What To Do If Your Sewer Keeps Backing Up

What To Do If Your Sewer Keeps Backing Up

  • Sewer Replacement
Sewer backing up how to prevent mchales

When it comes to your sewer, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t apply. There are many preventable, common reasons why your sewer might be backing up. Nobody wants to deal with toilets not flushing, washing machines overflowing and sinks not draining. Check out these common reasons why your sewer keeps backing up, and some simple steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

Why Your Sewer Keeps Backing Up

Some common reasons why your sewer may be backing up are:

  • Clogs
  • Blockages
  • Compromised Pipes
  • Municipal Problems

The next step is figuring out how you can prevent some of these issues in the future.

How To Prevent Sewer Back-Ups

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, don’t forget about these easy preventative measures to make sure you don’t experience any issues!

Food & Grease

This one is common, especially if you have a garbage disposal. Avoid putting scraps of food down the drain to prevent the chance of a build-up occurring further down your sewer pipes. This includes grease, fats, and oils that would otherwise coagulate and create stubborn build-up on the inside of your sewer system.

Flushable Wipes

Flushable wipes really are not all that flushable. Where regular toilet paper is designed to break down, wipes are much more durable and can snag or collect anywhere within your sewer pipes.

Gardening

Outside of the home, you must be mindful of planting trees or large plants, including bushes, around sewer pipes. Their roots can dive deep under the surface and cause expensive blockages and repairs for your sewer.

Prevent Your Sewer From Backing Up

To prevent wastewater from backing up into your home after entering the sewer system, ask to install a sewer backup valve. This one-way valve will allow wastewater to leave your home but not come back in.

If you are regularly having sewer problems and backups, don’t bail and call McHales today. Be sure to check out our amazing reviews!

By McHales

Things That May Be Wrong If Your Sewer Keeps Backing Up

Things That May Be Wrong If Your Sewer Keeps Backing Up

  • drain cleaning
  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Replacement
Sewer Keeps Backing Up

If your sewer keeps backing up you already know you have a problem. It’s just a matter of how big of a problem you have. Sewage backing up into your home or onto your property is a worrying and disgusting headache for any home owner. There’s plenty of things you may have to fix with your plumbing if its backing up regularly. Sewers are fairly complex systems that the average homeowner doesn’t pay much mind to, but they play an important role keeping our lives sanitary and healthy. Wastewater contains pathogens and various other disease-causing microorganisms.

Clogs

Clogs are the easiest sewage problem to solve, since they’re the only ones the homeowner has any real sense of control over. Flushing plumbing inappropriate materials ends with them getting stuck up in the pipes and blocking the wastewater, causing it to backup through the pipes. When your toilet won’t flush or your sink drains slowly, it can be easy to mistake it for an issue with that plumbing fixture alone. And backups are a common symptom of a common plumbing clog. What separates them is that a sewer clog occurs further down in the plumbing; most commonly the lateral or the mainline, which connect your home’s pipes to the municipal sewers.

A number of things cause these types of sewer clogs including, but not limited to:

  • Pouring fats, oils, and grease (FOGs) down the kitchen sink
  • Baby wipes
  • Solid waste deposits
  • Hair deposits
  • Soap scum
  • Tree roots

Collapsed Pipes

Being so far out of sight, it’s hard to tell exactly when a pipe somewhere along the line breaks down. When this happens, however, you can probably be able to guess when it happens based on the amount of sewage backing up through your toilet and up into your yard. Pipes normally don’t collapse on their own; their typically made to last longer than most of us will be around. However, tree root intrusions are liable to  grow outward and damage roots. When roots grow, they seek out water and are naturally attracted to the water within the pipes. A collapsed pipe is a serious problem that requires a full pipe replacement to fix.

Municipal Issues

Unless you’re on a septic system, your sewer line connects to the municipal sewer system. The main line in your home that connects to the city’s sewer system, from which point it goes to the treatment plant for cleaning and processing. Most local municipalities by law do a very thorough cleaning and service of their sewer systems but occasionally things do take unexpected turns for the worst. In the event your sewer backup is related to the municipal system, there’s not a ton you can do as a homeowner short of calling the city and urging them to act on the problem.

