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Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan


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Sewer & Drain (10)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 00:35

Solving Sewer and Drain Odor Problems

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Solving Sewer Drain Odor Problems

If you notice a smelly sewer odor in your home, there are several possible causes. Here are some things to check:
  1. Check the floor drain trap. Without water to block the sewer gas from escaping, odors will enter the room. Pour water down the drain to refill the trap.
  2. Check the clean-out plug inside the floor drain. Remove the grate that covers the drain and make sure there's a plug inside the drain bowl. If the plug is missing, sewer gas will be able to bypass the water trap. A replacement plug can be bought at most hardware stores.
  3. Check the toilets. When toilets are unused for a long period of time the water in the trap can evaporate. Simply flushing the toilet will refill the trap.
  4. Worn toilet wax ring. The wax ring seals the toilet flange to the toilet base. If the wax ring leaks, sewer gas will escape from under the toilet. If the ring is broken, the toilet will need to be removed and and the wax ring replaced. If the toilet is loose on the base, shims can be used to ensure that a rocking toilet doesn't break the new wax ring.
  5. Other possible causes of sewer odors include a broken or cracked sewer line or, less often, a loose connection joint in an interior wall. If you've checked the other possibilities above, it may be time to contact your plumber to hunt down the cause.
Have sewer and drain line questions? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we can help.
Most of us will experience it at some point, an object falls into the sink, jams the garbage disposal and it stops running. Now what? First, and most importantly, never attempt to clear the disposal until the power has been disconnected. Do not rely on turning power off at the switch, unplug the disposal from the wall outlet located under the sink. If the unit is hard-wired and has no plug, turn off the power at the circuit breaker.

It is not recommended that you forcefully try to remove whatever object is stuck inside the disposal. Instead, most under sink disposals can be unjammed using an allen wrench to manually turn motor shaft and free the impeller. The flywheel lug is located on the bottom of the disposal. Insert the wrench and turn the shaft counterclockwise, then clockwise until the obstruction is cleared and you can feel the motor shaft spinning freely. It may takes several attempts to free the shaft. Once it has been cleared, restore power the disposal, turn on the cold water and check that it is operating correctly.

If the disposal cannot be powered on, you may need to press the reset button located on disposal. Make sure the disposal power switch is in the OFF position before pressing the reset button.

Have garbage disposal problems? Call Gibson's Plumbing and Heating, we can help with all your plumbing repairs.
When it comes to thoroughly cleaning out sewer and drain lines, water jetting is one of the most effective tools available. While cable devices (also called drain snakes) are able to remove tough obstructions, they are not as good at removing residue that can cling to pipes like grease and mineral deposits. After a drain cables break up obstructions inside the pipe, water jetting is used to flush out the remaining debris.

The water jetting process uses advanced pumps and flexible hoses to propel water under pressure into the sewer or drain lines. The key to effective water jetting is a special nozzle that directs high pressure water jets both forward and backwards to "scrub" the pipe walls and cut through the toughest residue.

High-pressure water jetting is a safe, environmentally-friendly sewer and drain cleaning method that offers the following advantages:
  • Penetrates and emulsifies grease
  • Breaks up sludge
  • Pulverizes tree roots
  • Clears away hardened scale
  • Thoroughly flushes out a plumbing system
Have questions about water jetting? Give Gibson's Heating and Plumbing a call, we're here to help.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 14:31

Solving Sewer Odors In the Home

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Sewer odors in the home are unpleasant, but it's usually an easy problem to solve. Here are some things to check, starting with the most common cause of sewer odors:

1. Floor drain trap. The floor drain has a bowl that fills with water to block sewer gases from escaping. When the trap dries out, odors will enter the home through the floor drain. Simply pouring water down the floor drain will refill the trap and stop the odors.

2. Check the clean-out plug inside the floor drain. Remove the grate that covers the floor drain and make sure there's a plug inside the drain bowl. If the plug is missing, sewer gas will be able to bypass the water trap. A replacement plug can be bought at most hardware stores.

