SEWER AND DRAIN CLEANING
AROUND SPRING, TX
AROUND SPRING, TX
By The Book Plumbing is handled to tackle your tough clogs and stoppages both inside and outside the home. During the summer months, we get many calls to come unclog an A/C line that drains to the bathroom sink. The homeowner is usually perplexed as to why their bathroom sink is filling up with water by itself, even if the water is turned off!
We Fix Sewer Problems in NW Houston
Sewer stoppages can show up at any time throughout the year however. Causes can range from a toddler flushing toys down the toilet, roots infesting the sewer line by the home’s cleanout, or even a mass of “Flushable” baby or sanitary products that’s obstructing the drains under the home. Usually after running a cable down the outside sewer cleanout by the side of the home, we try to run a camera down the line to verify that the line is in good shape. If our camera shows anything more serious such as a cluster of roots or a section of pipe that is holding water (commonly referred as a “Belly”, this is when the drainage pipe is no longer going downhill, but rather uphill or level and does not allow the sewage to reach the city sewer), we will show the homeowner and recommend either a repair or replacement of the affected area.
Commonly Asked Questions
- Why does my Bathroom Sink keep overflowing with water? I turned the water off to the faucet and water still keeps filling up from the bottom of the sink!
In Houston, it is very common for the condensation drain of a Home Air Conditioner to tie into the drain line for a bathroom sink. Over time, this drain line can become plugged up with soap, sludge, toothpaste caps, and algae from the A/C drain pipe. When the drain line under the sink p-trap gets blocked up from this, the water from the A/C condensation drain pipe takes the path of least resistance which flows upwards to the bathroom sink. When this happens, water fills up the sink until the stoppage can be unclogged by the use of a Snake/Cable.
- What is a “Cleanout”?
A Cleanout is an opening on your home’s drainage system that allows a plumber to access and “Clean-out” your sewer system. There is usually either a 3 inch or 4 inch cleanout reserved for the home Sewer system and a 2 inch cleanout either underneath or on the back wall for the kitchen sink.
- My sewer is backing up into the house and I can’t find a cleanout. What do I do?
In many cases like this, if a cleanout is not available outside for the sewer, the plumber will need to pull up a toilet in order to run a Snake through the sewer. This can be problematic for several reasons. First, there is more labor and time involved with pulling and resetting a toilet than by accessing the sewer through an outside cleanout. Second, by pulling the toilet, there is a risk of sewage overflowing on to the floor. Lastly, the plumber has no control of which direction the Snake will go. The plumber is hoping that the Snake will follow the sewer to the stoppage and cause the pipes to drain. In some cases, the sewer may have fittings installed that can direct a Snake to exit out through a toilet drain and completely break a toilet on a separate side of the house. If the plumber has access to a Sewer Camera and a Locator, they can potentially locate the outside sewer cleanout by running the camera through another drain such as the kitchen. This usually involves the plumber using a probing rod in combination with a shovel to uncover the buried cleanout, and then allow the plumber to run a properly sized Snake through the larger Sewer Cleanout.
- Another company came out and said my line is completely collapsed and needs replacement. Can you give me a second opinion?
Yes, although it may be possible that the other company’s employee did not know how to unclog the Stoppage. I have went behind many other plumbers that have quoted a complete sewer line replacement in the thousands of dollars only to have the line completely flowing for the customer by properly running the correctly sized Snake or Jetter through the cleanout. Many plumbers have not been taught the best practices or invested in the right equipment in order to clear tough drain. By The Book Plumbing wants to try every method possible for it’s customers first instead of giving up and recommending complete replacement of the sewer system.
- My plumber said I had a “Belly” in my kitchen sink drain and said he has to tunnel underneath the house to fix it. Is there a better, less expensive way of dealing with a “Belly”?
