A sagging sewer line can become a serious problem if you don’t fix it. Here’s what you can expect.

One flush. Two flushes. Three flushes. Four.

Once again, you have found yourself standing next to the toilet, pushing the lever and staring as the you-know-what spins round and round but refuses to go down. Don’t worry, it’s not you—it’s your sagging sewer line.

Then again, maybe you should worry. If something is wrong with your sewer line, you know it’s going to be expensive to fix. But just like your clogged toilet, a sewer line belly is not going to go away on its own.

In fact, it might just cause more damage if you let it sit, and that really stinks.

What is a sewer line belly?

A sagging sewer line, or belly, occurs when a dip forms at one or more spots along the sewer pipe. Most sewer lines use gravity to transfer waste from a home to the sewer. The water you send down the drain carries the solid waste down a sloping pipe that leads from your home to the main sewer system. Sometimes, the slope of a sewer line gets disrupted, which prevents the water and solid waste from moving freely to its destination.

What causes a sagging sewer line?

A sewer belly has many possible causes. Sometimes, the soil that supports a portion of the pipe settles, and over time the line begins to sag. Seasonal temperature changes, excessive rain, and poor soil compaction at the time the pipe was laid—all of these factors can contribute to a sagging sewer line. Other times, tree roots slowly push down against the soil and the sewer pipe.

When your sewer line begins to sag, you can expect to experience some common—and often nasty—consequences.

3 Nasty Effects of a Sagging Sewer Line

Clogged Line

When you have a belly in your sewer line, solid waste can become trapped in the low-lying area of the pipe. As you send more and more waste down the drain, the solids can build up until your line is completely clogged.

Backed Up Sewer Line

If your sewer line is totally obstructed, you run the risk of a sewage backing up into your home. As you can imagine, the resulting mess is horrifying and can lead to the spread of nasty bacteria inside your house, which can become a health hazard if it is not properly cleaned.

Sewage Leak

Sagging sewer lines may also crack. When cracks form in your sewer pipe, the waste water can leak into your yard. Even a small crack can lead to big problems because the water that escapes can erode the soil and contribute to more severe sagging, which can contribute to further cracking, and on and on.

Want to prevent extensive damage from a sagging sewer line? Get an inspection today!

A sewer line belly is one of the last things you want to experience. For your peace of mind, if you suspect your sewer line may be in trouble, we suggest that you get it inspected.

Let Custom Plumbing of Arizona help you determine if you have a sagging sewer line. Contact us today to get the help you need.

Posted on Categories Emergency Plumber, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZLeave a comment on Your Sagging Sewer Line Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Sometimes a home’s plumbing has to be replaced. Wondering what is involved in repiping a house? This article explains.

Unless your home is a cabin in the woods with no running water (or if you live—to quote the late, great Chris Farley—in a van down by the river), you are going to have to deal with plumbing issues at some point. For some, that means fixing a leaky pipe or two. For others, that means having their entire plumbing system replaced.

Repiping a house normally involves 4 steps:

  1. Inspection.
  2. Estimate.
  3. Demolition.
  4. Plumbing.
  5. Reconstruction.

To be clear, replacing your home’s plumbing is not a DIY job. You are going to need a professional, licensed plumber to handle this project. Are you thinking of repiping your home? Here’s what you need to know.

How Do I Know If I Need to Repipe My Home?

Before we get into the specifics of what is involved in repiping a home, you first need to determine whether your home requires it. Repiping is an expensive, time-consuming process — but here are a few signs that your home needs a new plumbing system.

Lead Pipes

Lead pipes are common in older houses from the 1920s and earlier, but even later homes may have this kind of piping system. They present lots of health hazards for you and your family. When these pipes corrode, lead can leak into your drinking water and cause harm to your heart, kidneys, and reproductive organs (even at low levels).

The bottom line: If your home was built before 1986, find out what materials your plumbing system is made out of and replace any lead pipes!

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Before the 1960s, galvanized steel pipes were common in homes. However, these pipes are coated in zinc. While this zinc lining helps to prevent rust and discoloration, lead deposits can build up when it corrodes. Not only is this harmful to drink, the deposits can build up and clog your plumbing.

If your home was built before this time period, consider giving your plumbing system a once over.

High Plumbing Repair Costs

If you seem to find a new plumbing problem every month, it might be time to replace the pipes in your home. Even if the issues seem minor, the repair costs can quickly add up over time. Instead of spending money on numerous small fixes, it might actually be cheaper to install a new plumbing system altogether.

What is Involved in Repiping a Home?

In this section, we’ll cover what happens before, during, and after a repiping.

  1. Inspection.

If you are unsure what kind of work you need completed, you don’t need to worry. The first step in the repiping process is an inspection conducted by a plumbing professional, who will listen to the problems you have been having and look for signs of the kind of work you need done. Without a thorough inspection, you can’t know what is involved in repiping a house.

