Category Archives: Sewer and Drain

Everything you need to know about sewers and drains in and around the San Diego area.  My Plumber CA is your trusted sewer and drain specialists.  Check out our posts like Why We Love Trenchless Sewer Repair (And You Should, Too!) and The Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair In San Diego If you are in need of any sewer repair in San Diego give us a call today.

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Sewer Repair Costs

A sewer main can be very expensive to have repaired, averaging a few thousand dollars. The sewer main is the primary sewer line that connects your house to the city’s main sewer line. In order to see the exact problem that is wrong with the sewer line the professional may decide to use a camera. If they do, they will send a camera down the pipe to try and find the exact problem. This can add cost to the repair but it can also lower the overall cost because it helps keep the repairman from unnecessary repair or replacement costs.

Sewer mains are often underground which is why the repairs cost more. Most of the time, digging up your yard or driveway is the most costly part of the repair. You may only need a small part of the sewer line to be replaced, which wouldn’t cost a lot, but having to dig up the yard and find the problem is going to cost you. If you are building your own home, asking where the sewer main is located would be a wise decision so that you can avoid pouring concrete over it or planting expensive plants and shrubbery over it. Dealing with sewer repairs would be unpleasant enough without having to redo your driveway or your lawn and garden to boot.

If you are trying to find a way to keep the cost down for a sewer main repair you may want to consider slip lining. Slip lining is when a smaller sewer line is put inside the current sewer line. However, this can not always be done. Some repairs call for more work to be done.

In some cases you may need a permit to have your sewer line repaired. If you do this will raise the cost of the repairs. But this can also help by making sure everything is up to code. In some cases you may discover that the part of the sewer line that needs to be replaced or repaired is city property, in which case the city has to pay for the repairs, not you. If you think you may have a sewer main problem call My Plumber CA at 1-855-410-2390 to see what they can do for you. We offer annual sewer video inspections as well. You can also see our drain cleaning page and trenchless sewer replacement pages to learn more.


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Signs Of A Clogged Sewer Drain

A clogged sewer drain is a very serious plumbing emergency. If you suspect you have a clogged sewer drain, do not run any water in the house and call a plumber service immediately.

The signs of a clogged sewer drain are unmistakable, once you know what you’re looking at. The sewer drain is the only pipe leaving the house. It is usually six or 8 inches wide and it’s usually connected in a straight line to toilet (if you’re trying to locate it.)

The first sign is often an overflowing toilet, because of this direct connection. An overflowing toilet is a symptom of two different problems, though; that of an clogged toilet, OR that of a clogged drain. To figure out which it is, see if any other fixtures are backed up. The most common places are ground floor (or basement) tubs or showers. The sewer water will back up to the lowest point. Washing machines are another common place to see backups.

At this point, it is almost certain you have a blocked sewer drain, but if you really want to make sure, you can check the sewer clean out, which is a V-shaped valve on the main sewer pipe. Be aware though, that if you open it, you may have raw sewage spilling out. So you could easily skip this step and simply call a plumber right away.

It’s extremely important not to ignore this problem. Not only can you not use any water in the home while the sewer is plugged, if you do, the water that overflows may be contaminated with dangerous pathogens, and can cause dangerous molds to be harbored in your walls and floor. Raw sewage is no joke! Moreover, sewer drains are hard to block, because they are so big. That means that if it did back up, you have a lot of something in your pipe. It could be tree roots, or it could be your toddler likes to systematically flush lego blocks. Whatever it is, you’ll need an experienced plumber on hand to identify the cause and fix it.

My Plumber offers sewer video inspections! Clear your drains before you have a backup.

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Unclogging A Tub Drain

Unclogging a Tub Drain

Few household problems are as annoying and occur as regularly as a clogged tub drain. The problem is generally caused by a combination of hair and soap, which combine to make a hairball of nightmarish proportions.

Not only do tub drains deal see a lot more hair than your average sink drain, the pipes are fair more difficult to get to. Unlike sinks, which are easily accessible to all, your tub drain might not even have an access hatch (although it really should.)

Unclogging A Tub Drain

So the best way to deal with a clogged drain is to prevent it from happening at all. If you have an old-fashioned rubber plug drain, you can get a little strainer for it. The next thing to do is to notice when the drain becomes sluggish. That’s the precursor to a closer, so get that little hairball monster while it’s small.

