Drains and sewer lines are often overlooked until there’s a problem. When they stop working properly, it can cause flooding, waste backups and unsanitary conditions in your home. The key to preventing drain problems is regular maintenance and avoiding flushing things down your toilet that should never go in there (like paper towels, feminine hygiene products, or cigarette butts). However, even the best maintained plumbing system can experience a clog or sewer back-up at some point. When this happens, you’ll need to call for emergency drain repair services.
Clogged drains are the most common drain repair service call. These are usually caused by hair, soap scum, or food particles that have collected in the P-trap under your sink, the drain itself or further down the pipe. For minor clogs, you can use a plunger or simply pour boiling water down the drain to loosen and break up the debris. For larger blockages, plumbers can use powered drain augers or high-pressure water jets.
A foul, musty smell coming from a drain or toilet is another sure sign that it’s time to call for drain repair. These odors are caused by bacteria that thrive in stagnant water and provide the perfect environment for them to grow. If left untreated, this can lead to mold growth, sewage backups and other costly and unpleasant plumbing problems.
If your drainage pipes are made of PVC, the good news is that they can often be repaired temporarily with a few simple tools. These tools are not only easy to find, but they’re also relatively inexpensive. These methods are especially effective for repairing PVC drain lines, but they can be used on ABS pipes as well.
The first step in drain repair is diagnosis, which is where the plumber will look for the source of the problem. Depending on the reason for your drain repair, they may have to inspect the line using video inspection equipment or use other special tools to see what has caused the problem. This is particularly important if the issue is a broken or cracked pipe because it will require more extensive digging to expose the damaged section of the pipe for repairs.
Once the plumber knows what is causing the drainage problem, they can then begin making the necessary repair. For instance, if the break is in the main sewer line, they will dig up and replace that section of the pipe.
If the issue is with a single drain, then they can often fix it without excavation by installing a drain liner inside of the existing pipe. This is a newer technology that can be much less expensive and disruptive than replacing the entire pipe. It is also much more effective at fixing certain types of breaks, such as single-fractured or stepped connections.