By being in the plumbing repair business we get a lot of questions asked to us about various things people experience with the plumbing around their homes. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions we get:
Question: My plumber has been out to my house three times in the last 4 months to unclog my toilet drain line with a snake. He thinks the problem is roots building up in the septic line and he says I can expect to see him a lot if I don’t have something done about it. Is this true or is this person taking advantage of me and not doing their job right?
A: No plumber makes much money doing the arduous task of auguring a clogged septic line, so they are most likely not taking advantage of you. It is also very common to see roots growing into septic drain lines and if they become a repeated clogging problem like yours then something drastic needs to be done about it.
You have to remember that there are two things in your septic line that plants love for growth; water and natural fertilizer. Thin roots can get through cracks in the drain line and they then tend to crisscross from one side of the pipe to the other and form spider web like formations. These formations will trap solid debris that goes into your septic such as toilet paper and eventually it will clog the line up completely. If this starts happening often the best thing to do is dig up the septic line and replace it with a new one that is made of solid plastic and has very few if any seams.
Question: My kitchen sink is barely draining. Is there anything I can do about that myself?
A: The answer here is yes if you don’t mind getting a little messy and you have a little mechanical aptitude.
You can start by simply using a plunger on the line to see if it frees up the drain and if it does flush the drain thoroughly with hot water. If that does not work then try pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit overnight; again flush the drain with warm water in the morning. If those two things don’t work then remove the trap from under the sink and thoroughly clean it. If all else fails you will need to use a drain auger to clear out the line or call a professional plumber to do it for you.
Question: My hot water seems hotter than before to the point it is almost scalding. Is there anything I can do about this?
A: these days most hot water heaters are set to heat water to the standardized temperature of 120 degrees. You can fill a coffee cup with water and take the temperature to see if what you believe is true. It if is significantly higher in temp than 120 degrees you need to adjust the preset temperature on your tank and if that does not work call a professional plumber to come out and replace the thermostat on it.