Just about every homeowner in Washington has had to deal with the headache of clogged or slow-moving drains at some point. Some people try to resolve the problem by purchasing chemical drain cleaners, but that’s not a great solution. Chemical drain cleaners contain caustic agents that wear away at the pipes and can eventually cause plumbing failures.
The better solution is to contact a plumber for professional drain cleaning. For minor clogs, all that may be required is snaking the drain. However, for serious blockages, most experts recommend a process known as water jetting or hydro-jetting.
What Is Hydro-Jetting?
Hydro-jetting is an advanced pipe cleaning process that involves pushing a high-pressure water jet through the plumbing system to remove built-up hair, grease, mineral scale, and even tree roots. It’s the most effective way to clear severe blockages in residential wastewater systems.
While plumbing snakes can puncture minor clogs and help to break them apart, they will have little effect on large blockages. Eventually, the clog will re-form and increase the risk of more severe sewer line problems. Unlike snaking, hydro-jetting doesn’t just puncture clogs. It also removes buildups from the interior pipe walls to clean the pipes thoroughly and prevent future blockages.
The Benefits of Hydro-Jetting
The idea of blasting pressurized water through the plumbing system may sound odd, but it’s the best way to clear clogs and clean the pipes to prevent them from reforming immediately. Before hydro-jetting the pipes, the plumber will perform a video inspection to locate the clog and identify other areas of built-up debris. He or she will then use specialized equipment to blast out the clog and remove dirt and grime.
Not sure if hydro-jetting is really worth it? Most homeowners who have dealt with recurring clogs don’t need convincing. Those who do should consider the following benefits before deciding whether it’s worth looking up a Plumber near me with all the necessary equipment and expertise.
Drain snaking doesn’t clean pipes. It only pierces the clogs so that more water can get through. Hydro-jetting, on the other hand, will remove even the smallest particles of dust. The equipment used during hydro-jetting applies water pressurized at an average of 4,000 psi. That pressure level is strong enough to clear any obstruction or build-up, allowing the wastewater to run smoothly and reduce the chances that the pipes will get clogged again in the future. Some homeowners even schedule regular hydro-jetting as a form of preventative maintenance.
Residential wastewater pipes take a serious beating. They don’t just transport water to the municipal sewer drains. In most cases, they also transport at least small amounts of soap, grease, food particles, sand, mud, and other debris. Even if the debris particles aren’t large enough to clog the pipes by themselves, they’ll start to build upon the interior walls. Over time, those residues increase the chances of developing blockages. Hydro-jetting removes the residue before it can develop into serious clogs.
Minimally Invasive Blockage Removal
Modern plumbing systems are surprisingly complex. To complicate matters further, most of their wastewater pipes are hidden behind walls and ceilings or in hard-to-reach crawlspaces. Opening up the walls to uncover the pipes for manual cleaning isn’t just a hassle. It can also cause extensive damage and create the need for costly repairs, especially if the plumber entrusted with this essential task doesn’t know how to perform other forms of home repairs.
Hydro-jetting removes all those hassles, risks, and costs since there’s no need to access the pipes manually. Instead, the plumber will be able to insert the pressurized water hose directly into the drains to wash out pipes and remove blockages even in difficult-to-reach places.
Reduced Bacterial Growth
Wastewater pipes almost always harbor bacteria. These bacteria can produce unpleasant odors, and some of them can even make residents sick, especially if clogs cause the bacteria-filled water to back up into the living areas of the home. Hydro-jetting removes bacteria along with all the other accumulated dirt and grime in the pipes, helping to keep residents healthy.
Hydro-jetting is a surprisingly affordable form of home plumbing maintenance. It doesn’t require removing parts of the walls to access the pipes, nor does it need to be performed frequently for maximum effect. After having the pipes hydro-jetted, homeowners won’t have to worry about calling the plumber to resolve further clogs. The same can’t be said of drain snaking, which provides only a temporary solution.
