Month: August 2019

How Much Does a Running Toilet Really Cost?

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You probably rarely think about toilet plumbing troubles until you need a plunger; however, a running toilet can cost you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars in wasted water every year. Typically, running water in your toilet wastes about 25 times more water than a shower leak and about 4 times as much water than a simple faucet leak.

Running toilets are often a simple fix and are brought on by a faulty flapper or floater in your toilet’s water tank. If it’s neither of those two apparatuses, then chances are you’ll need to replace your toilet altogether to solve the running water problem.

The True Cost of a Running Toilet

If your toilet is severely leaking and wasting a large amount of water, then replacing your entire toilet is financially and environmentally worth it. Typically, a running water toilet will waste thousands of gallons of water per month which translates to approximately $200 unnecessarily tacked onto your monthly water bill– that’s nearly $2,500 dollars a year down your toilet bowl.

The above scenario is in the case of an extreme toilet leak. For minor toilet leaks, your water bill won’t be as drastically high; however, it will be higher than normal. A moderate toilet leak will generally waste about 6,000 gallons of water per month and can cost you an additional $70 per month– $1,000 per year in waste.

Below you will discover just how much havoc a running toilet can have on your wallet and the environment; plus, we provide some simple tips on how to detect and fix your running toilet.

The Havoc of a Running Toilet

You may think that a cracked sewage pipe is the biggest contributor to a spike in your water bill; however, that isn’t the case. While sewage pipe damage does contribute to higher water bills, a running toilet can waste an entire gallon of water in about 30 seconds. Since there aren’t too many visual signs that your toilet is running, the problem can persist unknowingly and waste hundreds of gallons of water only for you to realize there is a problem when your water bill arrives.

According to the EPA’s WaterSense Program:

“Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30% of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Older, inefficient toilets that use as much as 6 gallons per flush also happen to be a major source of wasted water in many homes.”

Quick Fixes

It doesn’t matter whether your toilet is running a lot or a little; it is taxing your wallet and the environment. Repairing your running toilet sooner rather than later helps minimize waste while being fiscally and environmentally responsible.

A simple and quick way to determine if your toilet is leaking is to insert a couple drops of food coloring into the tank and don’t flush your toilet for 20-30 minutes. Then, check to see if there is color in the toilet bowl. If there is, then you have a running toilet leak.

Once you have determined that your toilet is leaking, then you will need to identify the cause of the leak– faulty tank hardware or problematic toilet failure.

If the leak is due to a faulty flapper or floater, then that’s a quick fix; you may either need to adjust the hardware or purchase and install a new one (about $3) from your nearest home improvement store. However, if it is a more serious problem, then you should contact a professional plumber for further assistance on toilet repair and replacement.

Trenchless Pipe Lining: The Ultimate Sewer Repair Solution

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Why Is My Floor Drain Backing Up?

Rubber duckies floating on standing water in a flooded basement laundry room.

Floor drain backups can be baffling. When they happen, it can be easy to assume that there’s a problem with the floor drain itself—but that’s not the case at all. In fact, backups in a basement floor drain are usually a symptom of another problem in your plumbing system.

So, if you’ve noticed standing water in your basement or you’re experiencing floor drain backups, here’s what you need to know about what’s causing them and how to fix them.

Clogged Drain Lines & Floor Drain Backups

Clogs in any of your home’s drain lines can cause backups in your basement floor drain. That’s because, as the lowest drain in your home, the floor drain will be the first place that wastewater can go when it can’t flow to the main drain and sewer line. So, with the main drain backing up, wastewater will continue to build up in the line until it overflows and backs up out of the floor drain.

For homes that don’t have a basement floor drain, drain line clogs can cause backups in the lowest fixtures of the home, like ground-level tubs, sinks, or showers.

Sewer Line Clogs & Floor Drain Backups

Floor drains can also back up when clogs lie deeper in a home’s plumbing system, like somewhere in the sewer line. Similar to drain line clogs, sewer line clogs will stop the flow of wastewater. With nowhere to go, wastewater will back up until it finds the nearest release point, which will be a floor drain or the lowest drain in a home.

