Quality Plumbing Services

Entries Tagged as Drains/Sewer Lines

Beware of Sewer Cleaning $ Specials $

August 11, 2017 ·

There are plenty of people out there (not necessarily plumbing companies) who offer low price sewer cleaning specials. Quality Plumbing Services see this as the ultimate bait and switch tactic. Even some national plumbing chains use this tactic. They will offer an initial low cost sewer rodding, and then tell you there's a problem with your sewer, i.e. root problem, collapsed sewer, or a spot they are unable to rod through, and they will need to perform thousands of dollars worth of repairs. Or they will do a flow restoration, where they create a small opening in the obstruction which allows water to drain for a short time. When the sewer backs up again and you call them back, that is when they sell you the expensive sewer repair.

 

On several occasions Quality Plumbing Services has been called by customers asking for a price on a sewer repair. After discussing the situation or visiting the job site to give a proper estimate, we come to find out that so-and-so rodded the sewer and was unable to clear it without digging up the sewer. Or the customer is told, the tree roots are so bad they cannot be be rodded. On several occasions we were allowed to power rod the sewer and do a proper video inspection. We were able to clear the sewer of tree roots or obstruction without excavating the sewer. In fact, we rarely have to perform sewer repairs after we've power rodded. The majority of our excavations stem from broken overhead sewers. This is a very common occurrence where the cast iron pipe snaps or cracks at the foundation wall. Also, we excavate for clean-out (rodding access) installations where limited access to the sewer is available.

 

When Quality Plumbing Services performs sewer rodding, we try and clear as much of the tree roots or obstruction as possible. A lot of that depends on the clean-out size or the access to the sewer. We've found other companies are more interested in flow restoration than sewer cleaning. Then once they get in the door, try to sell sewer repairs, a sewer liner, or more big ticket items.

 

Recently, Quality Plumbing Services was called to a residence and the customer stated he needed his sewer video inspected. He had a sewer backup and had a “plumbing” company perform a $250.00 sewer rodding special. This company not only managed to get the rodding cable stuck in his sewer but did a terrible job rodding.

 

The purpose of our video inspection was to pinpoint exactly where the cable was stuck and where the sewer would need to be excavated to retrieve the cable. This bargain company obviously did not have the proper equipment to video inspect and locate the area which is not that surprising knowing the cost of our camera and locating equipment. Our locating equipment will not only pinpoint the problem spot, but give an accurate depth as well. Our video equipment which uses a laptop computer and an interface between camera and laptop ranges somewhere in the neighborhood of about $10,000-$11,000. So I understand why some of these bargain companies don't have the proper equipment. When our journeyman plumbers arrived at this particular home, we managed to retrieve the cable using some tricks that we've developed over the years that I'd rather not broadcast over the Internet on my blog post. We also performed a video inspection of the sewer and found that whoever rodded the sewer in addition to getting stuck did a very poor job. The following video illustrates this:

 

 

If the rodding cable would not have become stuck in the sewer, this company would have left the sewer in this condition. The customer would have never been aware of just how poor a job they did for him. At least until the next time he backs up which in my opinion would not have been very long.

Unfortunately the customer decided, he was going to call that person back because he did pay for their service, even though they did a poor job. So I do not have an after video. I would have thought he learned his lesson? I have several stories similar to this one - Quality Plumbing Services has saved a number of customers from unnecessary sewer repairs. We take pride in our power rodding procedures and know what it takes to properly clean the sewer, not just restore flow.

 

If your sewer has not been rodded in several years, or you already know you have a tree root problem, or your sewer needs to be rodded frequently, please give us a call for a fair, honest sewer assessment. One of our plumbing experts can surely help. Call and schedule your appointment today at 630-227-0200 or 847-259-0200.

Tags: Drains/Sewer Lines

1st Floor Residents Be Aware

June 23, 2017 · No Comments

Do you live on the first floor of your condo or apartment building? Have you ever come home to a dirty sink that you know was clean when you left in the morning? Have you ever had standing water in your sink or dishwasher knowing that you didn't use the kitchen and wonder what the heck is going on? Well, these are sure signs your kitchen drain is clogged.