3. Check the toilets. When toilets go unused for long periods of time the water in the trap can evaporate. Simply flushing the toilet will refill the trap.

4. Worn toilet wax ring. The wax ring seals the toilet flange to the toilet base. If the wax ring leaks, sewer gas will escape from under the toilet. If the ring is broken, the toilet will need to be removed and and the wax ring replaced. If the toilet is loose on the base, shims can be used to ensure that a rocking toilet doesn't break the new wax ring.

Other possible causes of sewer odors include a broken or cracked sewer line or, less often, a loose connection joint in an interior wall. If you've checked the other possibilities above, it may be time to contact your plumber to hunt down the cause.

Have sewer and drain line questions? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we can help solve all your sewer and drain problems.
Keeping your home's sewer and drain lines working smoothly doesn't have to involve harsh chemicals. Natural drain cleaners like BioOne offer a safe, effective way to remove buildup in drain lines that can eventually lead to an obstruction. BioOne is made of naturally occurring cultures that can be introduced directly into plumbing and septic systems. The patented BioOne Hungry Bacteria get to work immediately on degradation of fat, oil, grease and organic waste build-up through natural biological digestion. BioOne has earned the EPA's Safer Choice Program certification. Only products that are made of the safest possible ingredients are eligible for the program.

Natural Sewer Line Treatment Products

One of the most common reasons sewer lines fail is tree root intrusion. When a small crack forms in the sewer line tree roots are drawn to the moisture and nutrients inside the pipe. Eventually, tree roots will obstruct the sewer line.

One of the most effective biological sewer line cleaners is RootX. RootX kills roots in residential sewer lines, storm pipes and septic systems. A root intrusion left untreated can restrict flow, cause complete blockage and can eventually destroy a sewer or septic system, costing you thousands of dollars to repair or replace.

Whether you're looking for a do-it-yourself solution for safe, effective sewer and drain line maintenance, or prefer to have your plumber do the treatment for you, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing.
Because a home's sewer line can back up slowly over time, it's important to know the signs of potential problems before they result in a sewer line backup. Once a sewer line is completely clogged up it can cause major damage to your home.

Here are the trouble signs to look for:
  1. Multiple plumbing fixtures are draining slowly or backing up at once. When multiple drains start emptying slowly or backing up, the cause is often the home's main line.
  2. Toilets that are not working properly. Because toilets drain into the home's largest line, most sewer problems are initially noticed when toilets begin overflowing with normal use.
  3. Tub or shower drains are starting to backing up. When a sewer line becomes obstructed water will return to the lowest point, which is often a shower or tub drain. 
  4. Strange sounds can be heard when using faucets. A clogged sewer line will often cause gurgling sounds in pipes.
If you have any of the symptoms above, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can perform a camera inspection to find and repair any problems.

Chemical Drain CleanersWhen a kitchen or bathroom drain begins to drain slowly or clogs entirely, the first thing many people do is reach for a chemical drain cleaner to clear the blockage.  While chemical drain cleaners can be effective in some situations, it's important to understadt the risks they can pose to your health and your plumbing system.

Chemical drain cleaners are available in several forms. The main ingredient in alkaline drain cleaners is usually sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Acidic drain cleaners contain concentrated sulphuric acid. Other chemicals commonly found in drain cleaners include bleach and lye.

Chemical drain cleaners are most effective at removing organic matter blocking the pipe near the drain opening, they are not as effective on tougher clogs that form further down the drain pipe, particularly toilet and sewer line clogs.

Drain Cleaner Safety

Because most chemical drain cleaners will cause a chemical reaction when coming in contact with the organic matter clogging the drain, it's essential that they be added slowly and that you protect your face and skin from any potential contact with the chemicals. Contact with the chemicals can cause burns, blindness and inflammation to your respiratory system.

It's also important to keep the cleaner from coming in contact with anything outside of the drain since the chemicals can corrode metal and damage other materials in your kitchen or bathroom, such as wood, paint, plastic, aluminum and fiberglass.