Sewer Line Damage & Floor Drain Backups

Sometimes, clogs have nothing to do with floor drain backups. That can happen when:

  • A sewer line has cracks or holes.
  • A sewer line is bellied, sagging, or collapsed.
  • Tree roots have misaligned or infiltrated the sewer line.

In all of these cases, the sewer line will have a blockage that acts like a clog in that it forces wastewater to back up into a home. Unlike a clog, however, sewer line damage can require far more work to fix.

How to Stop Basement Floor Drain Backups

Since various issues can cause floor drain backups, stopping the backup starts with knowing precisely what’s causing it. And that requires a professional plumber. Some of the things a professional will do to identify the problem and the proper repair include:

  • Asking you questions: A plumber will ask how long the problem has been going on, whether it’s happened before, whether the backup has a foul odor, and whether it gets worse when you’re using plumbing fixtures. The answers to these questions can help narrow down whether you’re dealing with a drain line or sewer line problem.
  • Testing your plumbing fixtures: Turning different fixtures on and off can give a plumber firsthand information about how your system is acting (or acting up) as water flows through the drain and sewer line system.
  • Performing a camera pipe inspection: This lets a plumber see exactly what’s going on within the lines, what the problem is, and precisely where it lies.

After this diagnostic process, a plumber will be armed with the information necessary to recommend the most appropriate repairs. Depending on the findings, the best repairs to stop basement floor drain backups could include:

How to Prevent Future Basement Floor Drain Backups

Following repair service, the best way to avoid future backups in your floor drain is with regular drain cleaning maintenance service. If your sewer lines are in good shape, routine drain cleaning service will keep your lines clear, free of the buildups that can clog and stop up your system.

While that can save you the headaches and mess of backups, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run, helping you avoid the need for repairs or emergency plumbing service.

Schedule Drain & Sewer Line Service Now: Contact Len The Plumber

Whether you’re dealing with floor drain backups or any other plumbing problem, Len The Plumber is the team you can always rely on for customer-focused service and first-class plumbing solutions!

Call Len The Plumber at 800-950-4619 or contact us online to schedule service now!

We know that plumbing problems can’t wait—whether they happen during or outside of standard business hours. That’s why we’re proud to always offer 24-hour emergency plumbing service at no extra charge and a 2-hour response time for all drain and sewer emergencies! Plus, we always provide FREE estimates, upfront pricing, and exceptional service!

That’s why there’s no better choice for a plumbing company in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.—and why our customers love us!

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Why Is Air Conditioner Maintenance Necessary?

woman set the thermostat at house.Many of us have come to depend on the cool comfort provided by our air-conditioning systems. Air-conditioning can provide a welcome respite from even the hottest outdoor temperatures, which can be important not only for your comfort but your safety as well. However, when your air conditioner unexpectedly breaks down, it can leave you in a sticky situation, both figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, those unexpected AC failures may happen at the most inopportune moments, leaving you to sweat it out as you wait for a professional air conditioner and furnace repair service to restore your comfort level.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to limit your exposure to surprise breakdowns of your air-conditioning system. The greatest single step you can take in that regard is establishing a routine maintenance schedule with a professional company providing air conditioner repair in Pittsburgh, PA. But why is preventative maintenance so important to proper operation of your AC and heating systems? Keep reading to find out why routine maintenance is critical to the efficiency and longevity of your AC unit.

Better Performance

There are many components in your air-conditioning system that may work fine without maintenance for a while, but eventually they must be cleaned and restored to work at optimal levels. For example, your condenser coil is an important part of your AC, as it’s where the heat from the air in your home is expelled outside and the refrigerant is condensed back into a cold liquid used for cooling the indoor air. The coil radiates heat from the air, but it can only do so efficiently if it’s not dirty. If the coil becomes covered in grime, it could undermine the performance of the entire system. That’s just one of the ways that regular maintenance can ensure your unit is in optimal operating condition.

