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What is a Slab Leak?

slab leaks with water coming through

What does slab leak mean?

A slab leak is a homeowner’s worse nightmare, or one of them anyway. This mean there is plumbing or sewage problem. That means a lot of money and a tore up yard, maybe the flooring too. Is slab leak an emergency?  Well, yes and no, it depends. 

A slab leak is an alarming problem, but not when it first happens. Why? Because a homeowner usually doesn’t realize they have a slab leak until it has causes more serious problems. A slab leak isn’t something you can see needs repairing, so it is a surprise. An expensive surprise. 

Most homes are built on a concrete slab, or it may be called a concrete foundation. The water lines and sewer lines are usually installed before the concrete is poured for the foundation. 

 A slab leaks occurs when a pipe breaks, deteriorates and springs a leak under a home’s concrete foundation or slab. That water begins running under the concrete foundation, spreading through the concrete, softening the ground below the slab and the foundation begins to shift, sink, even crack. 

How serious is a slab leak?

Slab leaks can weaken the structural integrity of the concrete and steel supports that comprise your foundation. Eventually, water pressure and leakage can cause you foundation to shift and move, and even crack or collapse. Damage to your yard.

Can a slab leak cause foundation problems?

A water or sewer leak anywhere is not good, but when it happens under the foundation of your home, aka, slab leak, it can get seriously bad and fast. Chances are you’ve had that slab leak for awhile now and may not have realized it. Your electric and water bills have snuck up little by little, and now the foundation of your home is having issues. 

There are a range of issues and problems that a slab leak can cause. Some are annoying more than they are dangerous. Overtime though, those annoyances can become big expensive problems, among them: 

  • Ruined, waterlogged carpets and flooring: The slab leak has allowed water to seep into your home’s structure from underneath. Now you have wet carpets, warped wood flooring, and cracked tiles. 
  • Unpleasant smells: A slab leak will create a mildewed, musty-like odor, or even if it is the sewer line, your home will smell like raw sewage.
  • Mildew and Mold: Now that water has seeped into your home from the foundation, it will begin seeping up the wall, getting the drywall wet which leads to mildew and mold growth inside the walls. This creates a potential health hazard for everyone in your home. 

What damage can a slab leak cause?

In addition to the stuff we just listed, there is damage on the exterior of  your home to be prepared to take care of too: 

  • Damage to the foundation: A slab leak will weaken the integrity of your home’s structure, including any concrete and steel support that is part of the foundation. The water leak and pressure will eventually cause the foundation to crack, move, shift, and could possibly collapse. 
  • Damage to the yard:  A foundation leak can sometimes come from sewer or water pipes buried under the yard. When those bust, your yard will flood, ruining the grass and landscaping. Any brick or concrete pathways, walkways or any landscape elements and fixtures can be damaged. 

How do plumbers detect slab leaks?

The first thing a professional plumber will do when you‘ve called about a slab walk us determine the pipe layout. They will then inspect the usual areas and clues they know to be related to a slab leak. An experienced plumber can usually narrow down the location simply by experience and skills. 

They will then use any of the leak detection pieces of equipment they have available today: 

  • Acoustic disc and ground microphone: This equipment allows the plumber to hear the sound of running water even through layers of concrete.
  • Pressure sensor: These types of detectors scan for temperature changes in the foundation which helps the plumber locate the spot where slab leak is coming from. 
  • Video pipe camera:  This is a plumber’s most powerful piece of equipment today. It allows them to see inside the water or sewer pipes and access the damage by using a camera mounted to a long fiber optic cable that is connected to a small monitor.

How long does it take to repair a slab leak?

Locating the slab leak is the longest part of a slab leak repair usually. Once the plumber has pinpointed where the leak is and the amount of damage has been done, they can often complete the repair in one to two days.  In some cases getting to the slab leak may take longer and the job could take up to 5 days. 

Will insurance cover a slab leak?

If the slab leak was caused by a covered peril listed in your homeowner’s insurance policy, it will probably cover tear out and repair of the damaged slab, but not the plumbing. Homeowner’s insurance will also usually pay for any water damage repairs. The actual plumbing is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance. 

cracked slab from leak

Does home warranty cover slab leaks?

Home warranty plans can cover the repair or replacement costs of many things in your home. From appliances, home systems, and in some cases, the plumbing. Each company offers flexible plans and some cover more than others. You need to refer to your home warranty plan to know what is covered or not covered. 

In general, a home warranty will cover plumbing issues that are the result of normal wear and tear. Does that mean it will cover slab leak repairs and replacement? Maybe, maybe not. Need help with a slab leak in San Pedro, CA? Call (310) 901-2120 today.

How do you fix a water line?

water line repair

Water line damage and repair

Water is a natural source and one that many think we are running out of, other people are of the opinion, as long as there is rain, we can’t run out of water totally. Granted, in some areas of the country, like the desert, rain is scarce that can leave you feeling like you’re going to run out of water.  Regardless, a water line repair isn’t something to ignore, right? 

When there is a water line break, repairing it is important, whether you’re in the city, the country, or the desert. Not only do we not need to waste any water, but the leak can be causing a lot of other damage too. Even if the water line repair is needed underground, it is wasting water and it can still be causing more damage. Some people will wonder, will a slow water leak seal itself?

The answer to that question, no, a slow water leak will not do its own water line repair! A water leak can be an overwhelming problem, yet we hesitate to call a plumber for a slight drip. Yet, while we don’t want to call the plumber and that price, we need to realize that even the smallest of water drips can become bigger problems cost more money in the end. Water line repair isn’t magically going to happen. It will require human intervention and the sooner the better. 