Schedule a consultation with a call to McHale’s today!

Read Reviews From Our Happy Customers!

sewer keeps backing up sewer keeps backing up 

By McHales

Most Common Reasons Why Your Water Heater Stopped Working

Most Common Reasons Why Your Water Heater Stopped Working

  • drain cleaning
  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Replacement
water heater stopped working

In our experience, there’s never a good time to see your water heater has stopped working. It’s such a core part of what makes your home comfortable that losing it even for a few hours can be a massive problem.  While you can always call us at Payless to fix any and all issues with your system, we think transparency is important and want you to know exactly what’s wrong with your water heater.  We’ve looked at our records and narrowed down some of the most common reasons water heater stop working. 

  1. Poor Installation Just like a carpenter needs the right tools for the right job you water heater system needs to be properly fitted to your home and your needs. Often, new homeowners find that the previous owners did a slipshod job of installing the water heater. Maybe you had children and expanded the size of your household. An improperly sized system does not provide the results you’re looking for.  Be sure that you have the right heater for your home. 
  2. Rust Rust is an inevitable problem whenever you’re dealing with anything metal, especially water heaters. To prevent against this, water heaters come equipped with devices called sacrificial anodes, which act as deterrents to rust damage. Over time, these anodes wear away. Check your system annually and give us a call if you notice these rods failing. 
  3. Air Quality In order to heat your water, a process called combustion needs to occur. Essentially what this is is that air is taken into the water heater and used to heat the water. But if that air is low quality or contains corrosive fumes? Bad air can destroy your water heater from the inside out. 
  4. Water Pressure Speaking generally, 80 PSI should be your maximum water pressure. If it’s much higher than this, you need to fix the problem  before the damage becomes permanent. 
  5. Accumulated Sediment  The water in your heater contains a lot of minerals and chemicals. Over time, these compounds build up within your system into a sludge-like substance which, as you could imagine, disrupts the efficiency of the water heater. Draining and cleaning the tank regularly can help prevent this, but without regular maintenance, you may need to call a professional to fix the issue. 
  6. Age Time stops for no water heater. Just like people, water heaters get old. They get worn down and parts deteriorate.  Water heaters generally last about a decade or so. If your system is 10+ years old and you’re noticing a decrease in your water quality, it may be time to give us a call. 

Consult With Your Plumber  There’s a lot of misinformation out there about water heaters. We only covered a select handful here. Still have questions about tankless water heaters? Give us a call at McHales! Our team of experts can answer any and all questions you may have about water heaters, tankless or otherwise.

Water heater stopped working? Schedule a consultation with a call to McHale’s today!

Read Reviews From Our Happy Customers!

drain and sewer repair 

By McHales

A Guide to Cleaning Your Sewer and Drain Lines

A Guide to Cleaning Your Sewer and Drain Lines

  • drain cleaning
  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Replacement
sewer cleaning

Nothing is more important than considering the health of both your sewer line and drains. Much like any other system in your home, both of these systems are prone to problems, especially clogs. A clog usually occurs when there is some sort of blockage found within your pipes. This is precisely why regular sewer and drain cleaning is so important. 

Thankfully, there are ways around these series of backups and sewer and drain cleaning are fairly easy services to navigate once you get a professional on board. If you follow the following steps, you can keep your pipes running smoothly. 

Typical Causes of Sewer Backups

Sewer backups can lead to In terms of residential backups; there are many contributing factors. These include:

  • Tree Root Intrusion 
  • Grease Accumulation
  • Improper disposal of paper products

If you do have a sewer line clog, follow these following steps to clear the blockage.

How to Remove a Sewer Line Clog with Sewer Cleaning 

Use a pipe wrench to loosen the cap on your main drain line before you open it entirely. Once the cap is loosened, open it and let the buildup drain out. Once the cap is opened, make sure to step out of the way. If there is any waste caused by the clog, the backflow will spill out of the main line drain. Make sure to let it run off entirely before attempting any further repairs. 