 

Anyone who lives or has lived on the first floor of an apartment or condo building with multiple units above them may have had this experience. Water backing up in the kitchen sink without ever using the sink. We see this all the time in multi-unit buildings. What happens is the kitchens share a common pipe. The kitchen drain over time becomes clogged below the first floor, usually as the piping changes from vertical to horizontal. This becomes a real serious issue for occupants on the first floor. Any water used at the kitchen sinks in the apartments above will fill up the first floor sink and if enough water is used, fill the sink, spill over the rim or out of the dishwasher and onto the floor.

 

The water will continue to back up at the first floor causing major damage to floors, cabinets, and countertops especially if no one is home to notice. People upstairs don't realize there is any problem because their unit is draining properly. The first floor kitchen sink is the lowest opening and that's where the water comes backs up. I speak not only from my plumbing experience, but personal experience as well. This very scenario actually happened to my mother. She would spend winters in Florida. Her condo was vacant for the winter months. She was, of course on the first floor and I would check on her place twice a week … get the mail, make sure the heat was on, and things of that nature. Then one Sunday afternoon, I walked in and saw remnants of food and debris in the kitchen sink. Being in the plumbing business, I knew exactly what was happening and luckily caught it in time and was able to prevent a more serious problem.

 

If you ever experience any of the symptoms I described, you'll need the cooperation from your upstairs neighbors. Tell everyone above you to stop using the kitchen sink or dishwasher. Your neighbors should be able to use everything else in the house i.e., bathrooms, showers, toilets should not be affected. Ask them to stay away from the kitchen and possibly the laundry depending on how the building is piped. If no water is used, the water level will remain the same. As long as the water level remains lower than the sink, you will be okay other than a sink full of dirty, smelly water. As long as your neighbors cooperate, you can avoid more serious damage until help arrives. Again, this is all predicated on the fact that you are at home to discover there is a problem. Imagine going to work, out of town for a weekend, or on a two week vacation and any time anyone of your neighbors used their kitchen sink or dishwasher they dumped that water on your kitchen floor, cabinets and counter top. It is a horrible thing to come home to.

 

If you are experiencing a slow kitchen drain, or completely clogged kitchen drain, or notice any of the warning signs I described, or any other types of drainage issues or questions, please do not hesitate to call and schedule an appointment today. Call 630-227-0200 or 847-259-0200 for drainage problems or any of your plumbing needs.

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

Clogged Drain

June 15, 2017 · No Comments

As you can imagine, over the years our plumbers have seen a lot of different issues causing clogged or obstructed drains and sewers. Since we have opened our new division, Quality Sewer Services and acquired our new combination jet rodding and vactoring truck, we have been called out to numerous jobs with major drain and sewer obstructions, some that have surprised even our plumbers (we don't get surprised by our findings very often). I would like to share one particular job with you just to give you a sense of what we run into more often than you would think.

 

We were recently called to a manufacturing facility in which the customer had stated the floor drains in the warehouse were backing up and he felt the sewer needed rodding. Our plumbers arrived at the job, assessed the situation, and found the following in the inspection manhole.

 

 

This is a picture of the inspection manhole outside the warehouse where the building drains flow to the building sewer and eventually to the city main sewer. This is a 6” drain pipe completely clogged with toilet paper, paper towels, and "flushable wipes." After seeing this blockage, our plumbers quickly reacted, called for our jetter and vactor truck and began to set up our equipment.

 

 

 

Using high-pressure water, approximately 4000 PSI and one of our penetrating jet nozzles they were able to quickly and efficiently dissolve the large mass and flush away the drain clog. Once they established flow and the building drained, our operators used the flushing nozzle and with the help of approximately 500 gallons of water completely flushed any and all loose paper and debris that remained in the sewer pipe to the city main sewer.