Like a repair water line to toilet. If there is water leaking from the toilet, it can be the waterline coming into the toilet that is leaking or the water is leaking from the tank. Either way, it is wasting water and costing you money! It is essential for a water line repair to the toilet be done as soon as it is noticed. 

How do you find a leak in an underground water line?

The problems you can encounter and expect when a water line leak is neglected is endless and could be ongoing for a long time. In addition to the tips we’re going to provide for finding an underground water leak, we also want to remind you that a professional plumbing contractor is a good source for finding water leaks, above or under the ground. They are also experienced at doing any water line repair you need! 

To check for unseen water leaks yourself, check the water meter. You want to turn off all the water in and outside your home. Then go to the meter and see if the meter is moving. If the meter indicator is spinning, then there is a water leak somewhere on your side. 

This could be a leak inside the house, which we will cover in another article. If you suspect you have an underground water leak repair needed, here are things to look for around your home: 

  • An unusually wet are in the yard, like standing water even when it hasn’t rained.
  • An area in your yard of lush thick grass or vegetation that grows faster than the rest of the grass.
  • Sink holes around your yard.
  • Water pressure has noticeably decreased.
  • Water supply has air, dust, or rust, coming out. This could also be from the water heater. If your water heater is 10 years old or older, have it checked by a plumber as well. 
  • An increase in your water bill when there hasn’t been an increase in water usage.

How do you fix underground water pipes?

Well, if the leak is close to the surface, you could do your own water line repair. Unfortunately, most underground water leaks are deeper than a homeowner can do and requires the services of a professional plumber. 

In history, the only way a professional plumber could do underground water li ne repair was to dig up your yard. Today, professional plumbers can do water line repair or replace without having to dig trenches. 

This newer water line repair technique requires only two holes. One hole is for a camera that is connected to a screen so the plumber can watch what’s going underground. The other hole is to insert an acrylic or resin pipe in one hole, maneuver it where it is needed on the cracked or damaged pipe, and is located.

How do you know if your main water line is leaking?

Your water main is the connection of your home’s plumbing system to the public water supply. Regrettably, the water pipes behind the walls and in the foundation don’t have a unlimited lifespan. Here we have a list of 8 symptoms of a main water line leak in your household.

  • Puddles in front of your house in thestreet
  • Sinkholes ad water standing in the backyard or front yard
  • Wet floors and walls
  • Discolored and stained dry walls
  • Water pressure drops
  • Foundation is chipping and cracked
  • Water running sounds when no faucet is on
  • Unpleasant odor like mildew or mold
water line repair

Does homeowner’s insurance cover main water line replacement?

No, most likely not, but every policy is different, and it is worth your time to review your policy or check with your agent.  What your homeowner’s insurance may cover is any damage caused by a busted water line. Again, check your policy or ask your agent for clarification. 

Water damage can be expensive when left unaddressed. Often, a water line repair can be done by replacing water pipe repair fittings, which anyone with basic handyman skills can do without having to call a professional plumber.  Regardless, if you can’t do your own water line repairs, the cost of a plumber is much cheaper than what you’re going to be faced with leaving the water leak leaking. Call (310) 901-2120 today for water line repair in San Pedro, CA.

How to Find a Leak

leaking exposed pipe

Why do pipes leak? and Is a leaking pipe an emergency?

For a homeowners, next to the mortgage and insurance, utilities are a constant. We do everything we can to lower our energy expenses with new windows, adding attic insulation, and everything we can do. Then we notice an increase in the water bill and that leads us to plumbing leak detection search. 

Often, a homeowner can find a plumbing leak fairly easy, however, there are some plumbing leak detection that require the services of a professional plumber. They not only have experience in How to find a leaking pipe, but they also have equipment and tools that assist them. With the technology today, the process of plumbing leak detection isn’t as destructive to the landscaping as it was in the past.  

A leaking pipe isn’t always a catastrophe or emergency, but it can become one quickly, and once it does, you have more than plumbing leak detection and repair. Once you have the leak found and repaired, you need to find what caused the leak and find ways to avoid it from happening again. Here are six reasons why your plumbing pipes often start leaking: 

  • Corrosion: If your home has metal piping, still found in older homes, the water running through those pipes daily will cause them to rust over time. That rust will ultimately over time begin corroding the pipes with the rust eating a hole through the pipes. Depending on where the rusted pipes is, it may take the experience of a professional plumber to determine the plumbing leak detection. 
  • Cracks: A cracked plumbing pipe is not good news, and many homes today are equipment with a plumbing system that has a pressure regulator. This keeps the water at a specific pressure level.  A cracked water pipe will lead to plumbing failure if not found and repaired. It usually starts with a drip and as the pressure begins to force the water through the crack, and eventually, the water pipe walls give way..
  • Seals: Plumbing contains many parts and pieces, several sections, and any appliance that has water provided to it or water comes from it will have seals to bring those parts, pieces, and sections together. A seal is made of rubber and over time, they dry out, cracked, and worn. Once that happens, they are no longer able to do the job they were installed for doing. 
  • Blockage: A plumbing leak detection can often be traced back to a blocked pipe, which can be caused by old pipes or tree roots. Once the tree roots break into a water pipe, the food, human waste, and anything you flush or rinse through the plumber becomes hung up on the tree roots. That creates a blockage and if the waste and water can’t flow through the pipe, it will burst through the pipe walls. 
  • Joints Damaged: As we mentioned earlier, plumbing has connections and joints, and these are a weak point of the plumbing system. When those joints are damaged or become weak, this is where plumbing leak detection will be found.  
  • Water Pressure: If the  water pressure regulator produces too much pressure, it can cause water pipes to burst. Yes, a good hard pressure of hot water is nice for the shower, but not if you have a plumber out for plumbing leak detection process on a frequent basis.  