  1. Estimate and Recommendations.

Once your repiping specialist finishes the inspection, they will give you their recommendations. Depending on the age of your home, the layout of your plumbing, your needs, and any other relevant details, they will recommend the best course of action, including which materials are best for your situation and what work is most urgent. You may need to replace everything or only a small section.

It is critical to think about how much you are willing to risk your home if you decide to only do a small section or to repipe your home bit by bit. It may help you budget to cover the costs, but if your pipes are at risk of failing, it could save you money in the long run to do the entire project at once.

You should also expect an estimate for the work that is to be done. Most plumbing companies, including Custom Plumbing of Arizona, offer a free estimate to give you an idea of the cost.

  1. Demolition.

Once you accept the estimate, it’s time for the professionals to get to work. If you watch even for a few minutes, you will see first-hand what is involved in repiping a house—and it’s a lot! From locating the pipes behind walls and in ceilings to demolition and installation, they do it all.

Good plumbers will take care to protect your home from any possible water damage during repairs, placing plastic sheeting over furniture and moving family possessions when necessary. They also need to turn off and drain any water lines.

Once they turn off your plumbing system, they will get to work cutting through your drywall. A plumber will try to remove as little material as possible to minimize reconstruction costs.

  1. Plumbing.

After your plumber has made their cuts, they will detach your old pipes and install new ones. For pipes in your floor, they will try to go through the ceiling of the bottom floor if possible.

Once the repiping is done, your plumber will need to turn the water lines back on in order to test the new pipes and determine if there are any leaks. If there are leaks, your professional will take care that they are patched up.

  1. Reconstruction.

Once it’s determined that all the pipes are working properly, your drywall contractor or other professional will need to patch up your walls. They should repair and seal your drywall, then paint over it for a nice, smooth finish.

How Long Will I Need to Wait for the Job to Finish?

The length of the repiping project will depend on how large your house is and how many bathrooms you have in your home. For small houses, a plumbing expert might take only two days to complete. However, larger houses could take up to a week.

Want more information on what is involved in repiping a house? Talk to the plumbing experts at Custom Plumbing of Arizona.

Get in touch with Custom Plumbing today if you are interested in receiving a free estimate for your home repiping project. Call us at 602-883-2761!

Posted on Categories Blog, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZ, Residential Plumbing ServicesLeave a comment on What Is Involved in Repiping a House? A Beginner’s Guide

Curious about how to get rid of biofilm in pipes at home? This guide will walk you through the process.

Have you seen it? That slimy goo around your shower drain might seem like nothing more than a gross annoyance. After all, sometimes drains and plumbing fixtures just get…nasty. Right?

If you want to know the truth, though, if you let that slippery substance go for too long, it could end up being hazardous to your health. Why? That stuff is known as biofilm, and it’s not as innocuous as you might think.

How to get rid of biofilm in pipes: What is biofilm?

Biofilm is a collection of organic substances, composed of many types of bacteria and their waste products. Aside from posing a risk of clogging your pipes if you neglect the problem too long, biofilm is also known to carry the pathogens responsible for ear infections, Legionnaire’s disease, salmonella, E. coli, and so many more awful ailments.

The best way to avoid getting sick from biofilm is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

How to Prevent Biofilm

Biofilm forms naturally anywhere there is stagnant moisture. While there are ways to remove it once it has formed, it is often easier to prevent it from forming in the first place. To prevent it from invading your plumbing fixtures and pipes, keep the areas around your drains and near your fixtures dry. After using them, be sure to dry them off to keep the nasty stuff from building up.

If you already have a biofilm problem, not to worry! There are ways to remove it.

How to Get Rid of Biofilm in Pipes

Remove Hair and Debris Blockages

Biofilm loves to form in hard-to-reach places. Perhaps one of the most secretive places for organic buildup to find a home is hair and debris inside your drains. If you have ever pulled a half-foot of hair from your shower drain, you know exactly what it looks like. Once you remove these blockages, however, much of the biofilm comes with it.

Clean the Areas Near Your Drains

Biofilm also loves to congregate on surfaces that surround your sinks and drains. The reason for this? These spaces are often left wet and receive their fair share of bacteria from things like teeth brushing and shower run-off. If you want to stop biofilm from forming inside your pipes and causing a blockage, stop it at its source by cleaning the spaces that lead to your drains.

Clean after Cooking

The kitchen sink is especially prone to biofilm buildup because of the food waste that finds its way there. If you want to learn how to get rid of biofilm in pipes, the first thing you need to know is to stop leaving your dishes for later. Just do the dishes right after you finish eating, and your problem could go away.

Want to learn how to get rid of biofilm in pipes? Custom Plumbing of Arizona is here to help.

Now that you understand the danger that biofilm can pose to your health, it’s time to start cleaning. Need help with a troublesome drain? At Custom Plumbing, we specialize in drain cleaning and other plumbing services. Get in touch with us today to schedule a home visit.

