge their way into your sewer line or water main. Your garbage disposal can also cause a clog to form in your plumbing. Some of the organic waste material that you discard will adhere to the inside of the pipes, creating buildup. Some examples include grease, melted fat, eggshells, and chicken bones.

What are some warning signs for hidden water leaks?

Even if your hidden leak is relatively small, it can still create a lot of water damage. And if you wait too long to resolve the issue, then it can have devastating effects on your business. Once you identify a leak, you should repair it as quickly as you can to prevent further damage. The more common indicators of a hidden leak include an increase in your water bills, damp sections of grass in your yard, the sound of running water inside your walls, outbreaks of mold or mildew, and splotchy areas in your ceiling or walls.

What should I do when there is a major leak?

If it’s a major leak, then you should immediately shut off your water main so that you can mitigate the damage. The shut-off valve is typically located in the basement of your business near the front foundation wall. The valve is also usually within 3-5 feet from where the water main enters. Once you stop the water, you should call a professional to repair the leak. You should also take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes.

Why is there an awful odor coming from my drain?

An unpleasant smell usually indicates that your plumbing is backed up. What you are likely smelling is sewage or wastewater that has failed to drain properly. This can be worrisome because sewer gases pose a health risk. They typically contain toxins which can compromise your immune system you breathe a lot of it in. Sewage vapors inside your business can also cause you to experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Unusual smells are something you should not ignore because water systems are complex and it can be difficult to diagnose the issue.

When do I know that I need commercial plumbing repairs?

Water damage is something that you always want to avoid because it can lead to costly and unaffordable repair services. If you are a business owner, then you need to take care of the plumbing issues you encounter early on. Clogs, obstructions, buildup, and insufficient draining are a couple of things that you will need to repair immediately. You should also keep an eye out for puddles that form inside and around your building. Standing water is the number one cause of structural damage and outbreaks of mold or mildew. Low water pressure and high utility bills are also critical indicators of a leak. If you hear the sound of running water, even if none of your plumbing fixtures are in use, then this could be a sign of a bigger problem.

What are the benefits of routine maintenance for commercial plumbing?

The benefits of regular checkups and maintenance are numerous. You will greatly reduce the likelihood of a clog or major obstruction. If you run a business, then there’s a good chance that solid waste will wind up in your plumbing, so the best thing you can do is have someone regularly remove any buildup no matter how minor it is. Early leak detection is also critical in protecting your plumbing system. Most professional plumbers possess digital monitoring equipment that can pinpoint the exact location of the leak. This will give them enough information moving forward when performing repairs. Regular maintenance will greatly increase the lifespan of your system and it’ll allow you to avoid having to replace it entirely.

Can I fix anything by myself?

Minor plumbing issues don’t necessarily require any assistance, but we strongly recommend that you hire a professional. If you lack the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix whatever is wrong with your plumbing, then you could end up doing more harm than good. For example, a pipe burst is something you shouldn’t fix by yourself; even plumbers of intermediate experience will struggle with this. Hiring a licensed commercial plumber goes a long way in mitigating the damage and resolving any plumbing issues you are experiencing.

What is hydro-jetting?

Hydro-jetting is a cleaning method where all the gunk and buildup in your pipes are removed via pressurized water. It’s a non-invasive alternative to flushing out your plumbing system (hydro-jetting is a lot safer than most other methods, including drain snakes and plungers). Before the hydro-jetting process takes place, your plumber will need to inspect your system to determine where the buildup is occurring. Next, they will need to find an ideal spot to pump in the water. The hose will discharge water at 5,000 psi which will easily force out any of the accumulated waste materials inside your plumbing.

Should I upgrade my plumbing?

Any major plumbing upgrade that you perform will take time and cost money, so you should consider the pros and cons before making any decisions. That being said, the plumbing in most older buildings are not up to code. Outdated commercial plumbing systems are more liable to undergo damage and other structural problems. Also, the pipes in these older buildings are often located in hard-to-reach areas. If you are frequently experiencing major breakdowns in your plumbing, then it might be time to upgrade.

When is it time to replace my plumbing system?

Commercial plumbing systems handle a lot more demand than a normal residential system. That means they require more maintenance and care. However, if your system is extremely outdated, then it might be time to replace it. In many instances, leaks and clogs are minor symptoms of a larger problem. Discolored and murky water is also a major cause for concern and may require you to update your system. During an inspection, if it’s revealed that your pipes are rusty, corroded, and decayed, then this can also indicate that you’ll need to replace everything.