When the Challenge is over Water

A month ago, we were called out to repair a sewer line. Usually in our line of work, that’s pretty common. What was uncommon about this project, was that we had to bring the sewer across a ravine, at the bottom of which, there was a creek.

This was something that was definitely going to be a challenge. Even a little daunting. But hey! We’re Cain’s, and we were ready to tackle it. It’s what we do! Even the City of Concord employee didn’t doubt us.

As you can see, we completed this project excellently. It took some planning and teamwork, but we are really happy with the results and so were our customers. On to the next one!

Call us here at Cain’s Able Plumbing, for any of your plumbing needs!

“FLUSHABLE” Wipes

There is no such thing as a “FLUSHABLE” wipe.
Manufacturers of baby wipes will often indicate on the packaging that the product is “flushable.” Plumbing experts say there’s no such thing as a flushable wipe. Because wipes don’t break down in water, they can clog up plumbing systems in a home, and damage pipes and machinery at wastewater treatment plants.

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/columbinewsd/news/flushable-wipes-are-not

With the Covid-19 outbreak and the shortage of toilet paper, consumers have turned to sanitary wipes under many brands to take care of personal hygiene when it comes to using the bathroom. Unfortunately most folks take the packaging at it’s word and flush this wipes in the toilet. This is wreaking havoc with sanitary sewer systems everywhere. Cain’s recently went to a customers home to clear a main sewer line blockage. The sewer line was full of 100’s of sanitary wipes. It took hours to remove them, and made for a bill that could have been completely avoided, if the wipes had been disposed of in another way.

http://www.surinenglish.com/local/201801/05/wipes-causing-problems-sewage-20180105105113-v.html

So, how do we dispose of these wipes if we can’t flush them? Here are a couple of suggestions.

https://www.today.com/series/one-small-thing/are-flushable-wipes-really-flushable-t151945

As you can see by the image above, while toilet paper fully breaks down, sanitary wipes do not. This is after 1 year of being inside the jars. Please take a moment to think about it before you flush wipes down the sewer. Even if it isn’t going to cost you money, in the end, it is going to cost someone money. That’s easy to avoid. Just don’t flush anything except human waste and toilet paper in the toilet.

Collapsed Sewer Line

These pictures are from a recent job in which we repaired a broken collapsed sewer line for a long time customer. We had tried to clear the line unsuccessfully so, we used our camera to investigate inside the line. We found that the sewer line had collapsed. We dug up and repaired the leak.

Baby Wipes in the Toilet!

Almost a full pack of baby wipes our technician pulled out of a customers sewer pipe.

Ever wonder why baby wipes say do not flush? The simple explanation is that they do not dissolve in water like toilet paper. They are thicker and more cloth like. When you put too many in at once, the sewer pipes get clogged and will start to back up. This can cause your main sewer line to back up into your toilet, shower and kitchen sink. Gross, we know. This is why we recommend not disposing of any wipes, even flush-able ones. They do not breakdown in water like toilet paper. If you ever find yourself wondering if something is flush-able, the best thing to do is put it in the garbage and save your money!

The dangers of Drain Cleaner

Drain cleaners seem like an great idea when you’re having drainage problems. Kitchen sink clogged? Shower clogged with hair? Drain cleaner seems like the easiest solution for most home owners. However, most home owners are unaware of the dangers lurking in that bottle of chemicals.

The most common drain cleaners suggest pouring them in to the clogged drain and allowing the mixture to sit and break down the clog. The chemical sits as it is continuously reacting and generating heat to break down the clog. This heat can cause toilet bowls to break, it can cause plastic or PVC pipes to soften, melt, or warp. It eats away at the glue that is used to hold the pipes together. Pipes that are older and already have corrosion damage, may be susceptible to more serious damage that would cause more costly repairs. The physical damage that can be caused by back splash of chemicals can be detrimental. Just as it melts the hair ball in your pipe, it will melt skin. When using a plunger or auger to clear the clog, it is possible for the water containing the cleaner to splash on you. If you do not flush all of the drain cleaner down with water and mix a cleaning chemical it can cause toxic fumes that can damage your lungs and heart. If you have any questions about drain cleaners please call us at 704-934-0015.

Cat Litter in the Toilet

Disposing of cat litter can be a tricky task. Not sure where to put your cat’s dirty litter? After doing some research we can advise you the only safe place for cat litter to be disposed of is in the trash can outside of your home. It is best to double bag the litter and move it to an outside location to prevent the bad smell in you home.