What is plumbing leak detection?

An undetected plumbing leak can result in 15% to 30% loss of water.  A plumbing leak detection is a test that finds water leaks inside walls or underground that can’t be found with the naked eye. Thanks to the technology available today, plumbing leak detection is available for both external and internal leaks. 

Is there a tool to detect a water leak? and How does plumbing leak detection work?

When a plumber has ruled  out any fixture or surface leaks, they will perform plumbing leak detection inside walls and underground.  The tool that most plumbers find to be effective in plumbing leak detection tool is sound detection equipment that consists of headphones and a microphone. 

With this equipment, the plumber is able to listen for running water inside the walls or underground. Their equipment may include pipe locator clamps they place on visible pipes that transmits a radar signal over the water pipes. 

When the sound registers on the device, a higher frequency is then transmitted to a security system. This identifies the amplified leak so that the issue can be addressed. 

leaking pipe underground

How can I tell if my pipes are leaking?

Some plumbing leak detection can be done by the homeowner using these methods: 

  1. Water meter check: Your water meter is the best plumbing leak detection tools you have. Start by turning off the water at the meter then check the water meter. If the meter is moving, this indicates you have a leak on your side of the meter.
  2. Your water usage: The EPA recommends watching your water usage in the winter as a plumbing leak detection. An average family with four household members should not use over 12,000 gallons of water in one month.
  3. Monitor water bill: When you notice your water bill is consistently increasing, but your water habits have remained the same, it could indicate a plumbing leak. Take three to four months of water bills and compare the cost.  If you haven’t had any water usage increase, your water bills should be within the same range each month.  
  4. Food coloring: Toilets are notorious for as much as 30 percent of the water used in the average home. For toilet plumbing leak detection, add a couple drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 10 minutes, there is a water leak in your toilet.
  5. Exterior usage: If you haven’t been successful with plumbing leak detection inside your home, it may be on the exterior. Check all the outdoor spigots by connecting the garden hose and if water is seeping through the connection while the water is on, the rubber gasket inside the hose ends needs to be replaced. Even the smallest water leak can waster more than 6,000 gallons in one month.
  6. Common sense: On a regular basis, check inside the cabinets under the sings. If you notice a mildew or mold odor, there is probably a leak somewhere. 

How do I find a plumbing leak in my wall?

Plumbing leak detection in the walls is usually can be determined by water damage signs like discoloration on the walls and wallpaper peeling. 

So, You Found a Water Leak – How do you fix a plumbing leak?

A leaking water pipe can do a lot of damage if not found and fixed. Depending on the location and size of the plumbing leak, you can do a temporary fix with epoxy putty or pipe clamps. This will hold long enough for your plumber to arrive, but don’t plan on using it for a long term. You can also find videos online or sign up for a class at your local big box home improvement store for a permanent repair. Call (310) 901-2120 today for your water leak repair needs in San Pedro, CA.

How do you clean plumbing pipes?

sewer clean out

Keeping your plumbing flowing

There is a lot that goes on before the water comes out of the faucet or showerhead for you in the mornings. The amount of plumbing pipes and parts are unknown to the average homeowner, and when it comes to bathroom or kitchen cleaning, plumbing lines are never thought about. If your home is in proper functioning order with the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes, there isn’t any reason for you to be aware or concerned, is there? 

Unfortunately, as a homeowner, that doesn’t hold true. If you don’t know that cleaning your plumbing pipes internally is necessary, you could find out the hard way how important it is to know about this stuff. There is more to just cleaning plumbing fixtures too. We’re talking about inside the plumbing pipes and all the way to the main sewer lines. 

What chemical do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Today, plumbers try to be more environmentally conscious with their process, meaning they only refer to a chemical when absolutely necessary.  They will attempt to remove a clog in your plumbing pipes by cleaning a plumbing snake method first.  

However, there can be some really bad and nasty clogs inside plumbing pipes that a plumber’s snake won’t work. Because dirty standing water can be unsanitary, before they get their hands into the water, they will use hydrochloric acid, often called HCl and sometimes referred to as muriatic acid. 

This is a strong version of those over-the-counter products with a common ingredient found in those products. This powerful chemical will dissolve the buildup inside plumbing pipes and get the dirty, standing water drained.

They also perform cleaning clogged plumbing vent, making sure the vent on top of your house isn’t clogged and make sure it is there and connected.  A strong wind could easily break a plumbing vent off or bend it, which will affect how a bathtub, dishwasher, shower, sink, or tub drains.

How do I clean old plumbing pipes?

If you own an older home, you need to understand there is going to be continual maintenance required for the upkeep of your home, especially the plumbing pipes. In older homes, clogged pipes are a common and frequent problem. You need to approach clearing those clogs with caution because the plumbing pipes are old and unless you’ve had the house repiped, you don’t know their condition. 

For example, using a commercial brand of chemical drain cleaner has a elevated acidity level that is harsh on older metal pipes. Consistent use of this type of product will shorten their life by causing them to deteriorate. So what should you do short of having the whole house repiped? 

  • A Minor Clog: Make your own clogged plumbing pipe cleaner by mixing baking soda and vinegar. Pour half a cup of each and follow with hot water for five minutes. Repeat this once a month even if there isn’t any clog to keep your plumbing pipes clear.
  • A Major Clog: Because you don’t know the age and condition of the plumbing pipes in your old home, you may want to call a professional plumber. They can do a hydro-jetting process that will clean your plumbing pipes thoroughly, including any tree roots that may be in the sewer lines. 