Next, feed the auger cable down the drainpipe. Each auger, or plumbing snake, is different, so be sure to follow the instructions that come with the tool for best results. However, the general principle is that you should gently feed the auger cable into your drainpipe until you hit the clog. You’ll know when you’ve hit it because the cable will get progressively harder to move through the pipe. Allow the auger to run until the clog has been removed. You’ll be able to see when it happens because the water level in the drainpipe will begin to gradually decrease and then drain out entirely.

That said, don’t stop running the machine as soon as the clog disappears. There could still be smaller pockets elsewhere in the pipe, which may cause additional problems down the road. Once the clog has been removed, spray the hose down your drainpipe at full blast. Doing so will simultaneously remove any lingering debris that is stuck in the pipe and clean off the auger. 

Afterwards, pull the plumbing snake out of the pipe slowly. You most likely want to hose the auger cable off a few times before winding it back onto the machine. When you’re done, place the cap back on your drainpipe and use the pipe wrench to tighten it up. 

Avoid Clogging Your Drains

While grease is the absolute worst substance you can put in your drain, there are other objects that should be avoided all together. This is especially pertinent if you have a garbage disposal unit as part of your drain system. These items include the following:

  • Bones
  • Fibrous fruits/vegetables: This includes celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce
  • Coffee Grinds
  • Fruit Pits: Includes avocado pits, peach pits, etc.
  • Corn Husks
  • Egg Shells
  • Potato Peels
  • Pasta, Rice and Grains

If these items much like grease or oil, can clog up your drain or prevent the garbage disposal blades from working properly. If the blades are jammed, this can also increase the buildup in the disposal drain.

If you do experience a clogged drain, there are ways to remedy it. 

Cleansing Your Drains

If your drains do have a clog, there can be a number of indicators. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent drains from clogging. 

  • Run hot water through the sink after each use. Hot water keeps oils in food products running down the drain, rather than building up on the interior surface of pipes, which can make drains sluggish and lead to clogs.
  • Throw a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow it with hot water. Baking soda is a terrific cleaning agent, and it’s also great for absorbing foul odors and leaving your drainpipes smelling like a rose. Okay, maybe not like a rose, but a lot better than they otherwise would.
  • Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes; then chase it down with very hot water. Vinegar is a wonder cleaner. It contains acetic acid, which acts as an excellent organic solvent in removing an organic buildup of crud in pipes. 

Schedule a sewer or drain cleaning with a call to McHale’s today!

Read Reviews From Our Happy Customers!

drain and sewer repair 

By McHales

When Should I Replace My Old Plumbing?

When Should I Replace My Old Plumbing?

  • drain cleaning
  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Replacement
replace plumbing

For many homeowners in and around Bucks County, their plumbing system is something they take for granted; it’s in the background working for them and doing it’s job. Out of sight, out of mind. That is until something goes wrong. Plumbing repairs are one thing, but some times pipes are in such a state that they just need a replacement.

Because our pipes are so hidden from our view most of the time, it can be hard for homeowners to determine exactly when they need pipe replacement. Visual signs become hard to pick up when you can’t actually get a visual. Thankfully there are other signs to tell when when it’s time to replace your old plumbing.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is one of, if not the, biggest signs that the pipes you have are on their way out. Regularly, low pressure can be caused by a number of different issues. But consistent, regularly low pressure is a surefire sign you need to replace your old plumbing. You might notice that the water pressure in your shower isn’t as strong as it used to be, or that you are not getting much pressure from the sinks. This means that the pipes may be in the early stages of failing at that point, or they may have already progressed in that direction. 

Murky Water

Is your water coming out of the faucet a little cloudy? Failing some sort of major water crisis in your local area, the most likely culprit behind this type of activity is a failing plumbing system. Murky water is a cause for alarm due to health reasons, so if you notice it be sure to call a plumber ASAP.

