Accurate diagnosis of a slow or clogged drain is the first step in solving the issue. In some cases, the clog is the result of a simple known event (GI Joe went down the toilet in a mission unsanctioned by the home government). Other times, you may just notice one of these common signs that you need draining cleaning service:
The auger is always the first step in clearing a blockage because it’s the least expensive, quickest and most effective. Running an auger will determine if a next step — such as hydrojetting or the use of sewer inspection cameras — is needed. These methods can save time and money on diagnosing and clearing more complex clogged drain issues.
A hydrojet is a piece of equipment that uses high pressure water to scour the sewer lines of any debris that has adhered to the interior walls, restricting flow and potentially causing a stoppage. It’s especially useful in some of the smaller diameter piping, such as kitchen drain branches, where small amounts of debris and grease can easily cause a blockage. It is also useful in larger diameter piping when there is a soft stoppage (a stoppage that has accumulated over time, like a buildup of cooking fat, hair, soap scum, etc.) that a standard auger has problems clearing. Alternatively, a hard stoppage (a solid piece of debris obstructing the line) is typically cleared with an auger.
Video camera inspection of the sewer can be a very useful tool in diagnosing any possible issues with your sewer line – both below the foundation and between the structure and the street.
For best visibility, the sewer line should first be cleaned with an auger or hydrojet. The sewer inspection cameras can then be entered into the sewer system at one of many different locations, depending on where there may be an existing issue. Usually, an outside sewer line cleanout is preferred.
Most sewer inspection cameras also have a locating feature, allowing the plumber to detect exactly where any visible problem may be. We exclusively use drain camera equipment with a locator, as this technology is much more efficient than trying to manually locate an issue – especially if digging is involved. As an additional benefit, this feature can also be used to find the outside cleanout (if it has been obscured by landscaping or something else, and its location is unknown).
A video recording can be made with an explanation of any issues that are visible. Common diagnoses include:
Using this diagnostic information, we will provide you with a well-informed plumbing repair recommendation.
If you’re having issues with a clogged drain, we do not recommend acid-based drain cleaners, as they are damaging to the environment, your pipes — and even equipment that is used in your pipes. By the same token, we suggest leaving the use of drain cleaning equipment to an experienced, licensed plumber. When used improperly, it can cause bodily and property harm (and create quite a disgusting mess).
At Efficient AC, Electric and Plumbing, our Austin-area plumbers will effectively diagnose and fix your clogged drains so you can get back to not thinking about your plumbing system. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 512-501-2275.