How to clear a main line blockage?

The beginning of a drain blockage can be seemingly harmless. The water might start bubbling up in the sink and/or drain slower than normal. It may even back up into another sink or bathtub. And you might have to experience a small domestic drama with a plumber. Here is how plumbers tackle a clogged drain.

How Do You Know When Your Main Sewer Drain Is Clogged?

1.      When the water drains out of the pipes slower than usual and you are unable to remedy this with a plunger or chemical drain cleaner. You have made several attempts but all to no avail.

2.      The water goes up into the bathtub after you flush the toilet.

3.      Your sink or toilet fill up with water when you start using the washing machine.

The toilet drain pipe is larger than the other lines in the system. It also has the most direct route to the septic source. Therefore, as long as you have no problems flushing the toilet the blockage in the sink, bathtub or shower shouldn’t be hard to fix.

How To Clear A Main Line Blockage

1.     Shut the water off from the main supply.

2.      Then look around in your yard or basement and try to find the cleanout in the sewer pipe. It shouldn’t be hard to see. Usually it’s a short 4 -inch pipe diameter with a screw-on cap with a square nut or indentation on top. More than likely this pipe will be protruding from the ground somewhere outside the house between the foundation and the road. It also might be off the side of the house where the bathroom is. If you can’t locate it you should contact a plumber.

3.      Remove the cap with your hands. If it proves too hard use a wrench to loosen the cap and then take it off. You should do it slowly to prevent any backed up water from gushing out. Be ready to step aside if it does. You might want to wear waterproof boots and gloves.

4.      Your goal is to let the water out. By releasing the pressure in the sewage line you are letting the excess water drain out.

Main Line Pipe Still Clogged?

Once you reinstall the cleanout cap and test the drain and find it’s still draining slow call a plumber.

What do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Plumbers use different methods and a variety of tools to remove drain blockages. Some of the things they use are electric power augers (also known as plumbing snakes) and high pressure water jetters (plumbing jetters, jet-sets). They may even put an inspection camera down the pipe to examine the problem.

Drain cleaning and unclogging photo picture, Tornado Plmbing
Drain cleaning and unclogging
  1. Powerful motorized augers have long steel cables with a tip that has blades on the end and revolves very much like a drill does. They can clean out lines that are 50-150 feet long. The motor turns the blade equipped tip and feeds the cable into the drain. With a push of the switch the two-way feed will push the cable forward or pull it back. And the blades cut through the blockage. Plumbing snakes are sent down a drain into the plumbing system in your home closest to the blockage.
  • High-pressure water cleaning systems are used to break through grease, sand and even ice! However, they will not remove tree roots that get inside the drain line. This method is used when a blockage is too far down for an auger to reach. Plumbing jetters clean out water lines with powerful jets of water. They are able to reach as far down your pipes as four hundred feet.

Looking for a Plumbing Service near you?

Contact a Tornado Plumbing & Drain! We provide the best services in Toronto. Our team consists of highly qualified contractors. Please consider our offer and give us a call (647) 784-8448.

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Backwater Valve Installation Rebate

Backwater Valve Installation Rebate from City – How to Get it?

Every inhabitant of Toronto is eligible to receive a rebate for backwater valve installation in their basement from City of Toronto if the procedure met all of the conditions of Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.
This program is developed to protect home owners form basement flooding and any single-family, duplex or triplex residential homes can receive up to $3,400 in rebates for installing flood protection devices, like sump pump, backwater valve, external weeping tile connection or capping of the home’s storm sewer.

One of the most important conditions is that the contractor which does the job has to have a valid City of Toronto business license of one of the following categories:

  • Plumbing Contractor (T94)
  • Plumbing and Heating Contractor (T92)
  • Drain Contractor (T87)
  • Building Renovator (T85) – is not valid for Backwater valve installation

Tornado Plumbing has Drain Contractor (T87) license, which qualifies our company to do all of the job that City of Toronto provides rebates for. This includes backwater valve installation, sump pump installation and pipe severance and capping.

The rest of the conditions for getting a subsidy are:

  • You must own the building (i.e. be a registered owner with City of Toronto)
  • For each eligible installation your property must not have excided lifetime maximum of subsidy amount
  • It’s only available to homes that exist and are finished, so if your house is in the planning stage or still being constructed, you can’t get rebate
  • Downspouts from your property’s eavestrough must be disconnected from the City’s sewer system or you must have applied to the City for an exemption
  • Parking pads and the rest of the paved areas on the front yard must comply with Toronto’s Zoning By-laws
  • The application has to be submitted within one year after flood protection devices (backwater valve or sump pump) were installed
  • For installing backwater valve you need to get a building permit from the City of Toronto and have the inspector from City before making an application for subsidy
  • You have to give a permission for the City of Toronto to make an inspection of installed devices and allow them to take photographs and make videos
  • Contractor that does the installation has to have a proper licence(s) – Tornado Plumbing got you covered here
  • You need to keep original invoices from us to provide them to City for rebate
  • Officially City of Toronto does not guarantee you that you’ll be given a subsidy and you may need to wait, as they provide rebates on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. So far all of our clients who applied – received the rebate
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Replace sewer lines in North York

On average a property owner will need to replace sewer lines once in a lifetime. Pipes are not supposed to serve forever and the older the sewer pipes are the more likely homeowners are going to have problems with them. Although modern PCV pipes are supposed to have a lifespan of over 100 years, temperature drops may cause sewer pipes cracks. Cracked sewer pipes are not just a costly repair —they can result in extensive and pricey damage to your property and lead to serious health risks. It’s important that drain line repair and sewer line replacement tasks should always be performed by certified, professional plumbers.

Solved Sewage Backup ProblemsA homeowner from North York contacted Tornado Plumbing team because he had persistent drain issues. The house was built in the late 1980s and he had a clay sewer line. This material can only last for 50 or 60 years and the homeowner was recommended to replace clay pipes because these problems would only get worse over time.

Tornado Plumbing team are fully trained in the use of state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to replace damaged sewer lines. We use new trenchless methods that lead to less damage to driveways and yards than commonly used traditional repair and replacement methods. Besides, these methods are more cost-effective.

In this case, we used the minimally invasive pipe burst method which eliminates the need for digging long and deep trenches and is now widely used in place of traditional sewer line replacement. The entire sewer line replacement was done in a day. We made small holes to access the places at the beginning and at the end of the damaged clay pipe. After that, we pulled a new plastic pipe through the existing clay pipe which burst the old damaged pipe into small pieces while simultaneously laying new pipe.

The old clay pipe was seamlessly replaced with a new plastic pipe and we had the drains running quickly again.

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