Rust

Given that pipes run throughout a person’s house, people are sometimes going to see rust spots in odd places throughout their homes if they have old and rusting pipes that need to be replaced. This is more common in older houses. In some instances, this rust is pervasive enough to effect the exterior and interior of the pipe, which ultimately compromises it’s structural integrity and overall water quality. 

Wet Spots in and Around the Home

Surefire signs of plumbing leaks, seeing water pooling in areas where it shouldn’t means you’ve got issues. Don’t make the mistake of thinking someone spilled something or the water came from the outside. Unexplained household leaks are often caused by failing older pipes and not by water coming in from the outside.

 One household leak could have multiple sources. However, if people have several household leaks, and they seem to occur in areas that are heavy on the plumbing, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the internal piping system.

Cracks and Holes

Failing plumbing has a number of consequences, not least of which is wider architectural damage to your house. Cracks, holes, and other unexplainable damage to your home are often the result of pipes failing just behind the walls. This is one of the more serious symptoms of a plumbing system in need of replacement, so don’t hesitate to call us if you see it.

Schedule a consultation with a call to McHale’s today!“”

Read Reviews From Our Happy Customers!

drain and sewer repair 

By McHales

Signs You Need Professional Sewer Cleaning

Signs You Need Professional Sewer Cleaning

  • drain cleaning
  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Replacement
Sewer Cleaning

Why’s sewer cleaning so important? Our sewer system is one of the most out of sight systems in our homes, and as most people can attest, “out of sight” generally means “out of mind.” Unfortunately, it is also one of the most important systems in modern life when it comes to sanitation and cleanliness. So when something goes wrong with it, such as a clog, a leak, or a full blown sewer burst, it’s more than an inconvenience; it’s a threat to you and your family’s health. Regular , professional sewer cleaning is one of the best ways to keep a trained eye on your sewer system, keep it clean, operational, and safe.

Foul Smells

You don’t need to be a career plumber to know that toilets can smell from time to time. Normally, these odors pass in time. If you’re noticing sustained, heavy, oppressively strong odors in and around your home (particularly from your piping) this can be an early sign of a major blockage. This is usually where most homeowners call a plumber, as it’s one of the more unpleasant issues to have happen in your home. Regular cleaning can make sure the inside of your home keeps smelling as beautiful as it looks.

Water Backing Up

Have you noticed water not going down the drain quickly while you’re in the shower? The sink isn’t quite clearing after brushing your teeth in the morning? Common sewer blocks prevent water from heading down the drain quickly. Much like how plaque can clog an artery and cause blood to flow more slowly through your body, a blockage in your plumbing system can cause your water to funnel through a too-small-to-run-efficiently space. Thankfully, a plumbing block is easier and safer to remedy than a clogged artery: a simple can to one of the pros at McHales can have any blockage removed and cleaned out in just a few short hours.

Gurgling Sounds

You may notice these coming from inside your walls after flushing a toilet or taking a shower. This is indicative of a growing blockage somewhere in your plumbing. As blockages begin to form, the water rushing through the more confined space creates air pockets that make these unpleasant gurgling noises. These can be disconcerting to hear, and understandably so. Once a drain and sewer cleaning service removes the blockage in question, these sounds should disappear as well.

Flooding in Your Yard

If a foul smell in your bathroom is a red flag, then flooding in your yard is equivalent to an air raid siren blasting in your ear. Flooding of foul smelling liquid is indicative of a sewer line burst, one of the most serious plumbing issues you can come across. This means one of your pipes has burst and the raw sewage therein has seeped up through the dirt and into your yard. Not only is this absolutely disgusting, it damages your property and poses a serious health hazard. If you notice your lawn is flooding from below, especially it’s a bad smelling, dirty liquid, it’s well-past time to call in a plumber to preform sewer cleaning: you need full blown sewer repair, a much more costly project.

Sewer and drain cleaning in general should be regular parts of any homeowners maintenance checklist. Just like with your personal health, small issues can snowball out of control very quickly if left unchecked: the minor blockage in your pipes could become a full-blown, water-stopping clog, the leak can escalate into a massive burst sewer line, and so on. Save yourself the headache (and the financial pain) with a regularly scheduled drain or sewer cleaning to stop issues before they get out of hand.