If you are an adamant DIY homeowner, purchasing a plumber’s snake will be a good investment for times like these. Careful with galvanized plumbing pipes and be aware that the plumbing pipes may be a different size than the auger or plumber’s snake. Also learn the basic plumbing parts and learn how to remove, clean, and replace the P-Trap. 

How often should you clean your plumbing pipes?

The frequency of cleaning your plumbing pipes could minimize, even eliminate, major plumbing problems that require the service of a professional plumber. A monthly cleaning of your home’s plumbing pipes is usually enough, however, an older home, you want to do the baking soda and vinegar process describe above on a weekly basis. 

running faucet

How do you flush a drain pipe?

We’ve provided a homemade mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean and flush your bathroom and kitchen drains.  How about the main drain though?  A clog in the main sewer line may not appear to be an immediate problem, but it will sneak up on you fast. Before you know it, you multiple backed-up sinks, toilets backing up bathtubs, and more fun stuff. Follow these steps once a month to prevent his from happening: 

 Step One: Loosen the clean out drainpipe cap then open it so the buildup can drain. 

Step Two: Feed your auger or plumber’s snake cable into the pipe.

Step Three: Run the auger or snake until you hit a clog and the push it harder till the clog is cleared. (You’ll feel it happen).

Step Four: Pull the augur snake out slowly and recap the drain.

Your home is an investment and learning how to take care of things like plumbing pipes are all part of taking care of that investment. Purchasing a few tools like a plumber’s snake are all part of that investment because you can be almost certain, you’ll need them again someday. Call (310) 901-2120 today.

Pipe Coating and Its Benefits

tree root clogged pipe

Protecting your plumbing

Pipe coating is a reliable method that saves pipelines from the effects of corrosion damage. When an uncoated pipeline is submerged in water, it is prone to corrosion, and even thought that corrosion can be removed, it is detrimental to the environment. With that in mind, strict regulations are in place to prevent that from happening by requiring coating pipe for water.  

So, that probably sounds a little harsh for residential piping, and it does primarily refer to commercial piping and oil line piping. However, every type of structure with plumbing has piping and pipe coating is used for any of the following: 

  • Commercial, Multifamily, and single family residential properties
  • Healthcare, Historical
  • HVAC Systems
  • Schools, Retirement homes

Pipe coating is a process used to repair leaking plumbing pipes and doesn’t require the pipes to be dug up.  The epoxy are a great benefit for older homes with corroded water pipes. The pipe coating benefits to be expected are as follows:

  • Less expensive than plumbing system replacement
  • Daily activities are uninterrupted
  • Landscaping is not destroyed
  • Water flow improves
  • Current pipes will be better than originally

What is the difference between pipe lining and coating? 

Pipe coating is an anti-corrosive material that can be applied to the interior and exterior to prevent the pipe material and material passing through touching. Pipes that are coated are used for transmission of gas, oil, and water, as well other fluids. These are substances that can be affected by corrosion. The types of pipe for coating are: 

  • Clay
  • Copper
  • Concrete
  • Galvanized steel.
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Metal
  • PVC

A pipe lining is on the interior of the pipe to protect the inside corrosion and wearing out from the inside. It is somewhat of a pipe inside a pipe. Pipe lining is used on pipes with a specific purpose, like cement water pipes or PVC pipes that corrosive substances pass through. 

How does pipe lining work?

The infrastructure of your home’s pies is a complicated yet simple thing, but when it comes replacing the pipes, it becomes a nightmare. Pipe coating and pipe lining can be an easy way  to repair them. 

Pipe relining is used to repair your pipes from the inside by curing them with a special resin. As that resin cures, it forms another strong pipe that inside the broken or damaged pipe, usually stronger than originally. 

How long does epoxy pipe lining last?

An epoxy  pipe lining should last between thirty-five and fifty years with overall average use. An epoxy pipe lining is externally protection for pipes from shrub and tree roots, protecting the interior from clogging, damages, and leaking. 

How much does it cost to replace a pipe?

This is something than can vary from city to city, state to state, but on the average, to repipe a house with single toilet, tub, the cost can start around $600 and go up to $2,000 or more. For today’s homes where there is usually two or more bathrooms, repiping can start around $4,000 up to $15,000 for a complete system replacement.

pipe being handled by plumber

Is Pipe Lining worth it?

Yes, there are several benefits from pipe lining for both commercial and residential properties: 

  • Higher quality: The end results of pipe lining leaves you with an extremely durable pipe system that doesn’t corrode, crack, rust, or fall apart from tree root invasion. 
  • Saves Time: A professional plumber with experience and knows how to pipe coating, often referred to as trenchless sewer pipe repair, can get the average job done in a few hours versus days the old trench digging method. 
  • Money Saver: Sewer pipe lining can be as much as seventy-five percent cheaper than pipe replacement. Why? Because there is less labor involved. 
  • Adaptable: Pipe lining works with most other types of pipe materials like cast iron, clay, concrete, or orangeburg. It is applicable for pipe lining and pipe bursting repairs both. 
  • Environmentally Friendly: You’ll save money and time and you’re helping the earth with this environment-friendly process.
  • Durability: Epoxy resin lined pipes have a lifespan of fifty years in normal conditions. 

As a homeowner, the last thing you want to hear from a plumber is that you have busted sewer line in your yard or under your house.  With the technology that pipe coating and pipelining has given us though, those words aren’t as dreadful as they once were.  The mess in the yard and destruction of the landscaping, the expense, and the days it could take for the job to be completed are not a worry anymore. Most plumbers will have the job done within a few hours and be out of your way, with little to remind you of the problem you were having. The best part, you’ll probably never have to worry with it again. Want to get started on pipe coating in San Pedro, CA? Call (310) 901-2120 today!

