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Frequently Asked Questions from Our Connecticut Drain Cleaning Company
Q: When I flush a toilet or use any water in the house, the water backs up into another area of the house. Why?
A: When the main sewer line is clogged, the water is going to flow out of the lowest possible area of least resistance. Many times a main line blockage will end up overflowing sewage in the basement out of a floor drain, cleanout, wash basin or sink, basement washing machine, or toilet.
Q: Why does the water from an upstairs sink back into a sink downstairs and won't go down?
A: The sinks are connected by a common drain and there is blockage beyond where the lower sink ties in.
Q: Why does the water from an upstairs sink gurgle up into a downstairs sink and then go down?
A: The problem can be a partial blockage between the first and second floor. The drain is trying to breathe so it backs into the lower drain and then goes down. The drain may need to be snaked from the upstairs.
Q: I have water flooding into my basement around the basement walls, what is happening?
A: More than likely the footing drains are clogged and malfunctioning. If you know where the outlet is for the gutters and footing drains, make sure they are uncovered. Then have the drains cleaned if problem persists.
Q: What is a camera inspection?
A: American Rooter can put a camera in almost any drain to see its condition or what may be causing a problem. There is no better way to confirm an issue than to get a picture of it. Cameras help identify serious problems and ensure all buildup and roots are removed the first time.
Q: Can I get my camera inspection on video?
A: Yes. American Rooter burns our inspections to DVD so you can view it later.
Q: Why does my toilet back up constantly?
A: Todays toilets are low consumption and some have smaller exit areas than others. If you are constantly plunging your toilet, more than likely your toilet has a 1.5" discharge. Keep a plunger nearby or consider changing your toilet over to a 2" discharge toilet.
Q: Why does my garbage disposer always cause my sink to back up?
A: Sink drains are not capable of handling a lot of solids. Try not to put a lot of garbage into the disposer and throw the garbage in the garbage where it belongs. If you must use the disposer for small scraps, be sure to run a lot of water before and after use.
Q: Why is water is coming out of the ground near my septic tank?
A: There could be a couple of reasons for this. Start by having the tank pumped and the filter cleaned if it has one. Hopefully there is not a problem with the leach fields that drain the water. A licensed cleaner should be able to direct you from there.
Q: I have a sewer smell in my house. Where is it coming from?
A: Sewer gases can get into the house through many ways. The most common is a toilet, sink, washer, or floor drain that has had its trap dry up. Be sure to run water in all fixtures so the traps don't dry, and cap off all abandoned drains. If the smell persists get a pro in there to check it out and possibly smoke test the system.
Q: How can I find my septic tank?
A: Check the records at your local Town Hall or Local Health Department. Also check with local Septic Pumping companies who may have been there before. Sometimes a metal detector or probe can be useful but if no one seems to know where it is the only other option is to camera the main sewer line. The camera will show when it gets to the tank and a locating device can be used to determine where the camera is.
Q: I keep getting sewage in my washing machine. How can that be?
A: The main sewer line is backing up. The drain needs to be snaked.
Q: How do I get lost jewelry out of my drain?
A: American Rooter has retrieved bracelets, diamond rings, earrings and other jewelry out of sewer lines and septic tanks. If you lost jewelry in a drain, check the trap first by taking it apart or using a wet vac. If it's not there, we'll have to camera the drain first to find it then figure out how to get it out.
Q: I am not sure where my drain goes. How can I find it?
A: American Rooter uses camera and locating equipment to trace and locate pipes and concerned areas every day. We can mark out where a pipe is within 12" of its location. Our simple dye tests also confirm where a pipe might drain to, but do not provide details as to where the pipe is underground.
Q: I got my snake caught in the pipe. How do I get it out?
A: We get asked this more than you think. There is no easy way. We get most caught snakes out but sometimes the drain has to be dug up. Call us before you dig. We may save you thousands of dollars.
Q: Do chemical drain cleaners work?
A: They will work sometimes but normally don't have lasting effects. More often than not they cause more complications and damage than they are worth. The chemicals break through the newer buildup but leave most of the buildup untouched. A snake is the best way to remove blockages and buildup.
Q: Are chemical drain cleaners safe for the drain?
A: We have seen chemical drain cleaners eat through pipes, harden like concrete that can't be removed, and heat PVC to the point of melting or making brittle. If a little bit does not work, don't keep adding more. Call an expert right away. The fumes can be hazardous and you risk burning the technician who has to handle the drain.
Q: Why is my drain gurgling?
A: The drain is probably backing up. If it usually doesn't gurgle, have the drain snaked. If it always gurgled it could be a venting issue. Either way, have us take a look.
Q: Why is my toilet running?
A: It could be a snag or adjustment with the chain or handle but usually there is a problem with the flapper or the fluid master inside the toilet tank. Have whichever one replaced. They are both simple to figure out and fix yourself, but if you need a pro feel free to call.
Q: Sometimes my toilet flushes good but other times it has a poor flush.
A: Toilets can lose flushing power for various reasons and may need replacement. Check to see if it is draining properly first by slowly dumping a five gallon pail of water into the toilet. If the water goes down with a whoosh, the drain is open and it is a problem with the toilet. If the water goes down slowly or not at all, there is a problem with the drain.