Schedule a consultation with a call to McHale’s today!

Read Reviews From Our Happy Customers!

drain and sewer repair 

By McHales

10 Warning Signs Your Drains or Sewers Need to Be Serviced

10 Warning Signs Your Drains or Sewers Need to Be Serviced

  • drain cleaning
  • Sewer Replacement
drain and sewer service

Maintaining the health of your sewers and drains is important because it eliminates foul odors and prevents water overflow issues, as well as prevents expensive home repairs and health problems. Read on to discover our 10 warning signs that your home needs drain and sewer service.

1.Multiple Clogged Fixtures

Multiple clogged fixtures are the most common sign of drain and sewer problems. Fixtures that frequently pose a threat include bathtubs, toilets, and showers. These clogs are caused by a buildup of debris, such as hair, excess paper, and non-flushable items.

2. Slowly Draining Fixtures

Common causes of slowly draining fixtures are soap scum build up and an accumulation of hair and other debris, including foreign objects.

3. Wet Spots on Landscapes

Wet spots on landscapes are eyesores, and they kill your home’s curb appeal. Wet spots are puddles of standing water that make your lawn look like it is flooded in different places. Standing water not only attracts mosquitos and suffices as a perfect breeding ground, but it also causes your grass and plants to become over-hydrated.

4. Unpleasant Odors

Unpleasant drain odors derive from venting problems, dry p-trap, and sewer line issues. Unpleasant odors that come from the drain due to sewer problems are an indication that there is a block or a break within the sewer line.

5. Gurgling Noises

Gurgling noises in your drains are the result of grease and dirt buildup. Due to this buildup, air bubbles cannot flow freely through the pipes. This causes water to drain slowly and creates a gurgling noise.

6. Frequent Drain Clogs

Kitchen sinks clog more than any other drain in the home. Common causes of frequent drain clogs include food, grease, hair, and small objects. Items that should not be placed down the kitchen drain include paper towels, egg shells, coffee grinds, produce stickers, and corrosive substances.

7. Overflowing Toilets

Overflowing toilets are more common than many people think, especially in a home with three or more people living there. Toilets overflow because of a blockage within the pipes.

8. Leaking Pipes

The different causes of leaking pipes include strong pressure within the pipes, the amount of oxygen in the water, and the water’s pH. An abundance of oxygen in water causes pipes to corrode rapidly. An imbalance in water’s pH causes pipes to rust and deteriorate.

9. Water Damage

Broken and leaking pipes are the common cause of water damage. Other causes of water damage include sewer backup, overflowing bathtubs, and broken toilets.

10. Expensive Household Bills

Water and sewer bill expenses are based upon consumption. When you have leaking pipes and other sewer and plumbing problems, your sewer or water bill can skyrocket. Some leaks in the home are easier to locate than others. Bathroom leaks are easier to find than kitchen leaks because kitchen sinks have more complex piping systems.

Situations That Occur When Sewer and Drain Issues Are Ignored

When sewer and drain issues are left unattended, they can increase or be compounded with other problems. Homeowners suffer a great deal of discomfort, inconvenience, and expense when their services have to be interrupted or when they are unable to use their plumbing fixtures. Homeowners put themselves at higher risk for additional pipe leaks, malfunctions, and even more expense. The most devastating problem when sewer and drain issues are ignored is sanitation. Flooded toilets and sinks are the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. With a decreased level of sanitation, you and your family are at risk for contracting and spreading diseases and developing health issues.

The Benefits of  Drain and Sewer Service Issues In a Timely Manner

Handling issues with your sewer and drain as soon as problems arise has many advantages, including improved longevity of plumbing fixtures and reduced risk of water damage. Plumbing fixtures that are maintained properly will save money because you will not have to frequently replace the fixtures. Sewers and drains that work properly have a reduced chance of experiencing leaks, which reduces the risk of water damage. The level of sanitation is improved because germs and bacteria will stay where they belong. To add an extra layer of protection from germs and to control the amount of bacteria, you can routinely pour bleach down your drains and use it when you clean your toilet. Peace of mind is a benefit that cannot be compared to any other benefit. You do not have to stress yourself worrying about the health of your family and the condition of your home. You can sleep peacefully knowing your sewer and drains are functioning correctly. The misery of spreading germs and bacteria, household damage, and expensive repairs is a thing of the past.