Better Efficiency

Technician man repairing ,cleaning and maintenance Air conditioner on the wall in bedroom.On site home service,Business ,Industrial concept.Likewise, a unit that is performing optimally will also run more efficiently, which will save you money on energy bills. For example, if your refrigerant levels are low, your unit won’t be able to maintain the temperature setting on your thermostat as easily. As a result, the unit will cycle on more often, and when it does it will run for longer periods. That will drive your energy costs up and leave you with increased bills at month’s end, especially during the hottest parts of the year. However, by performing routine maintenance, your HVAC professional can assess refrigerant levels and other operational factors to ensure your unit is running efficiently.

Longer Lifespan

Replacing an AC unit can be a costly endeavor, so most property owners prefer to get the longest life possible out of their current systems. One way to extend the lifespan of your AC unit is by performing routine maintenance. First, professional HVAC techs will inspect your system and can spot potential problems before they lead to AC failure. In those instances, repairs can be made that will not only keep your AC running in the present but also prevent more substantial future problems. Also, your system will experience less wear and tear when routine maintenance is performed. For example, a simple maintenance task, such as regularly changing the filters, can lead to less wear on the blower, thus extending its lifespan.

While you may have wondered why AC maintenance is important, it’s easy to see that performing routine maintenance on your HVAC system can save you money on energy bills, enhance the performance of your system, and extend the lifespan of your AC unit. If you need the help of a professional HVAC company in Pittsburgh, PA, call Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at 412-273-1000.

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Garbage Disposal Jammed? What You Need To Know!

A garbage disposal is a great kitchen convenience that makes food scraps go away without making a smelly, gooey mess in the waste container. But even this hardy piece of technology can clog and malfunction. So, with apologies to that close relative you’ve nicknamed “The Human Garbage Disposal,” we offer a guide to what to do if your actual disposal jams – as well as how to prevent jams in the first place!

The care and feeding of your garbage disposal

Although not a delicate piece of machinery, a garbage disposal isn’t built to handle everything you may be inclined to feed it. Here’s a rundown of the most common materials that cause indigestion.

Bones – Instead of being crushed and going through the system, bones will just keep spinning around and around with the blades. If they do manage to make it past the disposal, they won’t be able to go down the drain pipes. Instead, they’ll simply stick and potentially clog your entire system. There’s some debate about the safety of disposing of very small bones, but it isn’t worth the risk.

Fibrous/starchy fruit and vegetable peels – Banana peels contain stringy, fibrous material that can split off from the peel itself and wind around the disposal’s blades. The disposal gets more and more tangled as it spins, and may lead to severe damage. Potato peels have a high starch content, causing them to turn into a thick, soupy mush that consequently causes clogs and blockages in the pipes. Add celery, onion skins, corn husks, artichokes and asparagus to this list.

Fruit pits and nuts – Every try to cut a peach or avocado pit in half? Can’t do it, right? Neither can your garbage disposal, which also can’t do double-duty as a nutcracker.

Pasta, rice, and oatmeal – How much trouble can those little grains cause? Or soft pasta? A significant amount, when the water greatly expands them from their original size. Think about the difference between a dry and wet kitchen sponge, and you’ll get the picture. In this state, they can easily fill up the disposal trap, or block the drain or pipes.  

Coffee grounds – Our colleagues at Haynes Plumbing in Harrisville, UT, describe the problems coffee grounds cause very well. “Although the grounds appear to be going down with no problem, they can actually cause a hefty amount of damage. They pile up quite quickly at the bottom of the drain, creating a thick and sludgy mass of sediment. This sludge keeps accumulating in your pipes and drains and can be very hard to get rid of. It’s a notorious culprit for clogs and other drainage issues. As appealing as the smell can be, it’s best to avoid trouble by tossing your coffee grounds in the trash or compost.”

Egg shells – Again, disposing of egg shells is the subject of debate. Some argue that the shells help keep the blades sharp; others point out that the inner membrane can cling to the edges of the disposal unit, which is not a good thing. Better to exercise caution and dispose of them in the waste basket or add to the compost pile.