Keep Drains Running Smoothly for Longer
Hydro-jetting removes close to 100% of the dirt, grease, and grime from drainage pipes and sewer lines. As a result, it helps to keep the pipes clean for longer. While clogs resolved through drain snaking almost always recur quickly, homeowners who schedule hydro-jetting won’t have to worry about dealing with the same drainage problems over and over. For maximum impact, some homeowners even schedule preventative hydro-jetting once every year or two to keep their pipes clean and their drains running smoothly all the time.
Embrace Environmentally Friendly Solutions
Attempting to resolve clogs using chemical drain cleaners is terrible for the environment. These cleaning chemicals contain toxic substances that can wind up polluting surrounding ecosystems. The same can’t be said of hydro-jetting. Instead of caustic chemicals, this technologically advanced solution uses nothing more harmful than a highly pressurized jet of water.
Signs It’s Time for Hydro-Jetting
Don’t want to schedule routine hydro-jetting services as part of an annual plumbing maintenance plan? That’s just fine as long as homeowners keep an eye out for signs that their pipes are beginning to get clogged with residue and debris. Don’t wait until a serious clog causes a wastewater backup and jeopardizes the family’s health and wellbeing. Instead, look for the following signs it’s time to call a professional plumbing service for hydro-jetting in Washington State.
If just one drain in the house is starting to remove water at a slower rate, the problem is probably in the individual drain pipe coming from the sink, toilet, or tub. If all the drains are getting progressively slower, it’s more likely that the clog is in the main sewer line. This problem usually manifests itself first on the bottom story of the home.
There are several issues that could be causing the drains to slow down. They include:
Tree root infiltration into the sewer line
Cave-ins resulting from shifting ground
Severe clogs from improper use of the drainage system
Neglected drain pipes and sewer lines with mineral, grease, or other buildup lining the pipe walls
Acute clogs from improper objects flushed down the toilet or introduced via the sinks
Unless the clog is occurring as a result of a cave-in, all these problems can be resolved with hydro-jetting. The pressurized water can flush out just about any dirt, residues, or debris that’s blocking the drains. All it takes is a quick visit from a professional plumber with access to the right equipment to get the water flowing as usual again.
Foul odors coming from the drains are often indicative of a serious clog occurring somewhere in the wastewater pipes. As the clog accumulates more organic debris, the unpleasant odors will only get worse. In some cases, they can even start to attract fruit flies to the areas around the drains, or even vermin. Few homeowners need to be told twice that these problems are a sign it’s time to call a plumber for help.
Noisy Drain Pipes
It’s normal to hear the sound of rushing water flowing freely through the drains after flushing a toilet or running a faucet. No drain is completely silent, even when it’s functioning at optimal efficiency. That said, it’s important to keep an ear out for other sounds, such as gurgling and bubbling noises. They often occur as negative pressure from clogs creates air pockets in the pipes, and they can even be most audible in drains other than the one currently in use.
If a sewer line clog is serious enough, it will eventually cause the wastewater from the drain system to back up into the home. Most residents notice this problem first in their showers or bathtubs on the first stories of their homes since those are the drains that are the closest to the ground. As the problem worsens, toilets can start to overflow and sinks will stop draining properly, as well.
It’s best not to wait until clogs start causing serious wastewater backups. The water may contain dangerous bacteria and pathogens that could place residents’ health at risk. It’s always better to call a plumber to schedule hydro-jetting services before the clog gets bad enough to cause wastewater backups.
Hire a Professional to Resolve Clogs
Some homeowners assume that they’ll save money by avoiding hydro-jetting and instead of using chemical cleaners, drain snakes, or pipe augers to resolve problems with drain and sewer line clogs. Unfortunately, that’s never the case. Even if a chemical drain cleaner or rented drain pipe auger resolves the immediate problem, it will cause more trouble over time.
