is always difficult to assess dilemmas that we cannot see nor understand.
For most of us, like our vehicles if we cannot fix it, or know nothing
about troubleshooting we hire a professional. Some of us rely on our machismo
or handyman skills to temporarily alleviate unsuspected drain system shutdowns.
waste systems is similar to vehicles in fashion if not more difficult because
we cannot see the problem or its origin. Could it be simple or complex,
a maintainable issue or a repair issue? It may be deep underground or require
a specialized training to assess. My goal is to educate my clients that
in the event of a crisis one will have gained the knowledge and understanding
to make responsible decisions with respect to waste system backups and
be able to restore their household for every day activities.
eighty percent of drain stoppages can be prevented the other twenty percent
are new, have been recently cleared or are under a preventative maintenance
let’s begin. In older homes the basic structure is a metal or cast
iron receiving waste from other metal drains connecting to a larger six
inch clay tile just outside the home.
the drains inside the home connect together before leaving
the home as one drain, usually referred to as a mainline.
the outside deep underground the cast iron drain is joined to a larger
clay style sewer which was placed in sections three to four feet long and
continues until it is joined
to a metropolitan or city sewer system.
newer homes plastic drains were installed with a stronger version on the
inside and a weaker version on the outside. In the majority of cities the
sewer is considered the homeowners responsibility all the way to the city
sewer and including the portion that is used to join the two together called
a wye connection,
which may be in a front yard, in the street or across the street in a neighbors
the home a number of stoppages can occur resulting from soap, food, grease,
lint, toothpaste, hair
or any other material placed in the system.
of the waste materials AND QUICK DRAIN OPENING CHEMICALS are corrosive
to cast iron drains and cause premature deterioration and expensive repairs.
drain to unclog a blockage temporarily, however only an expert in the field
has the proper training and equipment to diagnose and thoroughly clean
problem drain systems. Drain connections underneath the floor can be difficult
to assess because no one knows exactly how they were joined together. Black
sludge from a kitchen sink may cause a laundry or floor drain to back up
one time and a mainline may cause the same floor drain to back up another
difficulty consumers and novice professionals have in the stoppage diagnosis
causes a great deal of frustration and financial burdens. Many of my clients
have spent a great deal of time and money dealing with a false diagnosis
for a simple problem. Worse yet many of them have wasted hundreds of dollars
on poor service. Just to spend it again a few days or weeks later to have
their drains cleaned correctly.
On the outside of the home the
mainline is an easy target for devastating sewage flooding.
this drain clogs it shuts the normal activities of the home down. Showers
cannot be taken, toilets cannot be used, and laundry and dishes tend to
pile up. Many times personal property and finished basements are damaged
and destroyed. Insurance companies sometimes cover damage, service, and
repair costs resulting in increased premiums and cancellations. It seems
that everybody wins except the home owner. Mainlines outside the home are
mostly damaged by tree root growth. The tree root searches for fertile
ground found next to most sewer drains and works its way into the sewer
through connections between pieces of drain tile.
attacked by a root the sewers integrity diminishes. It can be spread apart
causing waste to leak, sink and accumulate waste for routine sewer backups.
Roots grow large enough to restrict proper flow and ultimately crack and
break the sewer creating sudden emergency repairs that hardly anyone is
a cable or snake is used to unstop root blockages and can take several
expensive hours to alleviate by cutting the roots out of a sewer. This
task is mastered by only
tree roots tend to grows back thicker and stronger every time they are
cut causing a little more damage every time as well as more frequent backups.
Some residents decide to sell their homes to get rid of the problem. Others
try to cut down trees only to find out that the root continues to grow
or a sewer repair was less expensive. Many cities and municipalities have
adopted sewer lateral repair programs to ease the financial burden of costly
so many of these are difficult to get approval due to limited funds or
sewers are deemed as maintainable. Nevertheless it is always a good idea
for the homeowner to be aware of the condition and maintenance schedules
involving such a vital organ of their home, one that could potentially
destroy a homeowner’s quality of life. The stress alone is something
I wish on no one. A Baseline Drain Assessment is the most effective method
of eliminating any concern and aggravation with respect to sewer backups.
This service is designed to restore drainage systems in the home to their
fullest potential, gain awareness to any future risks, and implement a
comprehensive strategy to prevent future disasters. Sewers are out sight
out of mind until it is too late.