 

Do not ignore what appear to be simple sewer and drain issues. What seems minimal at the time could be progressing into a major problem.

If you need drain and sewer service, call McHale’s today and avoid back-ups in your home!

By McHales

Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Replacement Newtown

Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Replacement Newtown

  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Replacement
trenchless sewer repair by McHales

Save Money and Destruction with Trenchless Sewer Replacement

Have you have ever had to have your property torn up to repair or replace your sewer lines? If so, you know the headache and mess that can result from this type of work. In addition to the mess, digging up these trenches is quite time consuming. Luckily, there are quicker and better methods of sewer replacement that doesn’t involve the time and mess of digging. Trenchless sewer replacement services by McHale’s can reduce the time, cost and mess—all without compromising quality.

  • Cost Savings: No surprise that this is one of the main reasons that consider going trenchless in the first place. Who wants to empty their savings account for a sewer line replacement? Compared to traditional excavation methods, trenchless replacement carries a substantially lower cost.
  • Reduced Disruption: If you have never experienced it firsthand, having your sewer line out of service is a major inconvenience. However, with trenchless sewer line replacement, McHale’s can get your system back up and running in no time. You won’t have to deal with the headache of a non-functioning plumbing system any longer than you have to. This can be critical if you have a busy household with lots of people relying on it.
  • No Landscape Destruction: When most people picture a sewer replacement, they see a colossal eyesore ripped through their carefully landscaped yard. In fact, one of the things that makes sewer replacement so expensive is the replanting and repaving of existing landscaping and paved areas. But, as the name suggests, trenchless methods doesn’t require the digging of a trench. In fact, they require no surface disruption of any kind. In most cases, the only digging includes two small holes at the beginning and end of the sewer line section to be replaced.

Call McHale’s today to learn more about how trenchless sewer replacement is the most cost effective and least time consuming options available!

By McHales

100-ft Sewer Replacement in Bucks County: Before and After

100-ft Sewer Replacement in Bucks County: Before and After

  • Sewer Replacement
  • Uncategorized

The team of expert plumbers here at McHales recently completed a sewer replacement in Bucks County. Because this is a service many homeowners are interested in, we’ve decided to report on the job and share the before and after photos with you.

The Challenge

The property owner called us to schedule an appointment to inspect his sewer. He’d noticed certain telltale signs of sewer trouble, including a bad odor coming from the drains, which usually indicates a clog.

Our inspection revealed that the sewer line that ran from the property to the municipal sewer was old and worn. It was corroded and cracking in some places, indicating that much more serious problems such as significant leaks were likely to happen in the near future.

After conferring with the property owner, we decided to perform a sewer replacement. There was one unfortunate complication, however: the area that had to be replaced covered 100 feet of the property’s beautiful landscaping. At this length, it was too much to use non-invasive techniques such as pipe lining or pipe bursting. In short, this was a rare occasion that called for excavation.

At McHales, we promise our customers minimum disruption to their lives. Plus, we always clean up after ourselves. So we set to work digging a narrow trench precisely along the sewer pipe, which you can see in the first image. After laying the pipe bare, we immediately replaced the old pipe with a new, resilient one all the way from the property to the municipal sewer. Then we filled the trench in as carefully as possible, as you can see in the second image.

We completed the task in record time and with as little inconvenience as possible to the property owner, who was extremely satisfied with the results. His sewer is now as good as new and will likely last for 30 years or more.

McHales – The Sewer Replacement Experts

If you need sewer replacement in Bucks County, then contact McHales. We can inspect your sewer and advise you on what needs to be done to keep your sewer in good working order. So why wait? Contact McHales today!

By McHales