Cigarette butts – We’re not going to judge or preach – except about the need to keep them out of your garbage disposal. The cigarette’s chemicals and other materials are shredded and spread throughout your drainage system. They may get stuck, leading to a clog. And if they do pass entirely through your plumbing, they’ll end up in your local water supply.

Grease and oil – Do not pour down any drain in your house! Our December 2018 blog post – “Pouring Grease Down the Sink? Don’t Do It!” – explains the many reasons why.

Can you run Drano down a garbage disposal?

Many people consider Drano the go-to quick fix for any clog. While S.C. Johnson – Drano’s parent company – says that most of the Drano product line (except Drano Kitchen Crystals) is safe for use in garbage disposals, professional plumbers don’t recommend it.

Reason? The main ingredient in all Drano products is sodium hydroxide, commonly known as caustic soda or lye. In addition to causing severe burns, this chemical can damage your pipes. When caustic soda combines with water, it produces heat. Used in a garbage disposal unit, it can combine with bleach or ammonia and release harmful fumes, as well.

There are effective alternatives that are safer for your plumbing, your health and the environment. Liquid Plumr is safe for use in garbage disposals, as its active ingredient is citric acid instead of sodium hydroxide. But for those who are very eco-minded, you can DIY by combining vinegar with baking soda.

Basic maintenance tips

To keep your garbage disposal functioning at its best, run ice cubes down periodically to prevent sludge build-up and sharpen blades. Grinding citrus peels will prevent unpleasant odors. When you are finished using your garbage disposal, briefly run the appliance with a bit of dish detergent and cold water to help keep it clean and clog-free.

Always use cold water when running the disposal, regardless of what you’re grinding. Using hot water can cause grease clogs. Even if you’re careful about not running grease down, some amount inevitably clings to or remains in food prepared using grease.

Troubleshooting your garbage disposal

If your garbage disposal goes on strike, our colleagues at Sansone in South Florida recommend the following troubleshooting checks.

Test the power outlet – This will likely be in the cabinet under the sink. Unplug the garbage disposal and plug in a food processor or blender, to see if it’s powered. If these appliances don’t turn on either, check your circuit breakers to see if the one providing electricity to your disposal has tripped. Turn it back on, then return to the kitchen to check if the garbage disposal is working.

Press the reset button – When a garbage disposal overheats, the reset button may pop out. This is the equivalent of your home’s circuit breakers tripping when overloaded. To fix it, make sure the disposal’s wall switch is set to “off” before doing anything else. Then wait a few minutes to allow it to cool off. Finally, open the cabinets underneath your sink and look for the cylinder that holds the disposal. Feel around the bottom for the red reset button and push it back in. Turn the switch back on to see if it works. If you hear a hum, something inside is jammed.

If this happens, what step you take next depends upon you level of DIY skill and confidence. If you are not comfortable taking the unit apart to locate the jam, call a plumber. If you are comfortable, Sansone and This Old House provide step-by-step instructions. Click on these links to access them.

When is it time to replace your garbage disposal?

A garbage disposal should last up to 12 years. Like every other mechanical device, it eventually wears out. Here are the signs that indicate replacement time is near.

  • It clogs frequently (either the blades are getting dull or you need a larger disposal).
  • You have to press the reset button often.
  • Food takes longer and longer to grind.
  • The unit is leaky.
  • The unit is making loud noises. 

The take-home message

Whether you have an issue with your garbage disposal that requires professional attention, or need a new unit, Adams and Son Plumbing is ready to help. We are a family-owned business with over 50 years in plumbing service. A state-certified plumbing contractor, we have over three generations of master plumbing experience. Contact us to learn more and schedule a service appointment.



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Len The Plumber Recognized as the Best Pick for Drain & Sewer Services in Maryland (for the 4th Time!)

Best Pick Reports certified 2019 logo on a transparent background.Len The Plumber has been certified as the Best Pick in Maryland for drain and sewer services. This is the fourth year Len The Plumber has been honored with this recognition and featured in the annual Best Pick Reports® publication.

