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A
"- Plumber arrived on-time as promised and did the work quickly and efficiently. - Also took the time to explain how I might avoid similar clogs in the future. " - I would hire them for work outside the home warranty.

-Jason P.

B
"The technician was professional; took care of the problem by running a snake down the toilet; however, I feel the cost was too pricey for a ten minute job.

-Major D.

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Local Articles in Memphis

What are the warning signs of a main sewer line clog?

Highly rated plumbers describe the warning signs that your main sewer line is clogged, provide tips on unclogging the line, and explain how to avoid scams.

5 ways to avoid a sewer repair or drain cleaning scam

Don't fall victim to a unnecessary service or sewer or drain cleaning scam. Here are five ways to help avoid becoming a victim.

Angie's List member Ronald C. of Roseville, Mich., had to install a new drain pipe after tree roots grew into the old pipe forming a clog.
Plumbing - Drain Cleaning

How often does a sewer drain need cleaning? Angie Hicks responds to a member who wants to know if sewer drain cleaning should be done regularly or as-needed.

When leaning over a bathroom sink to perform normal grooming tasks, make sure to cover the sink drain so nothing falls in. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Roger H. of Paw Paw, Michigan)
Plumbing, Plumbing - Drain Cleaning

If your bathroom sink is draining slowly but the tub and toilet drain normally, there are several possible causes. Try these steps before hiring a plumber.

(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michele P. of Fresno, California)
Plumbing, Plumbing - Drain Cleaning

Does your toilet gurgle? Are you hearing a "glug glug" sound? Have it checked out; a noisy toilet often signals a blockage in your residential plumbing system.

unclogging main line
Plumbing - Drain Cleaning

Sink and tub clogs drain your time, energy and money.

Angie's Answers

?

From the sounds of it, you have a clog between the floor drain and the connection to the city sewer (unless you have a septic tank).  The lower flow rates of sinks / showers / dishwashers probable don't cause a backup like the washing machine does.  A couple of suggestions.

1.  Snake the drain line with a spade tip snake, twisting the snake as you advance it.  This should clear the partial blockage.

 2.  If feasable, have your washing machine discharge into a utility sink and put a strainer on the drain to catch the clothing fibre (fibres and grease from the sink probably made the clog in the first place not to mention a garbage disposal).

3.  Replace your floor drain with one that has a backflow preventer (looks like there is a ping pong ball in it).

 Good Luck

?
It is not uncommon for a plumber to have to go get the parts necessary to repair and complete the job.  It is very hard to determine what the problem is over the phone and it is not until the repair process begins that the parts needed to resolve the problem is discovered.  It may also depend on if the plumber is using hourly rates or per job rates.  I would hope the time to get the parts would be minimal and the charge would be as well!
?

First - NOT full septic tank - if that was the case you would be getting backup of sewage into the lowest drains in the house, and possible very slow flushing or refusal to drain out of the bowl - the opposite of your case.

Second - I assume you are the owner. If a renter or on a lease, this type of problem may be the responsibility of your landlord, depending on the terms of your lease or rental agreement.

OK - two possible situations here - low water in BOWL, or low water in TANK. I am assuming your toilet flushes OK, with adequate water to clean out the bowl, and that it is a typical type toilet with a tank sitting on the back of the bowl. If this is not the case and it is a designer toilet or looks like those at public restrooms (no tank), then the BOWL answers still apply if it is initially refilling OK, but if not enough refill water coming in at all then call a plumber.

First, low water in the toilet BOWL case. If the water in the toilet BOWL is low after flushing, I see four likely causes, in order of most likelihood -