How Do Plumbers Detect Water Leaks?

A Leaking Pipe

How do plumbers detect water leaks?

Leaks are a common problem plumbers repair. You want to get leaks repaired as soon as possible. When left unchecked, leaks can cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damage. The problem is many leaks remain hidden and leak detection is made difficult because most plumbing pipes are behind walls, under floors, or underground. Plumbers have several techniques and methods to find leaks so they can repair them. 

Among the most reliable methods that plumbers use to detect leaks is with sound equipment. Leaks make distinct noises and can be detected using ground microphones, listening discs, or acoustic listening devices. Plumbers also use video equipment such as specially designed cameras that can be sent down pipes to find the exact location of a leak. Video also allows the plumber to make decisions about repair options. Thermal imaging cameras, which detect variations of heat in a selected area, are especially useful for detecting moisture and leaks behind walls.

All of these methods prevent plumbers from having to dig up yards or break through walls to search out leaks. Fortunately, many repair methods like trenchless repair also require little damage to yards or structures. When you need professional leak detection and repair in San Pedro, CA, look to the trusted team at DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING. We offer a wide range of detection and repair solutions. Book an appointment today by calling (310) 901-2120.

How does leak detection work?

Plumbers often use sound technology for leak detection because leaks make distinctive sounds when water goes through your pipes. A small leak will emit a higher frequency sound than a larger leak, which produces lower-frequency noises. Acoustic listening devices pick up these different frequencies and allow the plumber to mark the location of the leak so repairs can be made. Some of these devices are so sensitive, they can give the plumber an idea of the condition your pipes are in.

How accurate is leak detection?

Before technologies like sound and video equipment became readily available, leak detection often required a lot of guesswork and sometimes extensive excavation. The leak detection equipment and methods that DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING uses is at least 90% accurate when it comes to pinpointing a leak’s location. 

In addition to audio equipment, plumbers use video cameras and thermal imaging devices for leak detection. When it comes to leak detection with camera, video cameras are typically used in sewer lines. Looking for leaks with video equipment can be difficult, especially in sewer lines because other materials can obscure the view. Video cameras, however, are excellent when it comes to finding blockages like tree roots that can cause leaks. Thermal imaging, however, works similarly to audio equipment, and can accurately pinpoint leaks because of differing shades of infrared heat apparent in the pipes.

What is the best water leak detection system?

Several devices have been developed that you can attach to your home plumbing system to help you detect leaks. These devices send alerts to your smartphone to let you know that a leak has been detected. Some of these devices are sophisticated enough that not only do they send you alerts, but they also shut off your water so no further damage can be done by the leak. These devices will require professional installation. 

Leak detectors generally run between $30 to $400. Most consumers prefer the iHome Dual Leak sensor if you just want an inexpensive system to alert you that a leak is present. Moen’s Flo is considered top-of-the-line for devices that will actually shut off your water. 

Can you rent leak detection equipment?

Leak detection equipment can be rented. Usually, however, rental companies only rent the devices business to business. Rarely do they rent out equipment to individuals. 

How do I find a water leak in my wall?

Whether water gets behind walls because of a pipe leak, roof leak, or even a foundation leak, finding the source of a leak can be difficult. Some things to look for or be alert to include:

  • Puddles or wet carpeting near the wall
  • Outer surface of wall is discolored or looks washed out
  • Bubbles forming in paint or wallpaper or other change in wall’s texture
  • Mold or mildew growth along the wall 
  • Musty odors
  • Sounds of dripping after shower or sink are turned off or after toilet is flushed
  • An increase in your water bill

Leak detection for pools

Detecting a leak in your pool can be difficult because water levels can be affected by the environment. But, if your pool is consistently losing more than a quarter of an inch daily, you might have a leak. Stay alert to these signs as well for pool leak detection:

  • Cracks around the deck
  • The need to add water more than once weekly 
  • Soggy grass around the pool
  • Deck shows signs of lifting or sinking
A Leak Under a Toilet

Leak detection near me

If you are concerned you might have a leak and want an expert team for leak detection in San Pedro, CA, you can always rely on the team at DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING. We provide several solutions to help find and repair leaks. Find out more or book an appointment by calling (310) 901-2120.

Is a Clogged Drain an Emergency?

drain with a clog

Dealing with a clog

Several things can be aggravating, but a clogged drain is in the top two. What causes clogged drains? Below are the eight typical household clogged drain causes:  

  • HAIR: Probably one of the two most significant drain clogging culprits because it binds with the other big drain clogging substances – grease and food, both sticky substances. 
  • SOAP: Most of us don’t realize that fat and grease are ingredients used to make soap, and when soap is combined with minerals in the water, it creates soap scum, a hard residue that clogs pipes and stains bath fittings.  
  • DIRT: As you wash the dirt off your clothes and hands, it can build up inside the drain and cause clogs. 
  • FOOD WASTE: Food should not be washed down the drain, especially coffee grounds, or tea leaves because they do not break down, nor does grease or oil.  
  • MINERAL BUILDUP: As minerals dissolve in hard water, they build up and create masses that are insoluble and block drains. 
  • SMALL OBJECTS: If anything beyond human waste and toilet paper is flushed or go into a drain, like a small toy or other objects, they become wedged and create a clog.
  • TOILET PAPER BUILDUP: When too much toilet paper is used at one time, it will clog the toilet drain. 
  • TREE ROOTS: If the sewer pipe has any crack where water is leaking, tree roots will find it and bust into the pipe, clogging it, or totally bust it. 