Based on customer feedback, the Best Pick honor is awarded to elite home service businesses that meet strict qualifications and receive top ratings from customers. Thousands of unbiased, independent surveys are conducted with customers who have firsthand experience with the business.

Best Pick Reports certified 2019 ribbon logo on a transparent background.To earn the Best Pick certification:

  • Businesses must receive 5-star ratings from at least 60% of the completed surveys.
  • At least 85% of customers must state that they would recommend the business to a friend or family member.
  • Businesses must carry all required state licensure and insurance coverage.

Len The Plumber is proud to continue the tradition of being Maryland’s Best Pick for sewer and drain services. To see why customers chose Len The Plumber as their top choice for plumbing companies in Maryland, check out these exceptional reviews.

Or, simply contact Len The Plumber for drain, sewer, and plumbing service to experience the excellence these top-rated plumbers always deliver!

About Len The Plumber

Since 1996, Len The Plumber has been a leading residential plumbing company in Maryland and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Our fully licensed, expert plumbers are dedicated to providing customer-focused service and exceptional plumbing solutions. From scheduling your appointment to completing the job, your total satisfaction is always our number one goal.

Len The Plumber proudly offers 24-hour emergency service at no extra charge, 2-hour response times for sewer and drain emergencies, and upfront pricing. Whether you need drain cleaning, sewer line repairs, or any other plumbing service, we’re the full-service plumbing company you can always count on!

Those are just some of the reasons why Len The Plumber continues to be recognized as Maryland’s Best Pick for plumbing services. It’s also why we have been named the best local plumbing company by Baltimore Magazine’s editors and readers twice in 2019! But don’t take our word for it—contact us today to experience our first-class plumbing service for yourself.

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What Exactly Is an AC Tune-Up?

You’re not the only one to ask that question. Lot’s of homeowners are under the impression that an AC tune-up is just a bonus service that technicians sell to get an extra buck, but nothing could be further from the truth. The tough part is, nobody who isn’t in the industry knows what exactly takes place during your scheduled AC tune-up. That’s why we’re your professional air conditioning service in Clifton, NJ, that can give you the inside scoop on an AC checkup.

So, let’s try and shine some light on what an AC checkup really means and why it’s pretty important that you schedule one today. We know how important it is that your money goes towards the longevity of your air conditioning, and with so many scams out there it can be easy to feel like you’re paying too much. Thankfully, this is not one of those, and we’re here to demonstrate with some cold hard facts why a tune-up might be incredibly important for your system.

The Real Benefits of a Tune-Up

So, let’s talk turkey. What are you getting when you pay for a service like this?

Technical Benefits

Regular AC maintenance allows a technician to check the status of all the parts within your system. This includes measuring refrigerant levels to make sure there isn’t a leak, checking electrical connections, testing the motors, as well as cleaning the coils. These will make sure your air conditioner is functioning at maximum efficiency and that no damaging processes are hurting the interior.

For example, if an air conditioner has a low charge of refrigerant, that means the system is leaking because an AC is not supposed to consume refrigerant. Also, if one of the coils is frozen, this could be a sign that the airflow is bad due to an unchanged filter or a number of other problems. These tune-ups can be the perfect time for a technician to get insight on other issues that might be influencing the health of your AC.

Filter Inspections

While it’s totally acceptable to change air conditioning filters once a month by yourself, filters can be a great clue into an ongoing issue with your AC. A lot of the time, homeowners will replace or clean the filter thinking it will solve a much deeper problem. With a routine maintenance checkup, a technician can check your filter along with the rest of your AC unit to see if your filter changes are helping the problem or not.

Basically, don’t just assume changing your filters once every month will solve the deeper issues that you might not see or hear.

Is It Worth It?

Well, worth is subjective. However, based on how expensive some of these air conditioning systems can be, having routine maintenance tune-ups can save you a lot of money in the long run if a technician catches a problem early. Think of routine maintenance like an investment on your AC. Good thing we’re here to help you with great maintenance at an affordable price.

If you’ve got any questions about AC maintenance, contact the experts at MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc.

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Do I Need a Water Softener?

showerhead-waterIsn’t water just wet? Can it be hard? How about soft and fuzzy? 