Chemical drain cleaners damage pipes. When used properly, a drain pipe auger shouldn’t cause damage, but most homeowners don’t know how to use these specialized tools. Plus, even in the hands of a trained plumbing technician, a drain snake or pipe auger won’t be as effective as hydro-jetting at resolving clogs and stopping them from recurring. These tools can penetrate blockages to let the water through, but they don’t remove mineral scale, grease residue, and other built-up substances from the pipe walls.
Professional plumbers with access to hydro-jetting technology have all the right tools to deep clean not just drain pipes but also sewer lines, if necessary. They’re also trained to begin each service visit with an inspection of the pipes to locate the clogs and identify other underlying issues that could be contributing to their formation. The plumbers then use this information to provide more targeted and more effective cleaning services.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hydro-Jetting
Still, have concerns about hydro-jetting and how it works? Find answers to some of Washington State homeowners’ most common questions.
Will Hydro-Jetting Cause Pipe Damage?
Hydro-jetting will not cause pipe damage if it’s performed by a trained professional. It doesn’t involve the use of dangerous chemicals or tools that could puncture the pipes, so as long as homeowners hire reputable plumbers, they should have nothing to worry about.
How Long Does Hydro-Jetting Take?
In most cases, hydro-jetting can resolve clogs within an hour. If there’s a serious blockage in the main sewer line, it can take up to three hours to eliminate it completely.
Will Hydro-Jetting Cut Through Roots?
Unlike drain snaking, hydro-jetting can clear tree roots from sewer lines. It will not, however, stop them from growing back or resolve the damage they caused.
How Often Should Homeowners Schedule Preventative Hydro-Jetting?
Sewer lines need to be cleaned out once every 18 to 22 months. Hydro-jetting is the most effective and cost-efficient way to perform this routine sewer line maintenance task.
How Much Does Hydro-Jetting Cost?
The cost of hiring a hydro-jetting service varies significantly depending on the circumstances. Cleaning out a clog from a minor drain pipe will be fast and easy while removing tree roots from the main sewer line will take significantly more time and effort. The best way to find out how much hydro-jetting will cost is to call Lavergne Plumbing for a quote.
How Long Do Sewer Lines Last?
Sewer lines can last 100 years or longer, but only if they’re well-maintained. Regular hydro-jetting, along with some careful landscape maintenance, can extend the longevity of both PVC and cast iron sewer lines.
Is It Okay to Hydro-Jet Cast Iron Pipes?
New homes almost always have PVC drains and sewer lines, but older houses were constructed using cast iron wastewater pipes. Since many of these pipes are already very old and corroded, hydro-jetting may exacerbate existing damage. However, hydro-jetting is perfectly safe for cast iron pipes that are not already suffering from excessive wear and corrosion.
Schedule a Service Call Today
Looking for a plumber in Washington State who can handle all local homeowners’ drain cleaning needs? Look no further than Lavergne Plumbing. These industry-leading local plumbers are proud to provide fast, reliable, affordable service to homeowners across Skagit and Whatcom counties. Schedule an appointment online or call (360) 552-7693 to get in touch with a plumbing technician who can help today.
Plumbing issues are a hassle that most homeowners do not have the skills to fix. A general contractor or self-described “handyman” can help, but they do not have the training, experience, or specific tools to make efficient repairs. Contacting an established plumbing service to assess the situation and administer repairs is the best way to resolve the problem without taking damaging shortcuts.
Dependable, experienced plumbers work diligently for each client to ensure that all issues are resolved quickly without the need for a return visit. Providing the citizens of Northwestern Washington with expert craftsmanship on everything from a routine clogged drain to new furnace installations, the team at LaVergne’s Plumbing & Heating are known for their reliability and versatility. Every service call starts with a thorough inspection to ensure that the proper course of action is taken and agreed to by customers. Once the estimate is finalized, the team members will stay true to the terms and never add hidden costs or extra charges based on unexpected setbacks.
