The drainage system for your home’s plumbing helps to maintain a healthy and dry environment. Bathroom and kitchen areas have plumbing which carry harmful waste water down sink, toilet, tub, and shower drains out to a sewer pipe to send that waste underground below the frost line to either a municipal sewer system (found in most of the Chicagoland area) or to a septic tank (found in more rural areas). Laundry rooms have gravity drains or gray-water sump pumps which carry “gray water” – waste water from clothes washing – through sewer lines out to those same municipal systems or septic tanks. This plumbing removes dirty water and promotes the maintenance of a clean and sanitary living space. Older sewer drain pipes may be clay or cast iron, and newer plumbing is made of PVC or ABS plastic.

Finally, sump pumps in basements and crawl spaces pump groundwater from rain and melted snow which collects under buildings and flows into sump basins out of the home either to lawns, retention ponds, or municipal storm drains. This plumbing helps to maintain dry homes preventing flooding, mold, and foundation problems. Some drainage systems to remove groundwater via a sump pump use corrugated plastic to carry water away from the home.

Sometimes, these drains get clogged in the most difficult of places… away from the home in the sewer line or the sump drain line. A professional plumber can help to quickly eradicate those clogs and get that water moving again.

Power Rodding or HydroJetting

Sewer pipes and underground drainage pipes for groundwater can be clogged by debris or by roots. Excessive or non-flushable paper, baby wipes or toilet wipe, sanitary pads, bandages, oils, and other items which should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain can “gum-up” the works and cause massive blockages. Lint from the washing machine can also accumulate, especially when coupled with other items which can block the system. Both sewer lines and corrugated plastic or perforated PVC drain lines from sump pump systems can be infiltrated by the roots of trees and shrubs.

Power rodding is a more powerful version of your at-home plumbing snake. A steel cable with a cutting head sized to the pipe is fed up the pipe. An external electric or gas-powered motor rotates the cable, chopping the debris or roots free, and snagging large blockages to allow them to be pulled out or washed down to be removed from the system and eliminated in the garbage.

You can see from the photos here that we removed a large amount of roots from this sewer line using a power rodder for a very satisfied customer:

Hydro Jetting is another method of removing debris and roots. Here, hot, high-pressured water up to 4500 psi is pumped through a cleaning head which is sent up the pipe. The jets in this head quickly and cleanly wear away the clog into smaller more manageable parts and allow for water to flow again. This method also helps to break up oils and sludge by heating them and diluting them for a very thorough cleaning of the pipe without damaging the structure of the pipe.

Avoid Clogged Drains

The saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” It’s best to prevent clogs and maintain free-flowing drainage. Here are just a few tips:

  1. Never flush paper that is not toilet paper.
  2. Never flush bandages, feminine products, or cleaning wipes in the toilet.
  3. Never pour oil or grease down the drain.
  4. Don’t send large items down your garbage disposal.
  5. Clean your dishwasher’s filter.
  6. Use a “lint sock” in your washing machine.
  7. If you have root problems, use a monthly root killer solution down your drains as directed.

With the winter thaw and Spring rains predicted, you want to be sure that your drain systems are working most efficiently and effectively. If you have a blocked pipe, and you need help, give DRC Plumbing and Sewer a call at 708-203-7057 or click the button below to set an appointment for a free estimate.

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