 

 

 

Using our combination truck in this manner allowed us to clear one of the worst toilet paper and paper towel clogs we have seen in many years. Quality Sewer Services performed all work from outside the warehouse with no interruption to the manufacturing operation, and no mess inside whatsoever.

 

The work was performed in a relatively short amount of time as compared to conventional style cable sewer rodding which would have taken several hours to complete. Now, I realize that not all of your clogs may be to this extreme, but we are excited our plumbers have another tool in their arsenal to handle all of our customers’ drain lines and sewer piping clearing needs.

 

If you're in need of immediate drain cleaning or sewer rodding service, or would just like to have maintenance performed on your sewer or drain, have one of our sewer and drain cleaning experts evaluate your drainage needs. They have the knowledge and equipment to handle any job large or small. Please call 630-227-0200 or 847-259-0200 and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to schedule an appointment for you today.

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

There Is A Safe Drain Waste Eliminator Out There!

March 14, 2013 · No Comments

The only proven method to properly clear clogged drains and sewers is to have them power rodded. However, there is a product out there once your drain lines have been rodded that can help prevent them from building up again.

  Bio-Clean is a special combination of natural bacteria and enzymes that digests dead organic waste found in your plumbing system such as grease, hair, soap scum, food particles, paper and cotton. Bio-Clean is also safe to use on plastic pipes and will not produce heat, fumes or boiling like chemicals do.

Bio-Clean dissolves the accumulated build-up of pipe "gunk" instead of just punching a hole in the stoppage to temporarily let the water flow out. A small application of Bio-Clean unleashes millions of bacteria that double in quantity every half hour or so and completely clean the inside of your pipes throughout your entire house. Bio-Clean is completely safe to humans and animals - in fact, this is probably the only plumbing product you will find that does not have a single warning label on the can. It is completely safe for your pipes - it only acts on organic material that builds up on the pipes.

Bio-Clean is a truly natural product - its bacteria and enzymes are from natural sources, not genetically engineered in any way. If there is a full blockage, we recommend that you call Quality Plumbing Services Inc. to have your drain rodded to restore flow and then let us show you how Bio-Clean can remove remaining waste build-up. Regular applications will prevent new build-up and blockages will be a thing of the past.

Give us a call today at 847-259-0200 or visit our website at www.qualityplumbingchicago.com!

 

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

Drain Cleaning - Know When to Call a Professional

August 02, 2012 · No Comments

 

Sometimes your sink backs up and its an easy fix. With a quality commercial product such as Bio-Clean, you can have your drain fixed in know time. But what if it continues? When should you make the call to your local plumber, and get the problem fixed once and for all?

If you have a repetitive issue – one that keeps coming back again and again – you may need more than a quick fix.

Cable Line Cleaning - the problem may be out of your reach. A professional plumber has the tools necessary to find the problem, no matter how far down in the system it is. He can find and clear the problem, and clear the pipes to ensure against future problems.

High Pressure Jetting - from small mini jetters to help clear grease and particles out of kitchen and bathroom lines, to power jetters used to clear blockages out of lines into apartment and office buildings, a professional plumber has the right tools for the job. Using high powered equipment, jetting sends blasts of water to where the problem lies, breaking up dirt and sediment and washing it away.

Sewer Inspection - today’s technology offers you a wealth of opportunity. Know where your problems lie before they cause you pain. Using fiber optics, your professional plumber can give you detailed information on the condition of your lines, and provide guidance with the best course of action.

Call Quality Plumbing Services today at 847-259-0200 and let us help resolve your sewer and drain line problems. Visit our website at www.qualityplumbingchicago.com to read about our state-of-the-art equipment we have readily available to assist in all of your plumbing problems.

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

Our Current Drought Can Be Affecting Your Sewer Line

July 31, 2012 · No Comments


 

We are in the worst drought since 1956. Your plumbing problems can’t possibly be caused by root growth and damage – or can they?

In both drought conditions and the winter months, roots from trees and shrubs will travel great distances to search for water. And in many cases, they may find what they are looking for in small cracks or poorly sealed sewer lines.