If the household water supply doesn’t seem to be getting as warm as it should be, it probably indicates an issue with the water heater. It could be that enough sediment has built up in the tank to cause problems or perhaps a tarnished heating element, but the possibility also exists that the unit has seen its day. Regardless, it won’t take long for an experienced plumber to determine the exact source of the problem and alert the homeowner to the best course of action.
Homeowners always prefer water heater repair over replacement since the service only inconveniences them for a short period. Replacement of the unit is more challenging, but the team at LaVergne’s will strive to install a unit that fits within the homeowner’s budget as quickly as possible. The old tank gets removed from the home at no extra expense as the plumbers thoroughly clean up any spilled water or sediment. Homeowners receive a unit designed to meet their household needs without concern over the disposal of the old tank or evidence that any hard labor took place.
In some instances, a water heater is in perfect operating order but doesn’t operate as efficiently as newer models. In this case, the Lavergne team offers the installation of a tank saver mixing valve that combines the hot and cold water to increase the overall water capacity. With this valve active, water is held at a higher temperature while emitting from faucets at a safe 120 degrees Fahrenheit, increasing energy efficiency to help lower all costs associated with the water heater.
If hot water isn’t getting delivered to the faucet at an exceptional temperature, it may be a problem within the pipes. It won’t take long for these plumbers to identify the source of the problem, especially if a home contains aging steel pipes or corroded faucets. Regardless of the situation, the plumbers will advise the homeowner on the solutions and set up a way to get the correct replacement parts installed as quickly as possible.
Clogged drain lines are a common occurrence at many homes and unless the problem is near the opening, most homeowners can do little to remedy the situation. Lavergne’s team has experience working with drain and sewer lines, making issues like a hard clog within the household pipes or replacing the outdoor sewer line a routine day. Utilizing various tools in these hard to reach pipes, the plumbers will find a way to remove the clog without causing damage to the line’s structural stability.
To ensure that a drain line is cleared correctly without causing any significant damage, the plumbers utilize a sewer camera. As the camera snakes through the pipe, it helps identify potential problems before locating and identifying the blockage. This technology eliminates working blindly and helps the plumber determine which removal method to utilize. The options typically involve a traditional auger to chop through the debris or high-pressure water jetting to blast the blockage apart and wash everything down the line.
In addition to expert plumbing assistance in Northwestern Washington, LaVergne’s Plumbing & Heating also provides service to heating and air handling systems. The team works on all makes and models, from national brand names to the obscure, and has the skills to retrofit parts when necessary. Additionally, the technicians are always honest with customers, especially when it is evident that repairs won’t be worth their money and a replacement unit is required.
Whether a homeowner’s HVAC system is new or aged, periodic maintenance is crucial to keeping a system operating efficiently. During these seasonal visits, the technician will clean out the accumulated dust and debris, lubricate all moving parts, test the communication between the thermostat and the unit, replace the air filter, and run a diagnostic test on the electronics. Scheduling this service not only extends the life span of the air handling system; it also improves a home’s air circulation.
Duct cleaning is a service that most homeowners would never consider to be the expertise of a plumber. The team at LaVergne not only install and repair HVAC systems; they have the training and tools to thoroughly clean out any dust and debris that accumulates within a home’s duct system. Using specialized suction machinery and hand tools, the team can free up the ductwork to increase airflow and remove potential airborne irritants.
When a plumbing problem occurs, it can cause quite an inconvenience and in some cases, bring life to a screeching halt. Fortunately, LaVergne’s Plumbing & Heating provides 24/7 emergency repair service to any homeowner in need. It doesn’t matter if it’s late at night, during a holiday, or over the weekend when an issue arises; these experts are always on call to coach customers through any initial actions they can perform before heading out with tools and supplies in tow.
It does not matter what type of home a person has, there is something that remains the same – everyone needs a way to heat their water for bathing, cleaning, and cooking. Today, water heaters come in various styles and sizes, but two of the best options include the standard type with a tank and tankless units.
