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sewer clog being snaked to unclog the drain

Clogged Drains – surface & subsurface

There are two basic categories of clogs:

1) clogs or blocks close to the surface (fixture drains)

2) clogs or blocks deeper in the main sewer lines.

 Pipes clogged close to the surface are usually blocked by:

  • grease or oil (in kitchen sink drains)
  • hair, soap scum, and dirt (in bathroom sinks, tub and shower drains)
  • feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and dental floss (in toilets)

These are often fixable by the home-owner with some simple tools and know-how and sometimes the clog is deep into the pipe and a professional is needed.

Deeper sewer-line clogs or blockages are commonly due to:

  • tree roots infiltrating the pipe
  • sludge buildup closing the diameter of pipes
  • corroding or collapsing pipes

These are fixable by a professional plumbing or drain-cleaning company using power rodding or hydro-jetting services. Damaged pipes may also require pipe-re-lining.

RT Olson Plumbing is a professional and experienced drain-cleaning company with over 16 years experience and 2,800 jobs to our credit. We can help you with surface-level fixture clogs like sink drains, all the way to deeper sewer system clogs and obstructions.

Surface-Level Drain Clogs

Sink Drains, Garbage Disposals, Shower or Tub Drains, and Toilets

Sink Clogs:

Kitchen sink clogs and bathroom sink clogs may just need the clog dislodged with an inexpensive sink plunger to get the obstruction moving freely down the line to larger pipes. Alternately, a clog in the P-trap or S-trap underneath the sink can be taken apart with simple tools, and the traps cleared my hand.

garbage disposal

Garbage Disposal Clogs: Easy Do-it-yourself FIX

Here are four easy steps for unclogging your kitchen’s garbage disposal.

Tools needed: A hex-head (Allen) wrench and maybe needle-nosed pliers.

1) CAUTION: Before you do anything to unclog the disposal, UNPLUG its power cord from the wall!  In cases where the disposal is hard-wired, find your electrical panel and turn the breaker OFF.

BEFORE reaching in there to make sure there is no power coming to it. Make SURE you turned off the correct breaker switch by flipping the disposal unit’s switch to the ON position and make sure the unit is NOT operating. Double-check that you unplugged it, then you may continue.

2) Remove food and debris

With the power off, remove as much debris from the disposer by hand as you can. Large-handed persons can use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to pull out any accessible debris and put it in the trash (you don’t want it going back down into the disposal unit).

3) Rotate the blades

To move stuck blades, you need the hex wrench (also known as an Allen wrench). On the underside of the disposal should be a small hole that fits a hex key. Securely seat the appropriate size hex key, so you can manually rotate the blades of the disposal. Usually this frees the blades and gets any backed-up water draining. Continue rotating this, and using back-and-forth motions until blades move freely.

If you can’t find the correct size hex key, try using stick or rod to rotate the impeller. Use back-and-forth and circular motions until blades more freely

4) Reconnect power and reset

After you have returned power to the unit via plug or breaker switch, Look for the reset button. It’s usually a small, red, square button on the underside of the disposal unit.  Push it all the way in, then try turning on your disposal again. If working, flush it clean a bit with running water.

 

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clean unclogged shower and bath drain

Bathtub and shower drain clogs

may be fixed by vigorous pumping with a plunger. Also, the drain cover should be removed so that any hair and soap-scum clog may be removed within inches of the drain cover.

plumber using plunger to unclog a toilet

Toilet drain clogs

are also often fixed by using a plunger. If that is unsuccessful the next step is to use a drain auger (snake). If it’s still clogged then there are one or more clogs deeper into the sewer pipe. Video inspection would be next to find where the clog is and how many there are.

drain cleaning using a snake down a sink drain

Snaking the drain

If all else fails then the clog has built up over time, is firmly rooted, and only snaking or rooting the drain will remove the obstruction and allow proper flow.

This is a job best left to the professionals. Let us take care of the mess for you and call RT Olson Plumbing at (951) 533-5071.

Video Drain-line Inspections

video camera drain inspection by RT Olson Plumbing

If there are slow drains or drain stoppages in your home or business that aren’t easily fixed with a plunger, consider calling RT Olson Plumbing at (951) 533-5071. If drains keep backing-up, it may be time for a video drain line inspection.

We’ll send a skilled technician with specialized equipment to find the reason your drain keeps slowing. Video drain line inspection can look deep into pipes and see exactly what is the problem is, eliminating guesswork and hit-or-miss repairs.

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Deeper-level clogged sewer line

If you’re experiencing slow or gurgling toilet flushes, or slow drainage in multiple plumbing fixtures at the same time, it’s likely an issue is deeper down into your sewer line.

These deeper sewer-line clogs usually can’t be solved with plungers, chemicals, or 6-foot snaking tools. They require professional servicing.

Defective or damaged sewer lines can have potential health risks as they can allow sewage, mold, and bacteria into your home. Back-flow of raw sewage up your drains or over your toilet bowl is very nasty! It can cause extensive water damage. It can let mold and sewage bacteria flood into your home, lead to costly cleaning and repairs.

A clogged or blocked sewer line should be diagnosed accurately and repaired quickly to save you thousands of dollars in potential repairs and cleaning and disinfecting services.

If you suspect a problem in your sewer line, it should be inspected for clogging, breakage, and penetration by roots. We will inspect and evaluate your sewer line to provide the best protection.

How can I tell if the clog is in the sewer line?

