Are tree roots clogging your sewer lines?

San Diego has its share of beautiful, older homes.  Just take a drive through the restored districts of North Park and Golden Hill, and you’ll see these testaments to history.  Of course, with the charm and character of older homes comes extra work.  Newer residences are built from more efficient materials, or at the very least, have accrued less wear and tear.

For example, the underground pipes of contemporary houses are made from PVC, and rarely disturbed by tree roots.  However, homes built before 1970 most likely included clay piping.  As a result, they’re vulnerable to the reach of encroaching roots over time, which can clog or even break them.

So how do you handle a clogged sewer line?  Here are a few tips to help.

Identify the problem

First, make sure that the back up that you’re experiencing is actually the result of a tree.  If you can, consult the original plans for you home to figure out where the main line runs to your yard.  Are any trees growing near there?  In particular, watch out for old trees.  They may be located away from the line, but their roots can grow deep under the surface, especially in a drought.  In dry conditions, roots will search for any presence of moisture.

Of course, without consistent documentation of work done to the property over the years, it can be difficult to confirm the problem.  Some older clay pipes may have been replaced with the more efficient PVC, and trees might not be an issue after all.  You may have to contact a professional to verify once and for all.

Chemical solutions?

If you feel confident that roots are at the heart of the matter, then you may consider a DIY solution.  All you have to do is visit your local hardware store and buy liquid root killer.  Once you’ve poured it down the toilet, it should destroy the interfering roots.

However, this measure isn’t without controversy.  For one, the chemicals may be harmful to humans if they come into contact with your skin.  But most of their detractors cite their potentially hazardous environmental effects.  Research is inconclusive as to whether or not the chemicals that kill the roots will actually hurt your pipes.  Moreover, it may kill bacteria in your septic tank that’s actually useful.

Rooter service

If you can’t conclusively identify the problem, and chemicals just aren’t for you, then call a professional.  A licensed technician will always be able to help.  For the best rooter services San Diego has to offer, contact Boyd Rogers.

From Downtown to Qualcomm Stadium, we can help no matter where you live.  Using minimally invasive techniques, we’ll figure out if roots have interfered with or collapsed your sewer line.  Maybe most importantly, you can rest easily knowing that the problem is being safely handled.

How to handle a plumbing emergency at home

San Diego residents are lucky to have the best weather in the country, but is our luck running out?

Last winter, when many areas of the nation were hit with record low temperatures, we stayed safe.  We didn’t have to deal with icy roads, biting wind chill, and maybe most importantly for our homes – frozen pipes.

However, warm weather doesn’t mean that our residences are immune to catastrophes.  At some point, plumbing problems affect everyone, no matter how pleasant the conditions are for your pipes.

Whether you live in the Gaslamp Quarter or near the San Diego Zoo, sooner or later you may fall victim to a ruptured sewer line, backflow failure, or a busted pipe.  The results can cause a major disruption to your daily life, not to mention create mind-blowing costs.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a last-minute disaster, but you can follow a few simple guidelines to help you through it.

Turn off the water

One of the most common emergencies at home is a flood.  It can happen for a variety of reasons: a clogged toilet, a broken line, or water main failure.  Ultimately, though, it doesn’t make a difference.  Floods simply don’t belong indoors.

After you get over your initial reaction of “I can’t believe this is happening!”, you’ll need to take some practical steps to stop it.  One of the best things to do to prevent the deluge from destroying your residence is to simply turn off the water.

To do this, locate the water supply valve or stopcock.  Inside, you can probably find it wherever the main water line enters the home, usually in or near the kitchen.  In most cases, it’ll have a round handle that you can turn and tighten.

Outside, you should shut off the water to the entire home.  If you don’t know where it is, look for your house’s water meter.  Typically the supply valve will be adjacent, and you can either turn it off by hand or with a pipe wrench.

Call a pro

If water is flowing everywhere, soaking your floors and who knows what else, you shouldn’t wait to figure out the problem; you may only cause more damage.

Instead, call the best emergency plumber San Diego has to offer.  For years, Boyd Collins has been the city’s go-to company for the worst last-minute disasters.  From interior deluges in downtown, to trenchless sewer repair in La Jolla, we can fix the problem, calm your nerves, and ultimately save you money.

Identify the source of the problem

It’s important to know where the water is coming from.  If it’s a toilet or sink, this won’t be difficult.  You can then focus on starting the repair.  But if, for example, your ceiling is bulging from H2O build-up, the culprit may be trickier to locate.

If you’re familiar with your home’s plumbing schema and possess some DIY skills, you can try digging a little, but be careful.  You don’t want to exacerbate the problem.  The best rule of thumb is if you’re unsure, call a professional.

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