Both these water heater options provide the heated water needed; however, they work differently. Depending on a person’s home and their unique needs, one option may be a better fit than the other. Keep reading to learn the difference in the two hot water system options described above.
Most people are familiar with the standard tank heater system. This unit includes a large container (the tank) that is installed in the home. It’s job is to heat and maintain the water and keep it at a constant temperature. The heaters are available in all sizes, starting at just 25 gallons. They can be fueled by electricity, propane, oil, and gas. The system works by heating the cold water that comes into the home to the desired temperature and stores it until demanded. This system works 24/7, which means there is always hot water available.
A tankless heater is installed on the wall. These are smaller since they are not designed to store the water inside. Instead, the pipes that supply the water move through the unit, and it is heated on demand. Usually, these tanks run on propane; however, some models use electricity. When no water moves through the tank, they are in standby mode, which means they are not using any fuel or heating up the water.
Since tank-style heaters will run continuously, they are using energy all the time. If someone goes out of time for a few days and does not use any hot water, the tank is still heating the water and using energy. Some tank-style heaters have also been set to heat water to a higher temperature than what most people really need, which means they use even more energy. While the temperature can be reduced manually, water heaters use a constant energy supply.
A tankless heater only comes on when water moves through it, which means they use much less energy overall. These do not use a constant energy supply, but they require more energy when they are operating.
Something a person must consider is how much water they use each day. For homes that use 41 gallons or under of hot water each day, they will use up to 34% less energy with a tankless unit. The savings go down as the number of gallons used each day increase. For example, if a homeowner fills up a huge bathtub each night or uses more water for showers, dishwashers, and washing machines, the traditional tank-style unit is best.
Of the two models, the tank-style unit is much easier to install. It takes just a few minutes to put the heater in the proper position and connect the fuel and water supply. Since the tank is typically found in a utility closet, basement, or another easy-to-reach area, the installation is not considered difficult or invasive.
A tankless heater, however, has a much more complicated installation process. It is installed inside the walls; the pipes must be spliced and then connected on both sides. This means the pipe has to be found, the wall opened, the pipes cut and disconnected, the unit installed, reconnect the pipes, and then the walls fixed. The process takes much longer and, depending on where it is installed, often requires finishing work.
A tank-style water heater is typically priced for its size. If the home has three to four people living there, a 50-gallon tank is needed, which can cost around $500 for a gas-powered option. A homeowner must also take into account the installation cost, which will increase the price further.
A tankless unit will usually cost more to install but has similar purchase prices. While the final cost of a standard tank unit may be upwards of $700 with installation, a tankless unit can cost up to $1,500, sometimes more.
The standard, tank-style unit will last for around 10 to 12 years. The main reason it does not last as long is because of poor water and sediment. As time passes, corrosion caused by mineral buildup and constant water wears away the valves and the tank’s base. With regular draining and cleaning the sediment at the bottom of the tank, it can help prolong the unit’s lifespan.
A tankless unit lasts, on average, 20 to 30 years when it is properly maintained. Since they are not continually exposed to standing water, the tank will not corrode or experience the same sediment issues at the tank’s base than standard tanks do. However, more mineral issues may arise. Hard water can cause severe problems for any tankless unit, which means that proper maintenance is essential.
A massive problem with a standard storage style tank will heat and then maintain the water inside, and once the water is used, a person must wait for it to fully refill and reheat the new water before more is available. If a house has a 50-gallon heater and people in the house take several showers, back-to-back, they will have to wait for the unit to refill and reheat before having more hot water. The best option for solving this is purchasing a bigger tank than what is usually used in one day.
A tankless unit will not run out of water because it will heat the water as it enters the system. As long as there is freshwater entering the system, the homeowner will have an ongoing hot water source.Deciding about which one to use can be complicated. While this is true, reviewing the information can help. It will pay off and help ensure the desired results are achieved with the unit selected. Contact https://lavergneplumbing.com/ today to schedule your next service and discuss which unit is right for you and your home.