Pittsburgh’s Trusted Plumber Explains Rodding A Drain Line At Recent Buy Pittsburgh First Expo 2012

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Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day: Rodding a drain line when the homeowner experiences clogged drains can be costly, dangerous and may not be something the homeowner should attempt.

diagram of sewer drain problems
If the cable reaches a snag (at a turn in the lines or when first encountering a blockage, for example) it can rapidly twist itself around your hands with enough force to break bones.

Mr Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh spent October 11, 2012 at the first annual Buy Pittsburgh First Expo. The showcasing of industrial suppliers and service providers from the Pittsburgh region all represented one common theme: These local companies have been around for decades and have worked diligently to become experts in their fields.

Bob Beall, president of Mr Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh, a trusted Pittsburgh plumber, spent the day explaining the state-of-the-art technology that his family owned and operated business provides to more than 2.9 million consumers in the Southwest Pennsylvania region. “Clogged drains can be a dangerous task for the homeowner to undertake alone without the expertise of a trusted Pittsburgh plumber that has proper equipment, expert knowledge and skilled plumbing technicians with experience tackling this tough plumbing job,” says Beall.

According to Beall, one of the most common problems for homeowners is clogged sewer drains that can be very costly to repair. Mr Rooter offers free expert plumbing advice daily with Beall’s Mr Rooter’s Tip Of The Day, which has become very popular with readers who wish to troubleshoot and repair their own plumbing issues that Beall says, “sometimes just do not warrant the expense of a plumber.”

“One of the first things the homeowner is faced with when a main drain becomes blocked is generally the drains in the home are not working properly,” says Beall. “Using a sewer tape or machine to cut through the debris inside the drain lines is called rodding the lines.”

According to Beall, a sewer tape will not cut roots, so for outside lines, special equipment used by a trusted Pittsburgh plumber rated for this purpose will be necessary. Mr Rooter Plumbing specializes in trenchless pipelining technology that expedites the costly sewer repair job so the homeowner is not faced with skyrocketing hourly rates that can sometimes be an unbearable expense to the homeowner.

Finding The Blockage

If the cleanout is below the surface of the water backup, all of whatever is in the lines will flow out and onto the floor when you open the cleanout. This is why the cleanout should always be outside of the home or in commercial situations, the building. “To tell where the backup level is, fill the line and tap it in several places,” according to Beall, a master plumber licensed and trusted in the Pittsburgh area. “A dull thud means the line is full. A hollow sound means the line is empty,” says Beall.

“Roots are one of the main sources of blockage in outdoor lines. Never plant a tree over a drain line,” says Mr Rooter, Pittsburgh’s trusted plumber who offers a $95 drain cleaning special. He adds that if the homeowner wishes to attempt the diagnosis of a blocked main line drain, following the tips provided should help the homeowner decide if the most referred Pittsburgh trusted plumber should be called.

Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day

Using A Sewer Tape Or Rented Rodding Machine

Tip #1 Make sure to wear old clothes that can be thrown away as well as safety glasses and gloves. Also try to rod the main line from the stack on the roof, but that is quite dangerous. To rod a cleanout, use a large pipe wrench and tur the cleanout plug counter-clockwise.

Tip #2 Get it loose, keep pressure against it, but do not remove it. If there is drain water backed up behind it, it will start to seep out. If that happens, rethread the plug back into the cleanout. It will be necessary to find a way into the pipes at a higher level or wait a day for the fluid to go down. If there is no fluid seepage, remove the plug.

Tip #3 Insert a sewer tape into the line (be sure to wear gloves) pointing downward into the blockage. Push the tape forward into the pipe, rotating the reel clockwise as you unroll it. When the progress of the tape requires more forward pressure, back the tape off slightly and push it forward again. What you’re attempting to do is force the tape to cut through the blockage. Use hard back and forth jerking actions. Or, rent a rodding or sewerline cleaning machine. It may make its way through the lines more easily, but can be difficult for one person to operate and costly to rent by the hour. Both hands are necessary to push the cable into the sewer line and the power will be controlled by a foot switch. If the cable reaches a snag (at a turn in the lines or when first encountering a blockage, for example) it can rapidly twist itself around your hands with enough force to break bones. At the first sign of twisting, immediately release the foot switch to cut the power to the machine, flip the directional switch, back off the line with the power in reverse, and then start the line forward again.

Tip #4 Once the sewer tape or machine has cut through the blockage it is mandatory to send high pressure water through the lines to carry the debris away.

Tip #5 Be sure to get clear instructions from the rental store staff and be careful

Sign up for Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day and automatically enter to win a pair of Steeler tickets to the Steelers vs Ravens home game at Heinz Field on November 18, 2012, and a gift certificate for the Tilted Kilt in downtown Pittsburgh.

There’s A Reason They Call Us Mr.™

Debra Santavicca PR, SMM, WebIT
Mr. Rooter Media Center

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Robert A. Beall
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