There are ways to tell the difference between a regular clog and a clogged sewer line. You may need emergency plumbing service if:

  • Multiple drains are slowing or backing up. If sinks, bathtub, shower are all draining slowly or failing to drain, there is a blockage deeper down in the sewer line they all share. Sometimes toilets, bathtub drains, and shower drains will make a gurgling noise when the main sewer line has a clog.
  • There is a smell of backed up sewage or mold coming from drains.
  • There is standing water in the Sewer Clean Out. For homes built after 1978, there should be a wide (typically 4-inch diameter) white or black pipe with a threaded plug at or near the foundation. It’s an access to the sewer line. The plug has a raised square for the wrench. Unscrew this plug. If water flows out or is standing in the pipe, your sewer line is clogged.
tree roots clogging sewer line

Root intrusions into your sewer line

About 80% of all sewer blockages are caused by roots getting into sewer lines. It mostly happens where there are cracked pipes, and in older systems in maturely developing landscaping.

We have powerful equipment to scour your sewer-lines clear of roots, sludge, and other obstructions. We also run a video camera down the line to look for other damage and any roots further down the line.

In the past, finding and fixing root intrusions were laborious and expensive. With these newer trench-less methods, there’s no reason to let your sewer lines become backed up.

SEWER DRAIN CLEANING

Power Rodding & Hydro-Jetting Solutions

There are two main solutions for root intrusions and other sewer-line obstructions.

  1. Power-rodding uses a rotating auger connected to the end of a ling steel cable. The rotating auger slices the roots and opens up the drains to allow the water and waste to flow freely.
  2. Hydro-jetting uses a high pressure water jetting system. The procedure involves blasting roots and other obstructions out of the pipes with laser-like high pressured water jets.
image of Power Rodding tool scraping inside of sewer drain pipe

Power Rodding (Sewer Rodding) Service for Deeper Sewer-line Clogs

Power rodding uses a long, flexible, heavy-duty metal cable that snakes through drain systems, around bends and through joints. On the leading end is a cleaning head with razor sharp teeth. The cable and its sharp “rooting” head are spun at high speeds through the plumbing pipes by an electric motor.

Unlike a regular household “plumbing snake,” which is adequate only for close to the surface clogs, power rodding goes deep and cuts through practically any obstruction in the pipe, even shearing tree roots and cutting away at sludge buildup. Clogs and their causes are shredded into small bits of debris that are then flushed out of the pipes.

Power-rodding is a great advancement over the old drain-opening methods or finding a specific portion of clogged pipe in the walls or underground, and then removing pipe, clearing it by hand, and re-installing it.

In the old method, plumbing pipes would have to be opened, one after another, to clear all clogged areas. Removing pipes within walls or underground to clear them means damage to be repaired afterward.

Fortunately, power rodding (“rooting service”) may be all that is needed to clear clogs and obstructions deep in the plumbing system, without removal of piping.

It can save a lot of time and expense.

image of hydro-jetting tool blasting water to clear inside of sewer drain pipe
$50 coupon off hydro-jet drain cleaning. Must mention code Hydro50

$50 coupon off hydro-jet drain cleaning. Must mention code Hydro50Hydro-jetting Service for Deeper Sewer-line Clogs

There are cases where a power-rodding augur is not the best solution. It depends on the age and structure of your piping. If a home has pre-1980’s clay sewer lines, a powered augur may do more harm than good.

And the old-fashioned long plumbing snakes without augur heads may punch a hole in a clog, but not get rid of the built-up sludge inside pipes that leads to the blockages.

Hydro-jetting is a very powerful and thorough method of sewer cleaning.  Hydro-Jetting literally scours your drain and sewer lines clean with water pressure.

It uses laser-fine jets of highly pressurized water to cut roots and pry loose sludge. It removes soils, sand, grease, and any other built-up contaminants that slow the flow or block  your sewer drainage.

Why Does Hydro-Jetting Work So Well?

Hydro-jetting scours three ways:

  • Forward-facing jets forcefully clear debris in front of the jetter.
  • Rear-facing jets flush the line as they propel the hose further down the pipe.
  • Rotating nozzles cut roots and scour away grease and sludge.

At 3,500 to 4,000 PSI the water jets are powerful enough to blast away the main clogs. At the same time they flush out all loosened debris and sludge build-ups from the sewer-lines. And since there’s no heavy-duty metal cabling or augur, Hydro jetting is known to be the safest for the interior walls of pipes.

It’s not just for sewer lines, hydro-jetting successfully scours and flushes out any drain size, from 1-inch home drains to large municipal sewer lines.

Hydro-jetting is a great solution for:

  • Soft clogs in narrower in-house drain lines
  • Blockages in main drain pipes and sewer lines
  • Accumulated sludge and debris along pipe walls
  • Removing odors due to slime film inside pipes
  • Tree root removal
  • Situations where full pipe replacement is either not possible or very costly

Hydro-Jetting is Good Preventive Maintenance

Hydro-jetting is a comparatively easy procedure for cleaning pipes. This makes it a good way to apply preventive maintenance on your sewer and drain pipes. Periodic cleaning keeps debris and other harmful deposits from narrowing and eventually obstructing your drainage system or destroying your sewer and drain pipes.

If you’re having issues with your sewer and drainage system in Riverside, CA or if you know that your pipes have not been cleaned for sometime give us a call and we’ll clear your drains of any obstruction with the use of our specialized water jetting equipment!

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RT Olson Plumbing. The best rated plumbers in Riverside, Corona, Norco, and Eastvale CA. Licensed, bonded, insured. CA Lic #997337.

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RT Olson Plumbing
11550 Orion St
Riverside, CA 92505

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