1) the fill valve is not putting enough water into the toilet bowl. If you take the top off the tank, you will see a small hose (typically black plastic) coming from the fill valve (a vertical mechanism, usually at left side of tank, that the incoming water tube or flex hose connects to the bottom of on the bottom side of the tank). While the tank is refilling after a flush, a steady but not large flow of water flows through this fill tube and down into a vertical pipe or tube (usually brass or plastic and about 3/4 inch diameter, which stands almost full height of tank). The small tube puts water into this pipe, from where it flows into and refills the toilet bowl. This is also the overflow tube, which keeps the tank from overflowing if the fill valve fails to shut off. If the fill valve has a problem or the fill tube has a blockage, it may not be letting enough water into the bowl. Also, check the tube is actually pointed down into the overflow tube - if the clip came loose, rusted away or broke, then it may just be filling the toilet tank rather than the bowl. Check that a steady flow (will not be a real foreceful jet) of water is flowing out of this tube into the overflow pipe while the toilet tank is refilling. You should also see the bowl filling up at this time. If it come in but does not fill high enough because it does not run long enough, some fill valves have an adjustment - check fill valve manufacturer website for instructions. Others just have to be replaced - doable if you are handy at home repairs (see web videos on how to do it), or call a plumber for probably about $150-200 to replace fill valve (have him replace the flapper valve at same time if you get this done).

2) there is something like a rag or string caught in the trap (the waste passage within the toilet body itself) which is slowly wicking the bowl water down the drain - would be solved by a good snaking. If this is the case, the bowl will fill fully after flushing, but then slowly (typically many minutes to hours) drain down to just filling the start of the oval or round drain passageway where the waste passage starts to curve up into the toilet body.

3) blocked sewer vent pipe (which vents sewer gas and lets air into the sewer system so when you flush the traps in drains and toilets and such do not get sucked dry by the vacumn caused by the exiting flow. If this is the problem, then several drains in your house may have the same problem, or drain slowly. When you flush, the water will drain totally down the pipe and almost all the water in the bowl and trap will go down the drain too, typically with a gurgling sound for a few seconds at the end as the air seal is broken in the trap, then a small amount of water will flow back from the trap into the bowl, leaving you with water in the entrance curve to the trap but nowhere near normal height in the bowl - maybe not even enough to fill the entrance of the drain passage.

4) a crack in the toilet, letting water gradually leak out of the bowl onto the floor or into the subfloor. If this has been going on for long at all you should see water on the floor, or water coming out in the ceiling downstairs, or in the basement or crawl space under the toilet.

Case 2 - the problem is low water in the toilet TANK - since this is a sudden problem, two likely causes:

1)  the float arm has corroded or the float setting has moved. Look in tank for any broken part. You may have a black ball on the end of a metal or plastic arm connected to the fill valve (which is the part, normally at the left side of the tank, that the flexible or copper tubing comes into at the bottom of the tank), or it may be a sliding cylindrical float that slides up and down on the fill valve (typically all plastic) - see if it is broken or loose or alll corroded up (for the arm type). When you flush, this float hangs down (if lever type) or slides down the fill valve (cylinder type), opening the fill valve so fresh water comes in to fill the tank and bowl. As the tank fills it lifts this float, till at the proper elevation the bouyancy of the float shuts off the fill valve. If the setting on this float has changed then it will either cause the toilet to "run" continually because it is trying to overfill the tank (float shuts off at too high a level, so water is continuously flowing down into the overflow tube and into the bowl); or it will shut off too soon, causing only a partial tank fill. There are adjustments to adjust the float shutoff setting - typically an adjustment xxxx on the arm-type, and a slider stop clip on a small rod for the sliding type. See web videos on how to adjust this, or call a plumber.

2) your flapper valve (in bottom of tank, the part a chain or cord or rod connects to the flush handle, which opens it when you flush the toilet, leaks. If it leaks AND the fill valve is working, the tank level drops till the fill valve opens, then the tank refills. This repeats at intervals, with the tank refilling periodically even though it has not been flushed. May need new flapper valve or just a good wiping of the sealing surface to remove grit that is causin it to leak. If this is the problem you will have a slight flow of water into the bowl continually, and will probably see a slight ripple in the toilet bowl.

3) water is leaking out of the fittings or bolt holes on the bottom of the tank. If this is happening enough to make you notice low takn water level, the tank will refill periodically the same as if the flapper valve is leaking, plus you will have water on the floor and dripping off the bottom of the tank.