Once they find water, they continue to hold on to their feeding source. They will fill the pipe with multi root masses, and slowly start preventing waste and water flow within the household water system. If not caught and fixed early, the sewer pipes will continue to erode, eventually becoming completely clogged, or collapsing under the pressure.

If roots have entered your sewer pipes, the only way to clear them is with power cutting blades. Quality Plumbing Services is qualified in repairing all types of sewer and drain clogs, and can handle any excavation that may be needed. Give us a call at 847-259-0200 or visit our website at www.qualityplumbingchicago.com for all of your plumbing needs!

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

Can Toilet Paper Cause Plumbing Problems?

June 14, 2012 · No Comments

One of the simple luxuries of our modern and civilized society – toilet paper. If you have ever traveled to a third world country, you have probably discovered what a wonderful thing toilet paper is. But if you spend much time around plumbers, you will probably discover what a wonderful thing toilet paper is not!

Does toilet paper really lead to plumbing problems? Unfortunately, the answer depends greatly upon the surrounding circumstances. Then how can you as a conscientious consumer keep your paper and avoid the problem?

  1. Keep an eye on the quantity used – here is one of the biggest factors in whether or not your toilet paper will cause issues. If you use a minimal amount of paper between flushes, your system as well as any system down the pipes, will likely suffer little to no damage. If however, you enjoy using half a roll at a time, be prepared for the impending consequences … frequently.

  2. Pay attention to how quickly it dissolves – for this one you may have to do a bit of research. Eco-friendly studies and consumer reports have a great deal to say on which brands of toilet paper dissolve the fastest, and therefore, are the least likely to cause problems. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker the paper is, the longer it will take to dissolve.

  3. Avoid flushing “flushable” wipes – flushable wipes are the curse of sewage workers across the country. Consumers may rave about the fresh, clean feeling they leave behind; but sanitation workers complain about the “softballs” later. Disposable wipes tend to gather as they travel, creating a softball-like wad of unruly and un-dissolvable material. This can lead to time consuming and costly problems. If the collection happens to be in your piping, be prepared for a problem.

    So, do toilet paper and plumbing problems go hand in hand? Without moderation and careful consideration, yes!  If your toilet or even toilet paper are giving you a problem, call Quality Plumbing Services today at 847-259-0200 or visit our website at www.qualityplumbingchicago.com

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines · Home Remedies

How to Prevent a Clogged Sink/Tub Drain

June 01, 2012 · No Comments

If you've ever had to clear out a clogged sink/tub drain, you know just how dirty it can get in there. From soap remnants to toothpaste and hair, anything and everything seems to find its way down our sink/tub drains. Here are some of our tips on preventing a clogged sink/tub drain in your home:

  1. Never pour grease or oil down your sink drain. Always pour them into your trash can or a disposable item like an empty soup can, and toss them in the garbage. Additionally, coffee grounds and smaller particles of food should be disposed of in a trash can.

  2. Pouring boiling water down your drain every week or two can help keep grime from building up in your pipes.

  3. When running your garbage disposal, use cold water, and don't shut the water off as soon as you shut off the disposal. Let the faucet continue running for several more seconds to wash down any left over debris.

  4. Remove sink stoppers and give them a thorough cleaning at least once a month. Some gunk is inevitable, but regular maintenance can prevent normal build-up from becoming a massive clog.

  5. Never flush any paper products other than toilet paper. Paper towels, baby wipes, etc. can cause more than just a plugged toilet. It can cause a problem with your entire sewer system.

  6. Installing sink/tub strainers can prevent small food particles, bits of soap and even hair from working their way down the drain. Clean these strainers out regularly to prevent standing water in your sink/tub.

  7. Don't wait until your sink/tub is overflowing with dirty water. If the drain appears to be running more slowly than usual, use preventative products such as Bio-Clean to get rid of any build up. Never use products such as Liquid Plumber or Draino which are acid based products and can be harmful not only to your drains but to you as well.