Well, to answer your question, water can certainly be hard, and no, we don’t mean hard like a bed of nails or like a bed of rocks. We are talking about water that is riddled with contaminants — contaminants capable of causing all sorts of problems for your plumbing system.

Fortunately, water softener installation in Orlando is the best solution for hard water, mitigating the negative effects that it has on appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. But, how do you know if you have hard water? Why, you keep reading below of course!

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water with high concentrations of magnesium and calcium particles. Though these particles do not pose a threat to your health and safety, they can wreak quite a bit of havoc on your plumbing system and appliances. Long term exposure to these mineral particles will lead to limescale build-up, restricting water flow and causing damage to your pipes as it hardens.

Signs That You Have Hard Water

Soap Scum in Bathtub or Shower

A rapid build-up of soap scum might suggest that you have hard water in your home. The minerals found in hard water prevent soap from dissolving, causing it to stick around after your bath or shower.

Water Spots on Glasses and Dishes

Have you ever looked at your glassware after running your dishwasher and noticed little water spots along the surface? Water spots are the result of mineral residue left behind from hard water. Calcium and magnesium build-up in your dishwasher can negatively impact its function by restricting the flow of water in and out of the appliance, leading to damage and ineffectiveness.

Yellow or White Residue Around Sinks and Drains

This is a tell-tale sign that you have hard water in your plumbing system. The same mineral deposits that you see outside of your pipes are likely accumulating inside your pipes. When this limescale hardens, you will likely need to replace your pipes much sooner than later.

Clogged Showerheads

Mineral deposits can end up clogging your showerheads, which makes for a not-so-great shower experience. Over time, the showerhead can become so clogged that no amount of water will be allowed through, leading to a need for replacement.

Residue on Hair and Skin

Hard water can leave a residue on your hair and skin. Your hair may feel slimy, lack volume, or be hard to style after it has been dried. You also may notice that your skin feels dry. This is because the minerals in hard water are likely diluting the shampoo or body wash you use, reducing their effect on your body.

Your Clothes Don’t Feel Clean

Just as it prevents soap from dissolving inside your bathtub, hard water can have the same effect inside of your washing machine. This can prevent clothes from rinsing off or can make them stiff after they come out of the dyer. It can also cause colors to fade much faster than they would have otherwise.

If you are interested in having a water softener installed in your home, contact the team at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today! 

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Why Does My Sewer Line Keep Backing Up?

Len The Plumber truck pulling out of Northern VA homeowner's driveway.

It only takes one sewer line backup to cause homeowners major problems and big headaches. But, when sewer lines keep backing up, these problems and headaches can snowball into a full-blown crisis!

If you’re frequently dealing with sewer line backups, here’s a look at what may be going wrong—and what you can do to fix it and stop the backups for good.

4 Reasons Sewer Lines Keep Backing Up

  1. Clogs, clogs, clogs: Recurring clogs can be one reason that sewer lines keep backing up. You’ll experience persistent clogs if things like oil, grease, hair, “flushable” wipes, or other items keep entering your drains and sewer line. The good news is that this is one of the easiest problems to fix. Simply take extra precaution to avoid letting these items go down your drains and toilet. You can also install drain catches throughout your home to help catch items before they go down a drain.
  2. Sewer line damage: After clearing clogs and being careful to avoid future clogs, you can continue having sewer line backups if your sewer line is cracked, has holes in it, or is otherwise damaged. That’s because a cracked sewer line can let dirt and rocks in, creating a new blockage and forcing your wastewater to back up into your home (because it has nowhere else to go).
  3. Tree roots: Another way your sewer line can become blocked and back up is with tree root infiltration. If tree roots are growing near your sewer line, they can damage the line, causing misalignments where buildup of solid matter can lead to blockages. When that happens and the line leaks, the roots can get nutrients from the leakage and start growing toward it—they may even grow into cracks, making them worse and creating new, bigger blockages. As the roots grow, they can eventually prevent any wastewater from passing through. Plus, if the roots aren’t properly removed, they can grow back, causing the same problem and recurring sewer backups.
  4. A broken, sagging, or collapsed sewer line: Sewer lines can break for all sorts of reasons, from pipe aging and corrosion to shifting soil, heavy above-ground construction, and more. No matter how a sewer line breaks, you’re sure to experience backups in your home until your sewer line is fixed.