 

Fill valve and flapper valves each cost around $15 if you do it yourself (you can buy just replacement flapper for less if that is the problem and the matching seal is good, but that is rarely the case). A plumber call to replace both probably $150-200, ASSUMING your water shutoff valve (at the wall, under the tank, with a flex or copper tube coming fromit up to the toilet tank) will work.. If it will not shut off the flow of water, then add another $50-150 to replace that, depending on how it is plumbed and whether he has to cut into the wall to replace it (rarely required). If you do go and have a plumber do it, have both the fill valve and flapper valve (and flush handle, if aluminum or brass and corroded) replaced at the same time, as all tend to go out with age - every 10 years or so. You don't want to have to call the plumber to replace another part in just a year or two.

?
FYI: CPVC and PEX are two different materials and installed differently.  PEX is not intended to be glued but instead has special crimp fittings.  PEX is a brand name of one product that is manufactured slightly differently by others as well so it is important that the same brand fittings are used to match the pipe material.

Mobile homes used CPVC for years and some still do.  It works fine but is not as strong as a properly soldered copper pipe system.  Is the contractor installing this new plumbing a licensed plumber?  I'd be surprised if he is since he's using CPVC and not PEX (or similar) or copper.  PEX pipe is even cheaper than CPVC when run by a knowledgable plumber.  It doesn't require nearly as many joints since it comes in rolls and can flex through spaces easily.

There are some groups raising a fuss about BPA and other chemicals found in plastics that don't like the use of CPVC, PVC, or PEX pipe.  I haven't seen the results of any lab tests to confirm or dispute their concerns.  As far as durability goes it's fairly safe as long as it's properly installed and secured.  It is not as susceptible to hard water damage as copper.  It absolutely must be insulated along it's entire length to protect it from contact to other materials as well as freezing.  Also, the fixtures in the house need to be grounded electrically since the pipe itself provides no electrical protection against accidental shock or electrocution.  In a copper plumbed house the system is grounded so static electricity, a short in a wire near a water line, or lightning strike will carry the current out through the pipe instead of through the water to you, ideally.

If it's installed correctly you should be fine but make sure the contractor knows what he is doing and follows the proper procedures to use CPVC pipe.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
www.thomeservices.com
?
It is usually cheaper to remove part of the ceiling below and patch it after the leak has been repaired.  Remember that water can travel before settling in one area, causing the spot you've seen.  Just because it is below the toilet does not mean that the toilet is the problem.  The cheapest option is to pull the toilet and check the floor around the wax ring to see if it has been leaking.  A new wax ring only costs a few dollars.  When was the last time you caulked the shower in that bathroom?  The water can leak around the corners or at the door (if you have one) and travel along the floor joists until it pools in a lower spot on the ceiling below, then seep through.  It could also be a seal at the drain of the tub or shower. 

I get a few calls a year for this sort of thing.  It's usually something simple but can be a nightmare to diagnose, especially if the problem is intermittent.  Start with the simple possibilities and use deductive reasoning to narrow the possibilities.  Before you do a lot of damage it may pay off to hire a reputable contractor to help you make sure you've exhausted all of the imple and more obvious possibilities.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
?
The simple answer is ,"No!" The only way to effectively clean grease and scum from a drain line (or a neighborhood, jk) is with high pressured water. The machine they use is called a Jetter, many drain cleaning companies have them.

Drain Cleaning reviews in Memphis

D

Rating
I purchased the Big Deal with $50 for $100 of work. When I called to schedule a service call for a leaky toilet, the CR told me that it would be a $60 "diagnostic fee" to show up, plus fees for any repairs. Since this company used a deceptive coupon with a $60 fee just to show up, I told them never mind.
- KERRY W.
A

Rating
The job itself went flawlessly. Then,
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
came in to make sure everything was operational; when he discovered the hot water wasn't on, he went to the water heater to see if the guy from the other company had turned it off (he had). The thing is, what he ended up finding was that when my house was re-roofed months before, the roofers had dislodged the vent pipes to both the water heater and the HVAC unit. Yes, he's coming back to fix that next week.
- Jonas H.
F

Rating
The Roto Rooter plumber came out to look at cleaning my main drain which was stopped up. After assessing the problem he told me he could only clear the drain from outside. When I showed him where the drain was he saw he would have to dig a little to get to it and apparently did not want to sweat he then said he COULD actually clear it from my basement but would cost me $560.00. The plumber was obviously lazy and had a bad attitude. I wouldn't let Roto Rooter FLUSH MY TOILET!!
- Michael M.
A