Why can’t I put dirty litter anywhere else?

  • It is not advised to place litter inside your kitchen trash because it can have parasites in it and could contaminate other things in your kitchen.
  • It is not acceptable to dispose of litter in your yard because it can contaminate ground water.
  • It is the most hazardous to flush litter down your toilet. Cat litter clumps and expands when wet and can clog your pipes or damage a septic system (even the ones that say flush-able).
  • Newer water saving toilets don’t use enough water or pressure to move the litter through your pipes.
  • Cat waste hardens up fast and dries out, this could be difficult to move through pipes as they bend and turn.
  • Flushing litter can introduce a parasite, named toxoplasma gondii, into the water supply. T. gondii is commonly found in cats and flushing this parasite down the toilet can contaminate water supply. Supply treatment centers may not be able to clean all of the parasite out of the water. This increases the possibility of a public infection. Those most at risk are children, elderly people, and pregnant women.

The EPA has classified pet waste as a pollutant that can cause harm to fish and wild life. It can kill native vegetation and cause unsafe water.

What prompted us to write this?

We received a call last week. Our customer was complaining about clogged pipes. We went to the home the same day we received the call. Upon cabling the customers line, our technician pulled back cat litter. This made us wonder how many other customers are unaware of the havoc that can be caused by litter.

Sources: https://www.epa.gov/

Glass in the Disposal

Having glass or other foreign objects in your garbage disposal can turn into a major problem. It can cause the blades to get bent, clog your pipes, and even cause your disposal to jam possibly blocking your kitchen sink drain and dishwasher if it is connected. It is best to remove an item that is lodged.

thekitchn.com

The first thing to do if you have glass in your disposal is to turn off your disposal and to be safe, if possible, switch off the breaker too.

DO NOT STICK YOUR HAND IN THE DISPOSAL!!

Use a tool similar to needle nose pliers to fish out the pieces of glass.

You can also try an industrial size vacuum like a Shop-vac if you have one available.

Make sure you twist the blades to ensure you’ve gotten all the glass. You can do this with a hex key from underneath the disposal or by using a tool. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS.

Once you are sure you’ve gotten all the glass, you can restore the power to the unit. Run the water to ensure you’ve gotten everything out.

Always keep in mind, retrieving things from a garbage disposal is a dangerous task. If you feel there may be something stuck in your disposal and do not feel comfortable getting it out, please give us a call.

Tree Root Damage

07/30/19 In the first photo you will see the toilet drain (This is what is under your toilet) with the roots still intact . In the second photo you will see the roots that have been removed from the drain. These customers had noticed sewer returning and slow draining.

Tree Roots are drawn to the moisture, oxygen, and nutrients that are present inside of sewer pipes. The vapor that is released into the soil when there is a leak or crack inside your sewage system can attract roots to grow toward the pipes.

The most invasive species of trees are:

  • Hybrid Poplars
  • Willows
  • American Elms

The average cost to remove tree roots from sewer pipes is between $100 and $600. For larger roots causing more severe damage, that cost can go up to as much as $2500 for complete re-piping of the system.

If you notice a slow flowing drainage system or gurgling noises coming from your toilet bowl, please give us a call!

The do’s and don’ts of garbage disposals

      Many garbage disposal problems can be avoided altogether with the proper care and maintenance. When using your disposal start by letting cold water run through it for 15 seconds before turning it on. Allow the water to continue running and begin to slowly feed the food into the disposal until the grinding stops. Turn off the disposal and allow the water to continue to run through the disposal for about 30 seconds to make sure the disposal is clear.

      Never put items such as plastic, metal, glass, or any kind of paper products into the disposal as these items will cause damage to the blades and or motor. When putting food into the disposal make sure you do not put foods with tough skins such as potato peels or fibrous food such as celery stalks into the disposal. These types of foods can wrap around the motor or cause clogs. Grease should also never be poured into the disposal, because the grease will solidify and accumulate causing clogged pipes or bad odors.

To keep your disposal clean and fresh. Run hot water and soap through the disposal daily. Freshen up your disposal by chopping up lemons or limes and grinding them up in the disposal. Vinegar is also a great way you can eliminate odor causing bacteria from your disposal.  Maintain your disposal and keep it in great shape to avoid unnecessary repair cost.