The procedure for cleaning out the drain is the same when it’s clogged as when it’s sluggish.
First, attempt to clean it out with your fingers. Hair doesn’t tend to get very far down the drain before it stops moving, and you might be able to reach it with a screwdriver.
After that, try good, old-fashioned Drano. Can’t hurt, might help.
If that doesn’t clear out the clog, try Nair (the hair removal cream). Squirt a whole bottle down the drain and let it sit 20 minutes.

If none of that works, the next step is to call your trusty plumber service, My Plumber. Don’t mess with an auger or snake if you have a pop-up or lever plug in your tub. There’s too many components and it’s too easy to damage. Let us do the job for you. With over 30 years experience, you can trust us to get the job done right.

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How Sewer And Drain Lines Work

Many people have no more idea of how sewer and drain lines work than they do about space shuttle mechanics. But unlike space shuttle mechanics, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. Here is a quick explanation of what you see in your house every day, but probably didn’t understand.

I need air!

Ever notice a 2” pipe sticking out of the roof of a house? Maybe several? You might even know them as  “ventilation pipes” without realizing they are there, not to ventilate the house, but to allow air to flow freely behind the water as it drains. If not for the ventilation pipes, the water would drain slowly, if at all, because it would not be able to push the water out of the trap, the U-shaped bend in the drain that keeps sewer gases out of the house.

Why so many sizes?

In construction, a plumber service chooses piping sizes based on what and how much fluid and solids will be going down the drain. Bathroom sinks are the smallest, since they transport very small amounts of water and even less solids. Kitchen sinks, shower drains, and washing machine drains are larger because of both the volume of water they must drain and the amount of dirt or food they must transport. Toilet drains are the largest. They typically flow straight to the main house drain, in order to avoid as many clogging problems as possible. That is why in a multi-story building, the bathrooms are often in the same place on each floor.

Preventing Clogs

Just before the main sewer pipe leaves the house, there is typically a Y-shaped clean out, or inspection valve. It is this valve that allows plumbers to check whether a clog is within the household plumbing, or outside of the house, where special techniques will be required. As routine maintenance, you should have a plumber out to do a video sewer-line inspection in order to assess and perhaps prevent problems in your sewer system before it backs up into your house.

If you have questions about your sewer drains, don’t hesitate to call your San Diego plumber, My Plumber Heating & Cooling– Same Day Service Guaranteed*! 1-877-697-5862


Preventative Maintenance for Sewer and Drains

If you have a clogged drain and require a plumber’s service, My Plumber Heating & Cooling can help and here is some quick advice on preventative maintenance, and a few ways to relieve minor clogs.

The easiest way to avoid causing permanent sewer and drain damage is to be careful what you put down them. Pasta, rice, bits of potatoes, and grease from meat can really stop-up a kitchen sink. Cleaning greasy pots and pans with paper towels or scraping them out carefully into a compost bin, before washing them in the sink, is highly recommended. The combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed by a pot of boiling water, can be an easy way to regularly maintain free-flowing drains.

Another recommendation for a kitchen sink that is having trouble draining because of grease can be treated with a hair dryer or a heating pad.  Wrap the pad around the drain trap (or hold the hair dryer in place, if you’re patient) to heat the metal and melt the grease. Follow this up by flushing the sink with hot running water.

Hair is almost always the reason for slow moving bathroom sinks and shower drains. Drain screens are an inexpensive way to make sure that these kinds of small solids stay out of the drains to begin with. If your drain is clogged and you don’t have any Drano, but you do have a bottle of Nair, try squirting it down the drain.  Let it sit for ten minutes then turn on the hot water.

If drain clogs are in the trap, a plunger may be the simple answer. Fill the sink with a few inches of water and put a wet rag in the overflow opening to create a seal, this will keep the drain air-free and make the plunging more effective. (Consider having one plunger for toilets and another for sinks.)

Hopefully these quick tips help keep your drains from any serious damage.  Should you still have issues after trying these recommendations, don’t hesitate to call My Plumber Heating & Cooling– Same Day Service Guaranteed*! 1-877-697-5862


Can Tree Roots Cause a Sewer Line Replacement?

If you’re experiencing real problems with your pipes like foul odors and sluggish drains and you’re at your wit’s end trying to find the problem– perhaps the problem isn’t in your home. It may be outside it.