Rating
I called the number on Sunday evening of Labor Day weekend.
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
called me back within 20 minutes - on a holiday weekend. I got their number through Angie's List, and I found out a neighbor had used them. My sewer line was completely stopped up, and I was unable to use toilets, tubs or sinks. They showed up at 7:30am the next morning - Labor Day. They inspected the sewer line and found the location of the clog, which was an area between the house and the street. They snaked out the line, removing a huge bundle of tree roots from the line. I was present during the entire time. When the line was clear and everything cleaned up, I was expecting a bill for $250 or more, especially since it was a holiday. They did more than I expected, sooner than I expected, for less than I expected.
The owner is a character, but very nice. He seems to be a man of integrity with the right equipment and expertise. I will use them again.
- Steve N.
F

Rating
Plumber came two hours after initial phone call was made to
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
regarding an overflowing toilet when washing machine was in use. Determined issue of main line clog (it has happened before) and began pushing cable through to flush out main line. He spent the entire day here, and I had to check on him every now and again. He explained the difficulty of flushing, that he could not get through with his cable and that he broke one of my pipes in his attempt to do so.
Repaired the pipe but then wrote up an estimate of how much it would cost to replace 30 feet of pipe (due to tree root growth) without establishing the pipe's location with the city inspection.
Charged almost $200 for the day's work and estimated his costs to be just over $3,000 to replace pipe, etc. Tried to rush me into a decision saying that I had half an hour essentially to decide whether or not he could do it the next day...and now I know why. The plumber left half of his cable in our pipes! It had broken off and he had not informed us that he had just left it in there.
Luckily I was able to get my normal plumbing company out the next day, and they quickly remedied the problem- after, though, having to spend several hours removing
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
's cable, which cost me an extra $200-$300 in labor. AND their estimate was about $400 cheaper than
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
's estimate. (I highly recommend American Tech Plumbing and will write a review for them as well- local family owned company with a wide breadth of experience in.)
Would absolutely never call this company again. Plumber was unprofessional and unskilled, ultimately failing in his job all together. Prices are extremely high and expertise are not. Especially if you have an older home like I do, with trees all around, call the experts! Do not call this fast food chain of the plumbing industry, they may come out quickly, but their work will not sustain the life and function of your plumbing.
- Linsey L.
A

Rating
This company responded right away and had their plumber out to my condo within an hour of my call. The plumber was responsive and honest enough to tell me he didn't have the right eqp. I consider it excellent customer service when a co. does not charge for a service call when they can't fix the problem. I had just paid out $50 to an appliance repair company, just to have them tell me they couldn't fix the problem, so I appreciated the fact that
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
Baker Plumbing did not charge me for their visit.
Would definitely recommend this company and use them again.
- Suzanne C.
A

Rating
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
was prompt and efficient in cleaning out the line and there has been no trouble since. This is the second time this has had to be done and won't be the last. Next time, I'll heed
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
's (our personal plumber) advice and call him every other year to do this work. I have used
Memphis Drain Plumbers Provider Name Locked
several times in the past 5 years for seveal plumbing issues and have never been displeased with the quality of their work or their professionalism. They are the best.
- Walton G.
A

Rating
I had a blockage in the drain which backed up into the basement. My regular plumber is not open on Sunday. Service man was there in about an hour and, because of the location, it took him about 45 minutes to clear the roots.
- Rajiv S.

All Drain Plumbers in Memphis

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

A & K PLUMBING

PO Box 381621
Germantown

A Parker & Son Plumbing LLC

4769 Daphne Rd
Memphis

A+ Plumbing Solutions, Inc.

P.O. Box 34295
Bartlett

Airmark Services LLC

2881 Whitten Rd
Bartley

All Sewer and Drain Cleaning

2345 N Reid Hooker Rd
Eads

AMC PLUMBING & LEAK DETECTION

3718 Stonetrace Cr
Memphis

AMERICAN RESIDENTIAL SERVICES

860 RDG LK BLVD A3 1860
Memphis

American Tech Plumbing

10345 Long Road
Arlington

Anchor LLC

7706 Mt. Carmel Road
Covington

Arlington Plumbing Inc

PO Box 929
Arlington

BARTLETT PLUMBING

3035 CANADA RD
Arlington

Belk Brothers RPM, LLC

P.O. Box 1131
Collierville

Best Care Home Services, LLC.