Posted on Categories Blog, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZ, Residential Plumbing ServicesLeave a comment on Health Hazard: How to Get Rid of Biofilm in Pipes

These plumbing tips could help you avoid a disaster this holiday season. Need an expert in a pinch? Contact Custom Plumbing of Arizona today!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so why would you want to spend any of it dealing with plumbing issues? Unfortunately, with all the holidays throw at us, many people experience plumbing emergencies during the festive season.

Want to reduce your chances of a holiday leak emergency this year? Here are some plumbing tips you should know.

Give Those Pipes a Rest

With COVID-19, this year you might not have extra guests in your home. If you do, it’s critical to take it easy on your home’s plumbing as much as possible. Aside from making sure that shower drains are free of excess hair and debris, you should inform your guests to wait a little between showers. Fifteen minutes is not too long to wait to avoid a clogged drain.

Give those drains some time to do what they do best, and you’ll be golden.

Know What You Can and Cannot Flush

If you have family over for the holidays, make sure that everyone knows what they can and cannot flush down the toilet. Toilet paper and human waste are fine to go down the drain. The rest should be thrown in the garbage.

Even if those disinfecting wipes or sanitary products say they can be flushed, it’s better safe than sorry. We know it can be awkward to have this kind of conversation with family. We suggest posting a discreet sign above the toilet so that no one misses it.

Be Kind to Your Kitchen Sink

Around the holidays, families tend to bond over delicious food—food that you don’t cook year-round. Some of the most popular dishes are full of fat, oil, and starch, all of which can wreak havoc on the plumbing in your home.

Here’s one of the most useful plumbing tips we can give you. When you put stuff down the drain that should be thrown in the garbage, out-of-sight-out-of-mind doesn’t always last for long.

Thinking of dumping that pan of hot grease down the kitchen sink? Think again! As soon as that stuff hits your cool pipes, it’s going to solidify and gunk up the works.

Think your garbage disposal can handle those fibrous vegetable scraps? Nope! Don’t tempt fate.

When in doubt, throw it out!

Get Your Plumbing Inspected before the Holidays

Whether you have guests in your home this winter or not, your plumbing will experience more use because you and your immediate family will be home more. One of the best ways to ensure that your plumbing is ready for added usage is to schedule a drain inspection and cleaning.

Got a problem drain that just doesn’t seem to be working right? We’ll take care of it.

Got a Holiday Emergency That Plumbing Tips Won’t Help? We Can Handle It!

There is perhaps no worse time to have a plumbing emergency than during the holiday season. Got a problem you can’t fix yourself? Custom Plumbing of Arizona is here to help!

Posted on Categories Blog, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZ, Residential Plumbing ServicesTags

Have you ever wondered do I need a water softener? If so, this article is for you.

Hard water is a common menace to many homes’ plumbing in Arizona. The only solution to this problem is to install a water softener.

But how do you know if you need a water softener? It can be difficult to tell, but if you notice either of these signs, you can bet that you need to counteract a hard water problem.

You Notice Limescale Buildup

What do we mean by hard water? What makes water “hard”? It’s the minerals that the water running through your home contains. Two minerals that create hard water are calcium and magnesium. When these minerals come into contact with a hard surface, they often get left behind as deposits. While it can be a slow process, over time these deposits build up into what is known as limescale.

Limescale is not only unappealing to look at, it can also cause damage you your pipes and fixtures that gets more difficult to fix over time.

If you notice a white substance on any surfaces that frequently come into contact with your tap water, such as sinks and faucets, you have a hard water problem.

You Notice Your Water Pressure Is Poor

Unfortunately, limescale doesn’t only build up on the surfaces in your home that often get wet. It can also build up inside your pipes. As limescale collects on the inside of your pipes and your water fixtures, it can restrict the flow of water, which leads to poor water pressure.

And is there anything worse than poor water pressure when you go to take a shower or wash the dishes?

One of the most common areas that you can see limescale building up inside your pipes is your shower. Take a look at your showerhead the next time you use your shower. Is there a white substance on it? Has your water pressure decreased over the years? If the answer to either of these is yes, you probably have a hard water problem in your plumbing.

But you don’t have to live with it. It is an easy fix for those who are in the know.

Do I Need a Water Softener? The Answer Is a Phone Call Away

Unfortunately, hard water doesn’t just go away. You have to install a water softener if you want to avoid nasty limescale buildup and poor water pressure. If you notice any of the above signs in your home’s plumbing, it’s time to call in an expert.

Not sure whether your home needs a water softener? Let us help you figure it out on our next trip to your house! To set up an appointment, contact us, or call 602-883-2761. One of our expert plumbers will come to your home and help you decide whether a water softener is right for you.

Posted on Categories Blog, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZ, Residential Plumbing Services, Water TreatmentTags