How to Fix Sewer Lines That Keep Backing Up

The only way to stop recurring sewer backups is to identify the exact problem with the line. And the best way to do that is with a professional sewer line camera inspection. This gives a plumber the opportunity to see:

  • What’s going on inside your sewer line
  • The condition of the line, including vulnerable areas, corrosion, and damage
  • Exactly where in the line the problem lies

With that essential information, the best-fit solution can be determined. That may mean:

The best way to find out what’s causing your recurring sewer line backups and put a stop to them is to contact Len The Plumber.

Schedule Sewer Line Service Now: Contact Len The Plumber

Len The Plumber can diagnose and repair any sewer line problem! With more than 20 years’ experience and state-of-the-art equipment, our expert plumbers are the team you can trust when it’s time to put a stop to sewer backups and other problems.

Call 800-950-4619 or contact Len The Plumber online now for sewer line service. We proudly offer:

  • 24-hour emergency service at no extra charge
  • 2-hour response times for drain and sewer emergencies
  • FREE, upfront, written estimates
  • Exceptional service and top-quality plumbing solutions!

With Len The Plumber, you can always count on:

  • Fast response times for drain and sewer emergencies
  • Zero extra fees for after-hours or emergency service
  • First-class service and the highest-quality solutions!

We invite you to check out our glowing reviews to see why we’re a leading plumbing company in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. And we encourage you to contact us whenever you need plumbing service, so you can experience our excellence for yourself!

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What Causes Sewage to Back Up?

Len the Plumber technician holding up very long and large string of debris that was clogging up a DMV Metro home's sewer line.Sewage backups can be caused by a number of issues with your plumbing system. Fundamentally, sewage will back up whenever wastewater is unable to pass through your pipes and sewer line.

Here’s a closer look at:

  • The most common causes of sewage backups
  • How to know when you’re dealing with a sewage backup
  • What to do when sewage backs up into your home

If you’re dealing with an emergency sewer backup and you need help now, call Len The Plumber at 800-950-4619 for 24-hour emergency service at no extra charge!

We provide FREE estimates and a 2-hour response time for sewage backups and other sewer line emergencies.

5 Problems That Commonly Cause Sewage Backups

  1. Clogs: Anything from grease and food to hair and small objects can create blockages in your pipes and sewer line. These clogs can slow down or stop the flow of wastewater through your plumbing system, causing backups.
  2. Cracked sewer lines: When sewer lines crack due to age, dirt settling, tree roots, or any external damage, dirt and rocks can enter the line, creating a blockage that can cause sewage to back up into your home.
  3. Broken or collapsed sewer lines: If a sewer line is completely severed or collapses, wastewater will be unable to get where it needs to go. Some may start to run off into the dirt, but the majority of it will stay in the line and build up there, again, causing a backup.
  4. Tree root infiltration: Tree roots will gravitate toward water and nutrients, including nutrients that seep from sewer lines. If there are any slight cracks in sewer lines, tree roots can start to grow through these cracks, opening them up and creating a blockage that causes a backup.
  5. Problems with the municipal sewer system: When the city’s sewer line is unable to accept wastewater coming from your home’s sewer line, backups can also happen. Usually, this occurs when municipal sewer systems are overwhelmed with runoff water after heavy rains.

How Do I Know If I Have a Sewage Backup?

Graphic from Len The Plumber explaining how to diagnose a backed up sewer line.

If you see or smell sewage coming up through any of your home’s drains, you likely have sewage backing up into your home. Other signs of sewage backups can include:

  • Bubbling or gurgling drains or toilets
  • Clogs in multiple drains, especially the lowest ones in your home
  • Plumbing fixtures experiencing backups when a different fixture is used, like sewage backing up into your tub after you flush a toilet or when you use your shower
  • Backups in your basement (or in first-floor fixtures if you don’t have a basement) when you use water in other areas of your home

Who’s Responsible for Fixing a Sewage Backup?