Blocked pipes and clogged drains will start as a minor issue, but a clogged drain and emergency plumbing can happen quickly if the clog isn’t addressed and repaired early. A clogged drain slow water draining, corrode water pipe, cause flooding, and sewage backup. Clogged drain and damage can create costly repairs, so practicing ways to prevent clogs is the best thing you can do. 

How do you clear a clogged drain pipe?

Every homeowner needs to know how to clear clogged drain because waiting on a plumber isn’t always possible. It is also essential to understand when doing clogged drain cleaning is something you can do or if you need to call a professional plumber. 

Before you make that phone call to a plumber, try these household remedies to open up clogged drains: 

  • Baking Soda and Salt – Pour equal amounts of each ingredient in the drain and allow to sit for thirty minutes, then run hot tap water for fifteen-minute. 
  • Lemon, Salt, and Vinegar – Mix equal amounts of salt and vinegar in a small bowl, then pour in half that amount of lemon juice in the bowl and let sit thirty minutes.
  • Hot Water and Salt – Pour half cup of salt, then one cup hot water in the drain, and allow to sig for thirty minutes. 
  • Clothes Hanger – Using a wire clothes hanger, straighten out, leaving a small hook on one end. Then stick down in the drain and “fish” around for what could be clogging the drain.
  • Household Plunger – These are available at any grocery store or home improvement store and always handy to have around just for these times. 
  • Auger or Drain Snake – You can purchase these at any big box home improvement store. Follow instructions on how to clean a table.
  • Shop-Vac – using a wet/dry shop vac, hold the open hose end, then stick the nozzle over the drain and turn it on suction. 

What can I pour down a drain to unclog it?

There are a host of things on the shelves today that are made to open clogged drains. Some people prefer not to use them because of the environment. If you’re concerned about the environment, we recommend using the following mixture of household products: 

  1. Pour one up boiling water in the drain.
  2. Pour one cup of baking soda mixed with half cup water and half cup vinegar. 
  3. Place a cover over the drain or the drain plug and wait ten minutes.
  4. Pour one cup boiling water in the drain again
  5. Test the drain by filling the sink or tub with water. If still clogged, repeat the process.
cleaned out sink

What do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Professional plumbers have a few tricks on their trucks for clear clogged drains

Manual Drain Snake

The drain snake or plumber’s snake is a small, rotating auger is equipment that the plumber will push through the clogged drain. This piece of equipment is one that most plumbers use most because it clears clogged drains and clogged toilets too. It dislodges any debris and allows it to pass into the sewer system.

Motorized Drain Snake

The motorized drain snake works on clogged drains from the outside at the sewer cleanout port. These can reach into a clogged drain up to 150 feet and clear out more extensive blockages than the manual snake. 

Hydro-Jetting Machine

If the first two methods and processes don’t clear the clogged drain, a professional plumber will have a hydro-jet that will blast the clog with high pressured water forced through the pipes. They will perform an inspection with video equipment first to makes sure the problem isn’t something more than a clogged drain. 

So, you’re not able to open the clogged drain, and you called a plumber. How long does it take plumbers to snake a drain? Will it be an all-day job? If the clogged drain is the sink, toilet, or tub, using a plumber snake, they can open a clogged drain within five minutes, maybe ten at the most. For a more severe clogged drain like at the main line, it can take several hours. 

A clogged drain can create more problems than being inconvenient. It isn’t something to be ignored. Signs that you have a clogged drain would be: 

Signs of a clogged drain:

  • Sounds of bubbling coming from the toilet
  • Water backed up into the bathtub, shower, or toilet
  • Water leaking from under the toilet 
  • Water draining slow from bathtub, shower, sink, or toilet 
  • Drains have a bad odor coming out 
  • Water puddled on floor near bathtub, laundry area, shower, or toilet
  • Water coming from a clean out

Let’s get started on unclogging your drain today! Call DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING at (310) 901-2120.

What is trenchless pipe replacement?

trench for sewer pipe replacement

How does trenchless sewer line replacement work?

Trenchless plumbing is two of the greatest words every to a homeowner! The words “new sewer line” bring about images of ripped up yard, mud, and mess. It could be from tree roots to have broken the pipe or the fittings have broken. Whatever the problem that has caused the need for new sewer line, a mess will soon follow. Or will it?  Today, there is trenchless plumbing technology that keeps the plumbing crew from having to tear up your landscaping! 

This new technology, plumbers, can do a trenchless sewer line replacement with minor damage to the landscaping and lawn. This trenchless sewer construction does the work of what took a crew of plumbers sometimes days to get done in just a matter of a few hours typically. The new sewer line is placed by pipe bursting or pipe lining, without digging trenches.

With trenchless sewer equipment, the old pipe is broken out and the new pipe is laid in place right behind it. Another option that plumbers have with trenchless plumbing method is pipe lining. This entails using a coated flexible pipe and either blow it or pull it through the exiting old pipe. It is then inflated so that it fills the old pipe and the resin coating hardens inside the old pipe.

How long does trenchless sewer repair last?

Underground pipe repair for a house is not a slight task, nor is it inexpensive. It isn’t something you want to repeat soon after having it done, and if you have the job by experienced professionals, you won’t have to repeat the job. Especially with the trenchless plumbing method that is used today.

As we mentioned earlier, there are two ways that sewer lines are repaired. One is bursting out the old pipe while pushing new sewer line in as they go. This is the pipe bursting method and the lifespan you can expect on that new pipe is a minimum of fifty years, maybe longer.

The other option is pipe lining, which offers a lifespan of fifty years. Some misunderstand this method of trenchless plumbing is a patch job, but it is much more than that.  With specific equipment, the plumber can insert a flexible pipe that is coated in resin. Once it is in place, it hardens and becomes a new pipe inside the old pipe. You can think of this as pipe rehab!

