Archive for Clogged Drains

Drain Cleaning

Interviewer:  So I’m on site here today with Phil Russell of CrackMaster Concrete and Phil is cleaning a drain today.  Phil can you explain the equipment to us as some of it is new to me and I’m sure it is to a lot of people.  Maybe you can explain what it is that you’re doing here and talk about the equipment that you’re using so people can understand how it works.

Phil Russell:  Well, both of these machines here, one’s a “flusher” and one is a “snake” or an “eel” and they can be used in storm lines or sewer lines.  And with the flusher here, it’s got four heads going back and one going forward.  And the configuration can be changed too.

Interviewer:  So, that will do the backflush then?

Phil Russell: Yes

Interviewer:  It goes down the system and it flushes backwards.

Phil Russell:  It pulls everything back into a catch basin

Interviewer:  I understand.

Phil Russell:  And this is more for blockages of the iron — the red iron oxide that we have in the systems here in the Langley and Surrey area.  And then this is more for tree roots and stuff like that, major blockage.  This thing is pretty nasty.  It pulled back tree roots like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s (00:01:07).

Interviewer: Okay.  So, a recap here, if there is a blockage in the drainage system of some type, you’d probably send a camera down first, of course —

Phil Russell: Yes

Interviewer: To review where the problem is, determine what type of equipment you’re going to use.

Phil Russell: Yes

Interviewer: And then from that point, your decision to be made is which way to go and you solve the problem.

Phil Russell: Exactly, exactly.  Both machines do the job quite well but one is a little more for one area and one is for the other the major blockage is one, and the tree root is another.

Interviewer:  Okay.  I know that tree roots in Vancouver can be a real problem.  I guess the question I have for you, if a person is being prudent about the maintenance of their home, I guess one-year maintenance would be a good thing to do?

Phil Russell: It would be a great thing to do.  You know, one-year maintenance would probably make the difference between replacing your system ones every 20 years to you know once every 10 years kind of thing.

Interviewer: So it’s cost effective to do it.

Phil Russell: Yes and it’s preventable too, right?  You’re preventing your basement from flooding and the biggest thing for this, these “flushers” and “eel,” if your basement has that watermarks up the wall and then on the floors, that means it’s your weeping tile system.  That’s the telltale sign.  If that’s what’s showing around the perimeter of your property on the inside, then that’s weeping tile system.

Interviewer: Okay.  So if somebody were suspect of a problem in their house give you a call — you determine the nature of the problem and give a free quote?

Phil Russell: Yes, it’s a free quote, anywhere in the lower mainland, the greater Vancouver area kind of thing.

Interviewer: And when the work is done, your warranties are second to none?

Phil Russell: Second to none.  We have no problems in that area.  They can get a hold of us at 604-614-2615.

Interviewer: Excellent.  Thank you very much again Phil.

Phil Russell: Thank you.

Tree Roots – Could Cause Wet Basement Repair

Drain tiles are hidden from view and usually, the homeowner is not aware of a problem until it is too late and they are searching for some form of wet basement repair.

The good news is with today’s technology it is possible to find out what the problem is without excavating as they would have had to do a few years ago. In today’s world, a high tech TV video drain camera can be used to scope out the nature of the problem. This takes out the guesswork of wet basement repair and may very well lead to a less expensive solution.

In houses that are a little older, it is more than likely that clay tiles were used on your home’s perimeter to channel water away from the structure. In time ground shifts and clay tiles may also shift allowing access for tree roots.

It is very common to find that the water restriction problem is caused by tree roots that have penetrated the tiles. What many homeowners don’t realize is tree roots can be slowly but surely penetrating your drain tiles in search of moisture and nutrients. When this happens more damage is being done as roots are allowed to continue to grow.

Once a tree root is inside your tiles and it begins to grow there will be water restriction and damage to the tiles.

The most common way to remove tree roots from your drains is by using a drain snake, or an auger, to cut roots from the drains. It should be noted that roots grow each year so you may want to maintain your drain by scoping and possibly using an auger once a year.

In the right condition, it also makes sense to remove the roots by using a high-pressure water drain jetting system (this should be left for the experts). The jetting system is designed to blast water under high pressure backward out of your drains and consequently removing obstacles along the way.

The key thing is to identify to what degree the tree roots have affected your drains. Once you are armed with this knowledge than you can map out a solution and repair the problem with the least amount of cast and intrusion.

We are experts in keeping your basement dry. We provide video Drain Inspections, Water-Jet Drain Flushing and other solutions and services to concrete foundations including crack repair. Call Phil today for a FREE quote 604-614-2615

What are some common causes of clogged drains?

• Drains may block because they are in poor physical condition and normal contents are not being cleared.
• They may be in satisfactory condition but have been abused by flushing away disposable nappies or other items such as plastic bags that should never be placed into the sewerage system. Quite often a build up of hair, food, sediment and grime may also be the problem
• Excessive disposal of cooking fats and oils, along with other domestic products, can cause blockage .
• Tree roots entering a broken drain can also be a problem

Your First Approach to the problem might be:

Remove the drain stopper or strain entirely to access and clean away any build-up. If this is not done fairly regularly, a drain stopper can accumulate enough debris such as hair to completely clog it. The drain stopper in your bathroom tub is quite frequently a problem with this issue.

Try a cleaning solution of vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. If your drain draining slowly, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by water and 1 cup of vinegar, down the drain to dissolve at the clogging substance.

Use a plunger. Try stopping other drains to the same pipe, and apply petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger, you can apply suctional force to loosen whatever substance is clogging your pipes. You can follow up with hot water, or the solution of vinegar, baking soda and boiling water.

Try a drain snake. Remove the drain stopper or strain and use the snake to find the clog, now you can loosen, and break up the clog.

If you are not successful with the above and you feel the need to call an experienced company to scope the problem call Phil at 604-614-2615