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a “Belly” (or sag) is a commonly used plumbing term that describes a drainage pipe holding water. This happens frequently as a result of the pipe shifting and causing the pipe to no longer go downhill. When the sink, dishwasher, or disposal gets used, all of the food remnants and water travel down the pipe and slam into the belly. There, the sludge can build up into grease deposits and completely block up the drain pipe. It is true that the only PERMANENT fix to a Belly is to access, cut out the pipe, and reinstall the pipe to a correct slope, Jetting the line with a Sewer Jetter can help clean the line. In many cases, running a Jetter down the drain can blast away a good portion of the sludge out from your sewer and into the neighborhood sewer system. By cleaning your drain line this way, the belly is cleaned and starts the process of collecting sludge all over again. This can buy the homeowner time to look into fully replacing the failing kitchen drain, or return to rejet the line as needed.
- Why does everyone say that “You shouldn’t use Flushable Wipes”? It says “Flushable” and I haven’t had any problems yet?
Flushable wipes are bad for both your Sewer and your neighborhood’s sewage system. Flushable wipes are bad for the sewer because they do not break down over time. For example, if you place a wad of toilet paper in a bowl filled with water and run your finger through the bowl, the toilet paper eventually begins to break apart. If a flushable wipe is used in the same test, the flushable wipe does not break down. This can cause a problem for you if you have a Belly in the sewer line. All of the wipes can sag to the bottom and eventually snowball into a larger stoppage that you’d need to have a Snake clear out. Alternatively, if the wipes pass through your sewer, they can eventually get clogged up in your Neighborhood’s sewage processing plant.
- What kind of warranty should I get with drain cleaning?
This is a difficult question as there is a lot of variation between every plumbing company in their answer. By The Book Plumbing’s policy is that we do not warranty any drain call that is opened up by just using a Snake. HOWEVER- it is our policy that we run a camera down the drain after unclogging a line so that we may inform the homeowner what caused their drain stoppage. If it was caused by something simple as too much toilet paper or flushable wipes, then the Sewer Camera would show that the sewer appears clean after running a snake and a warranty would not be needed as the stoppage has been cleared from the drain. On the other hand, if a Hydro-Jet is run because there is a belly, roots, or grease in the drain, we do provide a one year warranty to the homeowner to return and Hydro-Jet the drain again once during that time period if it is necessary. We want to give our customers peace of mind that by running a Hydro-Jet down their line that we will stand behind our work and return if there is an issue.
- What’s the best toilet? I’m thinking about replacing my toilet because it constantly stops up.
In Texas, we are restricted to toilets that either have a 1.28 Gallon Per Flush maximum, or a dual flush toilet that has a 1.6 and 1.0 Gallon Per Flush option. Because of these water restrictions in place, it is important to understand what makes a toilet flush great before spending your hard-earned money on an under-performing toilet. A toilet with a good flush should have at least a 3 inch flapper/flush tower or larger. Some toilets from American Standard have a dual-flapper system which has a very strong flush as well. A good resource for comparing any toilets you are looking at is https://www.map-testing.com/. This is an organization that tests the flushing capability of toilets by using Soy Bean Paste and Toilet Paper to simulate real life working conditions. According to their website, “Toilets with scores of 600 or better will provide you with excellent performance”. Having said that, we have found the Gerber Viper toilet has served our customers well. It is rated with a “Highly Recommended” 1000 MaP score. Gerber provides a 5 year warranty on parts, while By The Book Plumbing matches with a 5 year labor warranty as well.
Professional, timely, and excellent communication! My shower drain was clogging up frequently. James came out and was able to find the problem....nails! Apparently the builders allowed nails to go down the drain and did not take them out. He was able to remove them all and my drain has worked perfectly since. Will definitely use again!
James did a great job in diagnosing and fixing my garbage disposal. A definite A+ in reliability and honesty! I would definitely recommend his services.
Had the opportunity for James to work in my home on a couple of projects. I was upgrading my bathroom when the tile installer was unable to install the toilet. James came in and not only installed one but suggested I get a taller one with a more efficient water consumption. My shower head was old and stained he brought in a new shower head that is beautiful and completed my new look. He was quick courteous and professional. I can enjoy my bath area and can say to James, job well done!
Awesome guy and great service! He got us fixed under budget and on a Saturday. He was on time, knowledgeable, and professional. We definitely will use him in the future. If any one needs a great plumber give James a call.