  8. If you have a drain that is completely clogged, it usually indicates that it should be power rodded and you would need to call a professional.

With proper maintenance your pipes can remain clog-free and in working order for years to come. Need help with your plumbing repair project, call Quality Plumbing Services Inc. at 847-259-0200 or visit our website at www.qualityplumbingchicago.com!

 

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

Causes and Detection of Sewer Gas Smell

February 22, 2012 · No Comments

The most common cause of sewer gas odor comes from plumbing drain traps that have dried out. The drainage trap on any plumbing fixture or plumbing drain line must be filled with water in order to prevent odors from entering the house. Plumbing drain traps are filled every time water flows. If water does not flow, then the traps are not continually being refilled.

Dry traps can also occur when there are rooms with plumbing fixtures that are not used often such as guest bathrooms, bar sinks, laundry tubs, and basement floor drains. It is recommended that all toilets in a home should be flushed every 3 weeks. The same applies to faucets that are above sinks, bathtubs and showers. This will ensure that the traps are kept filled with water.

Although dry traps are probably the cause of 75% of the sewer odors that occur in the home, there are other causes.

  1. Damaged toilet seals – the wax or rubber seal that resides between the toilet drain pipe and the base of the toilet. As the trap is an integral part of the toilet, the seal is below the trap. A damaged seal will allow sewage gas to escape.

  2. Damaged drain piping – a split, crack or bad connection in a drain pipe that is below the trap can allow sewer gas to escape.

  3. Clogged vent pipe/stack – over the years it is not uncommon to have leaves and other debris clog the house vent pipe that protrudes through the roof. Without adequate ventilation the sewer gas will find an alternate method to escape inside the home.

  4. Sump pumps and french drains – A damaged sewer pipe on the outside of the home can cause waste water and the odors associated with the waste water to enter the home through the sump pump.

  5. Air conditioner condensate lines – any drain line that enters the home drainage system must be vented and have a trap. It is not uncommon for a poor installer to connect the air conditioner condensate line to the drainage system without proper venting or a trap.

  6. Poorly capped drains – if during a remodel a drain was capped with tape (a common home handyman mistake) the tape will eventually dry out allowing sewer gas to escape. Drains that are no longer in use should be capped with a proper drain cap for the material in question.

If you have exhausted the basic causes of the sewer gas odor in your home, contact Quality Plumbing Services Inc. We have state-of-the-art smoke generators that can be connected to your drain system and will detect sewage gas in very small quantities. Call us today at 847-259-0200!

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines

There Is A Safe Drain Waste Eliminator Out There!

January 06, 2012 · No Comments

As featured in our blog of December 14, 2010, the only proven method to properly clear clogged drains and sewers is to have them power rodded.  However, there is a product out there once your drain lines have been rodded that can help prevent them from building up again.

Bio-Clean is a special combination of natural bacteria and enzymes that digests dead organic waste found in your plumbing system such as grease, hair, soap scum, food particles, paper and cotton.  Bio-Clean is also safe to use on plastic pipes and will not produce heat, fumes or boiling like chemicals do.

 

Bio-Clean dissolves the accumulated build-up of pipe "gunk" instead of just punching a hole in the stoppage to temporarily let the water flow out. A small application of Bio-Clean unleashes millions of bacteria that double in quantity every half hour or so and completely clean the inside of your pipes throughout your entire house.

 

Bio-Clean is completely safe to humans and animals - in fact, this is probably the only plumbing product you will find that does not have a single warning label on the can.  It is completely safe for your pipes - it only acts on organic material that builds up on the pipes.  Bio-Clean is a truly natural product - its bacteria and enzymes are from natural sources, not genetically engineered in any way.

 

If there is a full blockage, we recommend that you call Quality Plumbing Services Inc. to have your drain rodded to restore flow and then let us show you how Bio-Clean can remove remaining waste build-up.  Regular applications will prevent new build-up and blockages will be a thing of the past.

No CommentsTags: Drains/Sewer Lines