No homeowner likes to hear the words ‘sewer line replacement’ but that may be a real possibility. Only a plumber service can tell you for sure, but too often tree roots, seeking moisture and nutrients, can worm their way into sewer lines and split them open, causing sewage contamination and the need to replace the pipes.

The problem is more prevalent in older homes, not just because of the age of the sewer lines, but in some cases because older lines are made from clay. Modern PVC lines, however, do not weather and hopefully will never have to be replaced.

When you look for help with your problem plumbing in San Diego, look no further than My Plumber. We have thirty years of experience and a service record that can’t be beat. We offer a five year warranty on sewer repairs and a 20-year warranty on sewer line replacements. With a guarantee like that, you know you can’t go wrong.

But it all begins with your call. We’ll send out an experience master plumber to do a home drain line cleaning to ensure your problems are not within the house itself. We even include a complimentary video inspection in order to demonstrate that the blockages are all gone. That same video inspection equipment can then be used to inspect your sewer line and see whether tree roots really are the problem, and give you all the facts so that you know what to do next. With new technology always coming up you can be assured that My Plumber CA will have the best options for you. From trenchless repairs and epoxy coatings that can limit the amount of disruption in your home and giving a longer lifespan to your existing plumbing.

For dependable, expert service you can trust, call My Plumber today!

Keep Sewer and Drains Clear to Prevent Potential Flooding

With Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast this week, we wanted to remind everyone in the San Diego area to keep their sewer and drains clear to prevent potential flooding.

As we know, Southern California often gets periods of heavy rain and My Plumber San Diego receives numerous calls in regards to flooded homes, businesses and sump pumps not working. Based on our 30 years of experience and best plumber service we wanted to remind you of several reasons why basements and first floors flood.  Water can enter into your home or office via: leaks or cracks in walls, clogged main drains, foundation drain failure, leaking or clogged downspouts, sump pump failure, a sewer system clog or back-up, or poor lot drainage. Most of these occur as a result of heavy or persistent rainfall.

Besides the time and expense associated with a large clean-up bill, there are other negative consequences associated with flooding:

  • Consistent flooding resulting in long-term damage to your home or office may not be covered by insurance.
  • Mold and mildew growth may occur resulting in serious health problems.
  • Homeowner insurance rates or deductibles may rise to compensate for repeated flooding claims.

We hope your home or office never has s flood, but if it does, give My Plumber Heating and Cooling of San Diego a call. We are sewer and drain experts you can trust to find and fix your flooding problem. We will inspect your drainage systems and make recommendations to guide rainwater off the roof and away from your building.

Best of all, we can repair your sewer and main lines without tearing up your property. Our honest and highly-trained plumber service technicians will come to your home or business and consult with you on the best possible solution. We offer pluming service in San Diego, Oceanside, El Cajon, Chula Vista, and surrounding areas. Our work is 100% guaranteed so give us a call at1 (619) 447-5556 TODAY!

The Importance of Sewer and Drain Video Inspections

In addition to water and other liquids, your kitchen and bathroom drains transport a lot of other substances to your home’s sewer system: grease, soap, detergents, hair, fat and oil from food. Over months and years of daily use, your drains can start to slow and become clogged. But rather than wait until that worst-case scenario to call for a plumber, why not arrange for a video inspection of your drains and sewers now?

Video Inspections Are The Best Guarantee

In addition to clearing any obstructions in your drains, a plumbing professional can provide a complimentary video inspection to be absolutely certain, backed up with a warranty. And if your drain is in need of additional repair, other options include hydro-jetting, relining or replacing the sewer.

Don’t Let It Come Down To This:

Jetting the sewer involves using high-pressure (up to 4,000 PSI) spray to remove debris and other obstructions that may be causing the line to slow.

Relining the sewer may be all that is required, and one advantage to this option is that it doesn’t require digging. The liner is resin-soaked, and it attaches to the inside of the sewer as it hardens, resulting in a solid piece that won’t shift or crack over time.

Sewer replacements and repairs are done with PVC pipe. Once the pipe is installed, the ditch is tapered every two feet to prevent backfilling. The lawn is seeded and covered with straw afterward to help it return looking just as good, if not better, than it did before work started.

Inspection Spots Trouble Before It Becomes An Expensive Fix

Dealing with sewers is something no one likes to think about until they have a problem: a child’s toy that got flushed, a clogged kitchen drain, or tree roots cracking older sewer pipes. A video inspection will spot problems before they become an issue and give you reassurance and peace of mind.