General Plumbing FAQ
Taking care of your plumbing is very important, and ignoring your pipes is going to lead to problems down the line. It is not a matter of if something will happen, but it is a matter of when. Instead of neglecting to care for your sewer pipes and drains, contact the most trusted plumber in Richmond, VA, and surrounding areas at USA Pipe Repair to help you with it. We have been helping to keep pipes on Virginia properties stay functional for nearly 20 years. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked, and the answers to those questions.
My Pipes Are Leaking. What Do I Do?
If you just noticed that your plumbing sprung a leak, you do whatever you can to turn off the water then call us. Even a minor leak has the potential to turn into a big problem if not cared for properly. Not only can it increase your water bill, but it can also lead to the development of mold and ruin anything in the vicinity of the leak. When we come out, we will make sure all water is off to the area, then determine what caused the leak in the first place. Once we have the cause of the leak determined, we can figure out with you which treatment option is best. No matter what time of day or night you notice a leak in your pipe, we can help. We are only a phone call away!
What Types of Plumbing Problems Are Most Common?
When it comes to common plumbing problems, we see quite a few. Clogged pipes and drains, dripping faucets, and sewer line problems are the problems we tend to experience most. In nearly all instances, we will come out and take a look around. If we need to see what is going on inside your pipe to diagnose the problem, we will use a camera to inspect the pipe itself. We get a direct, live feed of video during the inspection, and can see what condition your Virginia pipes are in. Then, we can figure out what needs to be done to fix the problem.
Why Is My Water Pressure Low?
Low water pressure is a relatively common pipe problem. Sometimes it is due to being on a well or having a low-pressure pump. However, other times, it is due to there being a problem with the pipe bringing in the water or the appliance using the water. There can be buildup in your water pipes from years of water flowing through those pipes. Plus, the pipe could have experienced some type of failure and cracked pipes or collapsed. This severely decreases how much water is able to flow through. In order to determine what is leading to your decreased water pressure, we need to come out and inspect what is going on. From there, we can tell you the cause and what repair options you have. If your pipe is cracked or collapsed, we can explain what options you have to reline or replace your pipe so that you have the water pressure you were used to.
Can I Do Anything to Prevent My Pipes from Damaged?
Pipe maintenance can go a long way towards protecting your pipes from different types of damage. We recommend that you have your pipes maintained annually, at the very least. We can use our sewer camera to inspect your pipes and treat any issues that we come up on the screen. Plus, we can also use pressurized water, known as hydro jetting, to clean out both your sewer pipes and your drains. This removes the buildup that often causes your pipes to function more slowly and leads to clogging. If this is removed on a regular basis, your pipes are less likely to have slow draining problems or clogs.
What Are the Best Ways of Handling Clogs?
A lot of people struggle with clogs either in their toilet line or in their drains. These commonly pop up when you least have the time to deal with them. Sometimes, your pipes can even struggle with chronic clogs. There are many things that can lead to these types of problems. The older your pipes are, the more likely they are to clog. Pipes may clog because of buildup, or there even may be issues like roots or cracks in the pipes that make it more difficult for anything to flow out of them.
If you notice a clog, you can try something simple like plunging the area, but do not use too much force. Since you do not know what is causing the clog, you do not know how much pressure is safe to use. If a simple plunge or two does not resolve the clog, you should stop. It is also important that you do not use corrosive chemicals which could lead to damaged pipes.
Instead of trying to manage the clog on your own, you should call us in. We can inspect the pipe to see what is going on. Then, we can figure out the best way of resolving the clog. If we break up any type of buildup, it should stop your clogs from happening for a long time. However, if your clog is due to damage to the pipe, we will have to consider other types of repair options. Cracked or broken pipes often need replacing, or at least relining, so the inside of the pipe is intact and the clogs are gone.
Is There a Problem with Having Trees Around My Pipes?
While you may love that majestic tree that graces your Virginia property, it may also lead to some problems with your sewer and drain lines. The pipes located under the surface of your property are typically safe from outside invasion because of their location under the ground. However, tree roots are one invader that pipes have little defense against. Trees spread out roots in all directions, searching for a regular source of nutrient-rich water.
