The Top Reasons that People Get Drain Repairs
Plumbing is one of the most important things in a home, but it’s easy to take for granted because indoor plumbing is so common now. Pipes may be largely invisible, as they’re tucked behind walls and covered from sight, but they fulfill an essential function and it’s vital that homeowners understand some basic maintenance.
Reading about the popular reasons homeowners get drain repairs and replacements will give you a good idea about how to spot major plumbing problems, how to prevent them and how to react to them when it’s too late.
Your home will need pipe repairs or replacements if your current pipe materials are corroding. Using too much liquid drain cleaner can cause pipe corrosion because the substance often contains harsh ingredients meant to disintegrate clogs. Caustic ingredients like hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide will eat away at the pipes.
If you dump liquid drain cleaner into your sink once or twice, your pipes will probably be fine. But if you use the “cleaning solution” at any sign of drain trouble, the corrosive chemicals will slowly break down your pipe material. And if your pipes are already corroding, drain cleaner will speed up the process.
To add insult to injury, the liquid drain cleaner may not fix the clog! When a drain isn’t working like it is supposed to, skip the bottle of drain cleaner and call a professional plumber to diagnose the problem and fix it without hurting your plumbing. When you need sewer line repair and service options to address pipe corrosion or other drain-related issues, call Sewer Squad right away.
To help you further understand the size of the threat, here are some other common causes of pipe corrosion:
- Sediment in the water supply
- High oxygen levels in the water
- High water pressure
- High water temperature
- Minerals in the water
- The water’s pH level
- Improper pipe placement
Certain pipe materials are very susceptible to corrosion, which is why most plumbers will turn to PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes for long-lasting replacements. Galvanized steel pipes and copper pipes will have a layer of zinc inside of them to keep corrosion at bay and extend the lifespan of the pipes. The zinc isn’t impenetrable. Once it’s damaged, the metal underneath will be vulnerable to corrosion.
Here are some signs of pipe corrosion:
- Change in water’s colour
- Change in water’s odour
- Change in water’s taste
- Unexpected drain clogs
- Visible rust
The biggest signs that your home plumbing is suffering from corrosion are leaky pipes — the pits in the pipe material eventually create openings for water to escape. When you spot a leak, you should call a plumber for their drain camera inspection and drain repair services right away.
If you can’t see anything, look for clues like water stains or mildew growth. Sewer Squad can help you find and replace any leaky pipes, and while it’s good to know how to identify problems with your pipes, actually fixing them is best left to professional plumbers.
Leaks, Cracks &Breaks
You don’t want to ignore a leaking, cracked or broken pipe. Depending on the location of the break, your home could suffer from water damage or sewer back-up. You could have stubborn clogs, slow drains and sky-high hydro bills. You will want to get those faulty pipes repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
These are three common reasons behind pipe leaks, cracks and breaks: high water pressure, freezing temperatures, and root intrusion.
The water pressure in your house should be around 50 to 70 psi (pounds per square inch). If it’s over 80 psi, you are dealing with high water pressure. If the water pressure isn’t reduced to the average rate of 50 to 70 psi, it can significantly hurt your plumbing. Even a durable material like PVC pipe can be severely damaged by over-pressurized water.
Here are some signs of high water pressure:
- Banging pipes
- Loud noises when the water is running
- Spitting faucets
- Leaky faucets
- Worn down appliances like washing machines and dishwashers
When the temperature is below zero, pipes can burst. It starts with water inside the pipe freezing. As the ice expands, pressure builds up between the blockage and the closed exit of the pipe. When the pressure gets too intense, the pipe material breaks open and releases the pressure, along with gallons and gallons of water.
To avoid a burst pipe and the ensuing water damage, you should insulate your water pipes before the winter season starts. The insulation will keep them from freezing when the outside temperatures dip. If you suspect a pipe is frozen, open up the connecting faucet.
It doesn’t matter that the water won’t come out — this method limits the pressure building inside of the pipe. Then, you should call up a plumber to safely thaw it out.
Tree roots can make their way into your water pipes to access the nutritional supply. They can penetrate the surface and, if they aren’t removed, they will keep growing inside of the pipes until they form a nasty clog. A home plumbing system with clay pipes is especially vulnerable to this type of problem because the material is porous and brittle. If you are worried about your clay pipes, there are other options out there which are resistant to tree root intrusion and breaks.
Here are some signs that you’re dealing with root intrusion:
- Slow drains
- Clogs that won’t go away
- Foul odour
- Gurgling toilets
- Toilet back-ups
- Low water pressure
- High water bills
- Sudden tree growth
Your first assumption at the sign of plumbing trouble likely won’t be that roots have made their way into your pipes. This is why you should contact a plumber when plungers and drain snakes aren’t making any improvements with your drain problems. They will use a sewer inspection camera to look through your home system.
One of the main benefits of a camera drain inspection is that you can diagnose the cause behind issues like slow draining and bad smells immediately. Drain cameras will tell you right away if you need to replace your sewer line or if there are other issues that need to get addressed. There’s no need to try different solutions and hope that they stick. In a single appointment, you can find the root clog, pinpoint its location and then figure out when you can schedule the root removal and subsequent drain repair.
Thankfully, new technology like trenchless pipe bursting means that replacing old and damaged pipes no longer requires digging up old landscaping — don’t hesitate to get your drain repaired because you think the only solution is messy and expensive. Sewer Squad can get it done neatly without tearing apart your outdoor space.
Your plumbing is no different than your car. It’s going to need to see a professional for maintenance once in a while. If you ignore the warning signs, it will break down faster. It’s better to get old pipes removed and replaced to avoid sewage backups before you think it becomes a problem, as your existing system will get too old to work properly and require an upgrade in less time than you think.
If you plan on living in one house for decades, you’re going to have to get high-quality repairs or replacements. Call Sewer Squad if you suspect anything could be wrong with your pipes, because a home depends on having water running through the right channels of your home rather than pooling up in the basement.
24/7 Emergency Plumbing Services in the GTA
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Because drain issues never seem to arise during standard business hours, Sewer Squad offers 24/7 emergency service with no overtime charge. Dealing with flooded basement on New Year's Day? Have a drain emergency in the middle of the night?
You can count on us! We’ll be there ASAP to help.
Just call our emergency number, and our master plumbers will be at your door, fast and ready to help.
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