5250 Pleasant View Rd
Memphis

Bobby Wilson Plumbing

7045 Hwy 305 N

BTC Construction & Much More

172 Caraway Hills Rd
Milan

Central HVAC of Memphis LLC

2291 Oak Springs Dr
Cordova

Cobb Plumbing Co

2286 Podesta Cove
Memphis

Conway Services

1220 Big Orange Rd.
Cordova

CORDOVA PLUMBING INC

PO Box 38129
Germantown

Dan Stewart Realtors

3205 Kirby Whitten Rd
Memphis

Dan Stewart Realtors

3205 Kirby Whitten Rd
Memphis

David Cleveland Pumping Service

6081 Hwy 51 N
Millington

DON HUCKABY PLUMBING INC

1200 Nate Cv
Cordova

Double D Plumbing

5348 Wythe Cove

double d plumbing

5348 wythe cove

Drain Go Plumbing

11284 Gulf Stream Road
Arlington

EPSTEIN PLUMBING

173 NEIL ST
Memphis

Ford Plumbing LLC

Collierville

G & R Building Maintenance

8608 Rosemark Rd
Millington

Greenway Home Services

7550 E Barlett Corporate Cv E
Memphis

H&S Plumbing Company Inc

877 Freeman St.
Memphis

HARDHAT CONSTRUCTION INC.

3728 CHERRY RD.
Memphis

Hargrove Construction and Restoration LLC

2878 Austin Peay Hwy LLC
Memphis

Haynes Plumbing Company

5283 ELMORE RD
Memphis

Hill Service

4940 Covington Way
Memphis

Home Repair Co

7022 Cedardale Rd

Jim Douglas & Sons Plumbing, L.L.C.

2053 Riverdale Rd
Germantown

Jimmy Mays

Memphis

Johnson Plumbing Co

562 CENTER ST
Collierville

Joyner Home Repairs

7073 Village Lane

JS Plumbing Services

12150 longleaf oak trail

Ken Tyler Plumbing

2277 Union Ave Apt 706
Memphis

Knight - Stanz Contractors, LLC

2809 Shelby Street
Memphis

McMullin Plumbing and Mechanical

1337 Merimac Cv
Memphis

MCNEIL PLUMBING SERVICES

PO Box 153
Millington

MLP Contractor LLC

P.O. Box 483
Rossville

Mr Rooter Plumbing of Memphis

5702 Summer Ave
Memphis

N-E-Time Plumbing

1700 Forrest Ave
Memphis

National Economy Plumbing

2114 Southern ave
Memphis

neighborhood plumbing service

4982 dowling cove
Memphis

Personal Plumber LLC

12162 Shiloh Dr

Plumbers Memphis

5100 Poplar Ave
Memphis

PLUMBING WORKS

PO Box 383168
Germantown

R & C Water Heaters and Tile

6156 Mary Elizabeth Cove
Bartlett

RAMSEY PLUMBING & HEATING

1988 BROWNSFORD LN
Cordova

Ron's Sub-contracting Services

569 Berclair Rd
Memphis

ROOTER MAN PLUMBING

5075 Macon Rd
Memphis

RUSHING PLUMBING COMPANY

3728 CHERRY RD
Memphis

Save Energy Solutions, LLC

P.O. Box 3671
Cordova

Special Ops Plumbing

747 Eclipse Cove
Cordova

Steve and Sons Plumbing

8768 Johanessburg Dr.

Stewart Plumbing Co

1410 Brookhaven Dr

Terhune Glenn Plumbing Inc

2820 Whitten Rd
Memphis

The Service Company

2103 GRIFFEN TOWN RD
White Bluff

TIM MOTE PLUMBING, LLC

5925 SCOTT BLVD

Wade Plumbing

2093 Thomas Rd
Memphis

Walker-J-Walker

6045 E Shelby Dr
Memphis

Willam A. Cannon Heating & Air

400 E South St
Collierville

Zack Street Plumbing

721 Chaney Cv
Collierville

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