When a tree root makes its way into a sewer pipe, it finds a source of water with lots of nutrients the tree needs. It drinks up the water and signals to the tree that it should send more roots. The roots then grow and take up more and more of the pipe. Eventually, the pipe has more root than space for anything to flow.
If you have tree roots that take up space in your pipes, you need to have your pipes cleaned out more regularly than most. This means having us come out and getting the roots out of the way so your drains can function as they should. If roots are causing chronic clogs, you may need us to reline your pipe. This means putting a new liner inside the pipe. The material seals the inside of the pipe and is much stronger than an old, weak pipe. It is also impervious to roots, meaning the roots will not be able to penetrate the new liner. That way, you never have to worry about roots causing issues again.
Are They Any Benefits to Having Trenchless Work Done?
In nearly all instances of problems with your Virginia sewer pipes, you will have the option of having a traditional trench dug in your yard to do the work, or you have the option of trenchless work. If you choose to have the work done through trenchless means, you will get a few benefits. First, your yard will only have one small area dug up to access the pipes that need work. Second, the work is often able to be done much more quickly than with heavy machinery. Finally, the work is just as dependable as with more traditional means, if not more so. If you have the option with the work you need to be done, trenchless may be the best route for you to go.
Why Do Drains Get Slow and How Do I Restore Their Flow?
When it comes to slow drains, there are a number of things that could cause this. You may have a lot of buildup in the drains themselves, or you could even have the early stages of a clog further down in the pipe. This makes it slower for anything to make its way down the pipe, causing it to drain more slowly. The best way to know for sure what is causing your drains to be slow is to have a sewer camera inspection.
No matter what the cause of your slow drains may be, chemicals are rarely, if ever, the answer. The chemicals often used are corrosive to the pipes, which can lead to not only a drain that still drains as slowly but also a pipe that is corroded. This can lead to cracks in your pipes and even a pipe collapse if the pipes are old enough.
Do I Need to Worry About Old Pipes?
There are many old pipes in the Virginia area. This can lead to a wide array of problems. Old pipes are more prone to problems due to the pressure they are under as they age. Plus, they have more years of exposure to corrosives, water, debris, and products getting stuck in them. If your pipes were put in prior to 1970, you could also have what is known as Orangeburg pipes. These were made out of layered paper. Other areas may have used a different type of pipe until the mid-1980s. They were made of galvanized steel and could expose you to lead.
Old pipes are more apt to getting clogged. They are going to have some corrosion which causes the inside of the pipe to be jagged. This means more of the debris that goes through the pipe not only catches on the pipe itself, but it also gets tugged on by everything that goes down the pipe once it is caught. This means there are constant pressures on the inside of the pipe, which could lead to the pipe caving in and collapsing.
The best thing you can do if you have old pipes is to call us out regularly to maintain them. This means inspecting them for problems and cleaning them out to give them the best chances of lasting as long as safely possible. Once your pipes begin to show signs of wear, you should then have them relined or replaced with a new pipe so that everything that goes down the pipe goes down smoothly.
How Do I Know When My Pipes Are Experiencing Problems?
This is a difficult question to answer, but it is also an important piece of knowledge to have. So, to give you as much information as we can, we are going to give you some of the more common symptoms you should be on the lookout for. If you see some of them, call us. We will look to see if there is something going on, and if so, work with you to make sure the problem is repaired.
If your appliances and fixtures are showing signs of wear suddenly, where there was no problem before, there is something going on. Your water may change the color, scent, or you may notice debris in your water.
These are signs of a problem somewhere along the line. If your toilets and sinks take longer to drain, or your shower fills up as you use it, this is telling you that there is a problem with your drains or your pipes. Water-based appliances that start making noise when used, such as your washer or hot water heater, are trying to tell you something. Another thing to take note of is if you notice that your water bill is slowly creeping up month after month. One month is normal, but repeatedly going up shows there is extra water going somewhere.
Let Our Team Restore Your Pipes Today!
At USA Pipe Repair, we know how to help you with nearly any plumbing problem you may have. Contact our professional plumber in Richmond, VA, and surrounding areas or fill out our online form if you have a question that was not answered here, and we will be sure to respond to you promptly!
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