The Advantages of Professional Drain Cleaning

The safest and most effective way to clear clogged drains is to call a professional. A plumber will use mechanical means to physically remove the toughest blockages that chemical drain cleaners either cannot reach or won't fully dissolve.

Best of all, you won't need to store hazardous chemicals in your home, risking your family's health and potential damage to your plumbing system.

The next time you have a clogged drain emergency, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We'll unclog your drains quickly and safely.




Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:23

What Causes Sewer Lines to Backup?

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It's important to remember that homeowners are responsible for maintaining and repairing the sewer pipe (called the lateral) that runs from the house to the city sewer main. By understanding what causes sewer line backups you can reduce the chances that your home will be damaged.

The most common cause of sewer line damage is tree root intrusion. Tree roots typically cause damage to pipes or joints that are already compromised in some way, allowing tree roots access to the water and nutrients inside the pipe where they can clog pipes and break open joints.

Other causes of sewer line backups include aging sewer lines made of clay or metal, and changes to the ground over time that can cause misalignment of sewer pipes.

Preventing Sewer Line Backups

There are several ways homeowners can prevent sewer line back ups.
  1. Be careful about what you put down the drain. Do not pour grease down the drain. Paper towels, disposable diapers, and feminine products should never be flushed down the toilet.
  2. Have your sewer line inspected regularly. A video camera inspection inside the pipe will find any defects such as cracks, bad joints, leaks, and tree root intrusion.
  3. Install a backflow valve that allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in.. Many cities require that new homes have a backflow preventer installed to prevent wastewater from reentering the home.
  4. Never connect french drains, sump pumps and other flood prevention systems to the home's sanitary sewer system. Besides being illegal, it will allow mud and silt to flow into the sewer line during heavy rains.
Have questions about your home's sewer line? Need a video camera sewer line inspection? Call Gibson's Heating & Plumbing, we can help.

Trenchless sewer line repair is a relatively new technology that provides homeowners with a convenient, non-destructive and cost effective way of repairing damaged sewer lines. Here are a few of the main reasons homeowners choose trenchless sewer line repair and replacement over conventional trench digging.

Lower Cost

Because trenchless sewer line repair and replacement does not involve major excavation equipment and replacing large sections of pipe, it is less expensive than traditional methods of sewer line repair.

Less Downtime and Disruption

For most busy households, not having sewer service is something to be avoided. Trenchless sewer line repair reduces downtime to a minimum, meaning that you won’t be without sewer service for more than a day or two.

Less Digging

Traditional sewer line replacement involves digging up your yard, and often breaking through concrete and asphalt driveways and sidewalks. Rebuilding this damage is one reason traditional trench digging is more expensive. With no surface disruption, trenchless sewer line repair and replacement leaves your yard and driveway untouched in most cases. Only two small holes at the beginning and end of the sewer line section that are to be replaced need to be excavated.

Preventing Future Sewer Line Problems

Another significant benefit of trenchless sewer line repair is the old line will be replaced with a more structurally sound pipe made of strong epoxy resin. The resin pipe won’t corrode and will up to root intrusion better - keeping your sewer line in good shape for years to come.

Have questions about trenchless sewer line repair? Call Gibson's Heating & Plumbing for a free consultation.

We don't often think about our sewer line until there is a problem, but there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your sewer line and drains are kept in good working condition.

You can help keep your home's plumbing system flowing freely from the sink drain to the sewer main by following these simple tips:
  1. Keep cooking fats and grease out of your kitchen drain. Pour cooking oil and grease into a disposable container and place it in your freezer. Once it solidifies you can dispose of it in the trash.
  2. Don’t flush wet towels, wipes, diapers, q-tips or hygiene products down the toilet.
  3. Avoid planting trees and plants where the roots may spread near the sewer line. Root intrusion is one of the most common causes for sewer line damage.
  4. Have Gibson's periodically inspect your sewer line to check for and fix the little problems before they become major repairs. Video sewer line inspections can find problems like cracks, tree root intrusion and obstructions. Homeowners are responsible for keeping the sewer lateral, the pipe that connects to the municipal sewer main, in good working condition.


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