Pipe lining doesn’t take long for most jobs completed within one day, and best part of it: Your landscaping is almost untouched! So, which method of trenchless plumbing is the better one?

When you call a plumbing contractor out to review your sewer line problem, they will inspect the situation and the offer their opinion which of the two trenchless plumbing methods is the best for your particular situation. Which is better?  They are both suitable methods, and which is better depends on the property itself. 

Our technicians will determine which of the two is right for your situation after making an evaluation. The pros of having this new trenchless plumbing technology are many: 

  • Quality: Trenchless plumbing is done by state-of-the-art equipment with superior materials by experienced plumbers that have been thoroughly trained. Once the job is done, you’ll have a pipe system that is durable and won’t crack, corrode, or rust. 
  • Efficient: Am experienced plumber can complete a trenchless plumbing pipe lining job in a matter of hours, leaving your sewer line like new. 
  • Cheaper: Trenchless plumbing sewer pipe lining is cheaper than the traditional sewer line replacement because the job doesn’t take as long. Less man hours means less expense. 
  • Versatile: The material used for trenchless plumbing pipe lining is durable and flexible. You won’t have to worry about this doing anything like cast iron, clay, or concrete pipes have done. 
  • Eco-Friendly: The trenchless plumbing process is easier on the land and the with pipe lining method, there is not busted up sewer line to be disposed. 
  • No Mess: Trenchless plumbing technology removes the need to dig trenches and destroy the landscaping or lawn. 

Do I really need to replace my sewer line?

It can be easy to forget your sewer line until it isn’t working anymore. With proper maintenance, this invisible part of your home’s plumbing system can help you notice issues before they become significant.  Some signs that are telling you that you need sewer repair or replacement:

  1. Slow draining plumbing fixtures
  2. Low water pressure and toilet bowl water level varies
  3. Constant backups and blockages
  4. Leaking pipes
  5. Standing water with a foul odor in yard
  6. Sewer gas odor lingering around your property
  7. Mold growing on ceilings and walls
  8. Patches of extra lush green grass
  9. A dip or indentation in the lawn in an area of sewer line runs
  10. Foundation cracks and sinkholes around foundation
  11. Basement floods, especially around drains, accompanied by a foul odor
  12. Persistent insect and rodent problem regardless pest control measures
  13. Loud gurgling noise coming from pipes with water flow
  14. A sudden increase in water bill 

Can trenchless sewer repair fix a belly?

No, trenchless plumbing technology isn’t used on a bellied line because the flexible, coated sleeve will only follow the existing pipe. The sewer line will need to be dug up at the belly, repaired using new pipe in the belly section. 

exposed pipe in a trench

Can I replace my sewer line myself?

Sewer line repair or replacement can be expensive, and some homeowners simply cannot afford that major financial hit. So, they consider doing the job themselves, and while that is possible, manually, not the trenchless plumbing method, not that much savings.

Digging a trench to reach the sewer line isn’t a technical job, but it is hard work that is extremely demanding physically. One adult in good physical shape can complete a four foot deep, eight foot long, three food wide trench in a weekend of full workdays. This depends on the type of soil, the amount of tree roots, and other factors. Need professional plumbing services for your home? Call the experts of DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING at (310) 901-2120 today.

What does Hydro jetting mean?

Sewer clogged with tree roots

Does Hydro jetting work on roots?

Over time, the sewage pipes of a home or business will have debris, grease, and mineral deposits built up inside, and possibly tree roots growing into and through them. This can clog a sewage line so that wastewater can’t flow through as intended. Hydro jetting is a high-pressure flow of water that scours the pipe’s interior. It removes the debris, grease, mineral deposits, and scale without harming the pipes.

Yes! hydro jetting for roots is a magnificent way to get those tree roots out of the sewer lines too! It is a safe method for the pipes and the trees. The plumbing technician that provides the hydro jetting service can advise you on future tree planting so that this doesn’t become a problem in the future. They can also access your current tree to plumbing situation and make suggestions to keep those tree roots from disturbing your sewage and water lines.

Is Hydro Jetting safe for pipes?

As we’ve mentioned already, for residential properties, hydro jetting removes sand, silt, other debris, materials or objects like grease and hair clogs that have built up inside the sewage pipes. When you have slow moving pipes that the normal household type procedure for unclogging doesn’t work, hydro jetting is an excellent choice and recommended by most professional plumbers.

This is also a good procedure for commercial properties like restaurants. Daily, there is food and grease poured into their sinks. Over time, they build up and create a blockage that hydro jetting can clear in a matter of minutes.

Some hydro jetting pros and cons you can expect are:

  • Safe: Hydro jetting does not damage pipes when done by a trained professional.  You can rent equipment to do your own hydro jetting, but not knowing the pressure limits, you can cause damage.
  • Chemical Free: Hydro jetting is using only water, making it the most eco-friendly way for cleaning sewer pipes. Using chemicals can damage the environment, make your yard unsafe for children and pets.
  • Clog Remover: Hydro jetting is a high-pressure process using water that breaks up any clog that is causing stubborn blockages. Clogs cause by daily deposits of food, grease, and hair,  as well as dirt, sand, and tree roots that build up over time naturally.
  • Long Lasting:  Using the hydro jetting method will minimize future blockage and clog problems. By scheduling a routine sewer line cleaning, you will eliminate the any future problem of clogs and you’ll also extend the life of your pipes.
  • No Trenching: Hydro jetting saves your lawn from the old fashion way of trenching. The work is all done underground.

