Lakota Drain Plumbers

in Lakota, ND

Local Articles in Lakota

main sewer line

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.

A clogged sewer or drain line can be a major headache, but so can falling victim to a scam. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Valerie M. of Cleveland Heights, Ohio)

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.

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Leaky plumbing messy area under the sink
Plumbing, Plumbing - Drain Cleaning

It's a good idea to get to know a good plumber before you have a plumbing emergency. Also, watch out for these red flags of possible plumbing-related scams.

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.

(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.

Angie's Answers

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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

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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!
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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
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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
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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.
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Do you know the age of the existing valve?  Are you sure the existing valve is a ball valve and not a gate valve?  Gate valves notoriously fail after prolonged periods of being either open or shut.  The rubber washer breaks down or gets mineral build up on it and then it won't shut off.  Whether the valve is bad or not it's a lot cheaper to replace it while he's got the area dug up and working on those connections than having him return to dig it up and pull it all back apart again due to a leaking valve.  The valve will run around $20 and the pipe isn't much either (price depends on the type of pipe).  Labor is an few minutes so he likely isn't charging you any more in labor costs to put the new valve in than he would to do the rest of the work anyway.

Like Vern said, he has a minimum amount he has to charge to cover his costs and still make money.  Being a contractor of any sort is not cheap with all of the government regulation, higher fuel costs, tool costs, etc.  It probably costs him at least $200 a day just to be in business if he's a self employed independent.  More for someone with a shop and answering service, etc.  Most plumbers around here are going to charge at least $100/hour with a minimum charge.  It'll probably take him 2-3 hours to install everything so he's really not out of line.  You might be able to find someone a little cheaper but check their reputations.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX

All Drain Plumbers in Lakota, ND

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T Bar M Building Company,LLC

660 4th Ave SW
Dickinson
Lakota Zip Codes

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