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FAQs

Suburban Chicago Plumbing Experts Answering All Of Your Drain Cleaning, Liquid Chemical Drain Cleaner, Tree Root, Sewer Back Up and Water Jetting Questions!

If you have more  questions, don’t hesitate to call our experts at Lake Cook Plumbing today!

Drain Cleaning FAQs

Q: Clogged drains are seriously annoying! Is there a way I can prevent them from happening in my home?

A: You can certainly try. First, fill up kitchen sinks and laundry tub lines with hot water and let it drain. This will allow the pipe to fill with water instead of just hitting the bottom of the line. It also pushes any blockage causing debris out of the mainline. Hopefully, this will keep you clog-free, but if you realize those clogs just won’t leave you alone, you may have a bigger problem. Contact Lake Cook Plumbing and we’ll clear your line completely!

Q. Should I be doing anything to regularly treat my drains and decrease my risk of a clog? 

A. If you are referring to using harsh, acidic chemicals to clear your drain clogs then we’d have to say no. They may serve as a temporary fix, but they can do some serious damage to your plumbing. And, they can ultimately cause more problems than they solve for your drain line in the long run. Your best bet in terms of decreasing the chances you’ll have a clog is to call our experts and set up a preventative maintenance appointment.

Q. I’ve had a tree root problem in the past. Why do they go after my line, and what can I do to prevent them from getting in?

A. Trees need three main things to survive – nutrients, oxygen, and water. And it just so happens that your sewer line houses all three, so it’s almost no surprise that these roots will eventually become attracted to your plumbing. It doesn’t matter how small the break in your line is, either. They will find their way in, grow, and expand until they clog your drains right up. This is typically the worst type of clog we see, as it results in slow moving drains and total blockage of your plumbing fixtures. You’ll know you have a tree root infiltration if there’s a bad sewer back up in your home. And, once you have confirmed you have this problem, your best option would be to call in one of our drain cleaning professionals. We will not only clear your drains, but we’ll discuss our preventative maintenance plan so you can be root-free in the future. This plan will save you time and money, while also preventing those messy sewer backups in the future.

Liquid Chemical Drain Cleaner FAQ’s

Q: What type of chemical drain cleaning substance should I use?

A: If your clog is small – like one consisting of soap scum or a little grease – Drano will probably do the trick. But, if you are looking to clean out something a bit bigger – like a collapsed pipe or tree root infiltration – then you shouldn’t even bother with chemical drain cleaners. They won’t help you at all.

Q: What are the safety concerns surrounding chemical drain cleaners?

A: These types of cleaners give off noxious fumes, so you need to be careful where you use them. If you plan on using one to clear your dreams, be sure to do so only in well-ventilated environments. Also – be cautious about what fixture you are pouring them in to. Toilets have been known to literally explode as a result of these chemicals. Read the directions first! You don’t want to put yourself, or your family, at risk.

Normally, liquid drain cleaners will only be a temporary fix, but it’s worth giving it a shot. If you have any further questions or would like to set up a drain cleaning appointment, call Lake Cook Plumbing today!

Tree Root FAQ’s

Q: I’ve heard that tree roots are the biggest cause of sewer line clogs. Is that true?

A: Unfortunately, it is. Roots will get into your pipes and strangle them until they’re so tight in there that nothing can flow through.

Q: What about my pipes do tree roots like so much?

A: Another unfortunate fact is what your pipes hold – oxygen, nutrients, and water. These three things are exactly what roots need to survive and so naturally they will seek it out – even if it’s in the tiny confines of your plumbing.

Q: Are there any types of trees I should avoid planting close to the sewer line?

A: Well, there aren’t really any “safe” trees when it comes to protecting your sewer line, but there are some types you should definitely steer clear of: ash, poplar, cottonwood, lowland oak, willow, sycamore, and many maple varieties.

Q: Is there anything I can do in terms of landscaping efforts to protect my sewer line?

A: Water seeking trees like the ones mentioned above should be replaced every 8-10 years. This prevents them from growing into the pipes and sewer lines. If you plan on planting more trees in your yard, you should be planting only small, slow-growing ones near your line.

Q: What if none of my preventative measures work, and I’m already dealing with root intrusion. What can I do to minimize the damage?

A: First off – don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to take some stress off of those sewer lines. First, try using a chemical root killer. These are made to slowly release chemicals in order to stop root growth. Another option is to naturally compact layers of soil so it’s harder for roots to penetrate. This would involve laying down chemical layers of sulfur, zinc, borate, sodium, salt, or herbicides. If you want to take it one step further, you could create underground air pockets using large stones. The stones encourage the roots to grow in that direction instead of toward your pipes. But, if you truly want to ease your sewer line of the damage, and get rid of the roots altogether, your best bet is calling in a Lake Cook Plumbing expert. We can have those roots gone in no time!

Sewer Back Up FAQ’s

Q: What are the three main causes of sewer backups and how can they be prevented?

A: The three main causes are clogged lines, heavy rain, and human interference.

1. Clogged lines occur when waste, inorganic debris, paper products, grease, and even tree roots build up in your sewer line. The best way to prevent these clogs is to perform regular maintenance or have one of our Lake Cook Plumbing professionals perform it for you.

2. Heavy rain causes a sewer back up to manifest in your basement, rather than outside of your home. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent the rain, but you can try and stay ahead of the flooding by hiring a professional to service your main lines. This way, you’ll be prepared for when the heavy rains come pouring down.

3. Human interference, much like the rain, can’t be predicted. But, it can be prevented. Some people will place unauthorized items in manholes that will clog your line up, but to stop them you can install gates and locks that will keep these people from accessing your lines.

Q: Is there anything else I can do to stop a backing up sewer in its tracks?

A: As a matter of fact, there is. There are a few devices you can get:

  1. Floor drain plug: Because most sewer backups start in the floor drain, it’s handy to have one of these available. This plug seals off the drain and prevents liquid from passing through it.
  2. Standpipe: Though a standpipe is a cheaper alternative to a floor drain plug, it’s only useful for backups that aren’t too serious. It allows water to enter through the drain, while still keeping it in the pipe.
  3. Overhead sewer: This device has an ejector pump that moves sewage out through an appropriate exit that leads away from all vulnerable areas of your property.

Water Jetting FAQ’s

Q: What’s the quickest and most efficient drain clog solution?

A: The simplest answer I can give to this question is a water jet.

Q: A water jet? What’s that?

A: I figured that’d be your next question, but I’m happy to answer it! Water jetting is a highly cost-effective drain cleaning procedure that uses pressurized water to clear out drain blockages. Water jets can clear almost any obstructions, and restore pipes back to their original condition.

Q: Are water jets good for clogged sewers as well as clogged drains?

A: Absolutely! They can actually help a great deal with sewer backups. They are powerful enough to break through pretty much any serious sewer line clog – no matter what the cause is. The powerful water will clear the line without causing damage to it, which is an added bonus.

 

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