The Con to Hydro Jetting:

While hydro jetting is safe and great to clean clogged pipes, but there is one disadvantage: Water Pressure: If too high of a pressure is used during hydro jetting, it can damage the pipes. This is common when the pipes are old and fragile, and the number one reason why it is best left the professional.

Is Hydro Jetting worth it?

Hydro jetting breaks up and flushes out deposits that are blocking your sewer line. Since the hydro jetting has a high-power water pressure, it can clear the toughest blockages.

How effective is hydro jetting?

Definitely!  Hydro jetting does so much more than clearing out blockages and clogs. You’ll have health benefits too from hydro jetting your sewer lines – that is probably not anything you would have thought about, right?

Clogged sewer lines allow bacteria to build up and that bacteria grows and spreads the wet environment of sewer lines, becoming a breeding ground for more bacteria. Hydro jetting removes those clogs and the bacteria they create, leaving pipes not only clear, but that sewer smell in your yard is gone.

sewer lines uncovered

How often should you clean your main sewer line?

Plumbing professionals recommend having your sewer lines cleaned every eighteen to twenty-two months for preventive measure. If your home is older with trees around, consider a hydro jetting cleaning once a year.  A professional plumber can do a video inspection of your sewer lines and advise you if there is something more that would cause hydro jetting not working. 

Hydro jetting is a relatively unfamiliar process for the plumbing industry, bringing it a long way from the day of the plumber using a backhoe to trench your lawn until they found the problem. With video inspections and hydro jetting, the plumber can find the problem, clear the line, even repair the line, all underground. Your lawn will have minimal damage left behind and you’ll have clear sewage lines from now on. Making this a routine task can become a part of your home-ownership maintenance, and this could eliminate surprised clogged lines and give your plumbing a longer lifespan. Dial (310) 901-2120 today for hydrojetting services in San Pedro, CA.

Should I replace my sewer line?

sewer line

Can I replace my sewer line myself?

A sewer line is crucial to keep a homeowner’s plumbing system running with the designated purpose people enjoy. It moves much of the waste created in a home to the main sewer line and keeps everything running smoothly in a household. So when signs start popping up that indicate there needs to be more than the standard repairs, a person should consider sewer line replacement. When a sewer pipe leading to the main sewer line reaches the end of it’s working lifespan, it can cause just as much trouble for the inside of your home as seen in the pipe. Not just with backups to systems like toilets and drains, but sewage, in general, can build up to toxic fumes that are detrimental to a person’s health. 

When considering the project, understand that it requires a specialized team with heavy equipment. A single person with a lack of knowledge into what needs to be undertaken could very barely do anything for the repair and may either cause more damage or put themselves in a more unfortunate situation. Sewer pipe replacement involves: 

  • Digging out the entire stretch of land covering the sewer pipe
  • Proper use of equipment without damaging sewer pipe
  • Correctly replacing 
  • Making Sure the system works correctly

The truth about sewer line replacement and repair for that matter is that it takes several trained safety precautions to get the job done right. Particularly when digging out the sewer pipe, which differs in depth depending on the area a person lives. The operation also requires the knowledge of sewer piping that a normal person does not have without a heavy amount of training. Call (310) 901-2120 today to schedule your appointment for the service.

How serious is sewer line bellies?

One relatively common problem a plumber understands that affects pipes and can be the possible source for a sewer pipe replacement is a line belly. The event is signified by swelling or sagging in a sewer line. The event is caused by a buildup or blockage by debris that then generally causes a backup. Issues such as this can also be caused by erosion, earthquakes, the settling of the foundation, and human error. The problem then leads to erosion of the surrounding area and internal problems inside the home with systems that are connected to the pipeline. Generally, the way to have this fixed is sewer line replacement due to that a significant portion of the line is affected and could revert if the original piping is reused. Fortunately, the issue can be found out rather quickly due to the events that occur and also will be detected in a regular inspection. The entirety of the replacement process tends to take up around three to five days of work.

What are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?

Being a problem that can do a heavy amount of damage on the home, there are multiple signs of a broken sewer pipe and many tend to grow obvious fairly quickly. On top of that, the signs show up inside your home and outside in the yard that covers the pipe. When you find yourself in such a situation, it is highly recommended that you call plumbers like us at Drain Force Plumbing. Here are some signs that tend to lean towards the pipe needing a replacement: 

  • Wet and terrible smelling parts of your lawn
  • Drains inside of home are slow and plug easily 
  • Mold appears more commonly
  • Possible problems in the foundation

Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance is not generally known to cover the sewer line replacement unless in the case of another party being the cause of damages to the system. That would mean a person or company would be responsible for the damages and would be unbeknownst to the homeowner until they were made aware. While some may cover the damages, it is a good idea to be aware of the limits of your homeowner’s insurance.

sewer line

How often do sewer lines fail?

The agreement amongst plumbers is that unless you are in a high-risk area, your sewer line pipe is installed incorrectly, or otherwise like you accidentally plant a tree on top of the land on the pipe there is very little way of telling when your sewer pipe will fail. Pipes are made to last for years, with the ones in older homes having been made out of iron, they will see a lifespan of around seventy-five to one hundred years. In newer and modern homes, common piping is PVC and when conditions are favorable easily lasts up to a hundred years. In general, a person can expect an easy fifty years of life before seeing major problems from their sewer piping and needs sewer pipe replacement. 

The best way to ascertain the health of your sewer line is with a sewer line inspection to see the inner workings of the system. Plumbers like us can come out to your area and service your home with an inspection when needed. If the status of your system is poor, our services like sewer pipe replacement can be a fine way to get it back in good condition. Call (310) 901-2120 today to set up your appointment.