It depends on the exact cause of the backup. If problems with the municipal sewer line or system cause backups in your home, the city may be responsible for covering the cost of repairs.

If any problems with your home’s sewer line are to blame, you’ll be responsible for the repairs.

It’s important to point out that even if you’re the one who’s responsible for the repairs:

  • Your homeowners policy may cover the damage and the cost of repairs.
  • You should review your policy and contact your insurance provider to verify if you’re covered for this type of damage.

What Should I Do If I Have a Sewage Backup?

Contact Len The Plumber ASAP for emergency sewer line service.

Call 800-950-4619 for emergency sewer line service and a 2-hour response time. We never charge extra for after-hours service, and we always provide FREE estimates for sewer line service.

You can also contact us online for non-emergency sewer line service.

When it comes to sewer line problems, we’ve seen and fixed it all! Our expertise can give you confidence that we’ll accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and provide the proper repairs. Plus, with Len The Plumber, you can always expect:

  • Upfront pricing
  • First-class service
  • Top-quality solutions from experts who truly care about restoring your plumbing and sewer system!

Len The Plumber has been offering exceptional plumbing services throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. for more than two decades. That’s just one reason why we’re a top-rated local plumbing company!

We invite you to experience our excellence for yourself, and we look forward to helping you with any of your plumbing needs!

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All About Garbage Disposals

drain-and-spoonSink garbage disposals are so common in residential homes today that people have a difficult time imagining what life would be like without them. Before disposals became common parts of kitchens, food waste needed to be scraped off plates and into a composting bucket which was then taken to the trash. This was not only a time-consuming job, but it also put more waste into landfills. Garbage disposals allow a large amount of food waste to instead go into the municipal sewer treatment system without larger pieces of organic waste clogging up the drains.

We have some information about garbage disposals that can help you take better care of the one in your kitchen.

  • Disposals don’t chop up food: There are no sharp blades in the disposal’s hopper as people often think. Instead of chopping up food waste, the disposal uses blunt impellers to throw the food waste into an outer grind ring to mash up the food. This is why putting ice cubes down a disposal to sharpen the blades won’t work—because there are no blades down there.
  • Broken disposals need professional repairs: When your disposal gets stuck, you can try to reset it by pressing the button on the bottom of the unit, which serves as the breaker switch for the unit in case of too much electric stress. If this doesn’t help, don’t continue to attempt to run the disposal because it will just trip the button again. Your next step is calling for professional plumbing services in Glendale, AZ. It can be hazardous to try to repair a disposal yourself.
  • Disposals don’t last forever: A single sink disposal in a kitchen does an immense amount of work over the year (especially around the holiday season, when you’re more likely to be entertaining), and the stress on the motor, the grind wheel, and all the other moving parts will eventually age the disposal past the point of usefulness. When your disposal breaks regularly or isn’t grinding down food effectively, you may need to have it replaced.
  • Disposals aren’t trash cans: We can’t emphasize this point enough—actual trash doesn’t go in the disposal. This includes all non-organic items, like paper and cigarette butts. If it isn’t something you eat, it should never go into the disposal’s hopper.
  • Not all food waste goes in the disposal: Some organic waste can damage the disposal’s mechanical parts. Fruit pits, unpopped popcorn kernels, meat bones, and anything else your teeth can’t chew must be kept from the disposal. Other food items to watch for: fibrous and stringy foods, pasta, and rice.
  • Watch out for the loose disposal: When you notice the disposal is making a rattling sound as it runs that you’ve never heard before, it may be coming loose where it’s attached to the sink. This is a serious issue because the force of the disposal’s movements can cause damage to the sink. It will also allow water to seep between the disposal and the sink, which often leads to mold and water damage. Call for plumbers to see what’s happening and secure the disposal.

Call The Trusted Plumber for garbage disposal service and all other plumbing needs in Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas.

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