Monthly Archives: May 2015

Pipe Jetting

How Does Pipe Jetting Work?

Pipe jetting, also called hydro-jetting or water blasting, is a method of spraying high-powered streams of water into a pipe to clear blockages and prevent lengthy, expensive repairs. How exactly does pipe jetting work and when is it the right course of action if your home or business Pipe Jettinghas a blocked plumbing line?

Pipe Jetting Process

Once contacted regarding a blocked plumbing line, a professional plumber will insert a fiber-optic camera into the affected pipe to view the blockage up close. He will also inspect the plumbing line’s condition, ensuring it can withstand the water pressure from pipe jetting.

The plumber will insert the hose at least two feet before turning on the spray. For cleaning in-house plumbing, the hydro-jetting hose is inserted through the drain access point, not from inside the home, such as a toilet or sink. When cleaning a sewer blockage, the hose is placed into the sewage drain, which is usually accessed in the building’s lowest level.

After calculating the water pressure needed to break apart the blockage without damaging the pipe’s interior lining, the plumber will turn on the machine, which can be powered by either gas or electricity. Using pressures up to 4,000 pounds per square inch, the blast will quickly cause the backed-up grease or waste to dissipate, continuing on its journey out of the plumbing line. Pipe jetting can even eliminate tree roots that may be inhibiting fluid flow.

Once the water begins to flow freely, the plumber will inspect the blockage’s location again using the fiber-optic camera. He will make sure all clumps of tree root, gravel and hardened debris are completely eliminated. Multiple rounds may be required for clearing away stubborn blockages.

Training and Experience Required

No homeowner should buy or rent a high-pressure pipe-jetting machine. Only certified plumbers with the necessary protective equipment should be called upon to complete the procedure. While the hydro-jetting takes place, the plumber pays close attention to the water pressure inside the pipe. He will slowly lower the water pressure as the blockage is removed. This prevents water from spraying up into the building through drains, sinks and toilets after clearing the blockage.

Amateurs may also lack the equipment needed to complete a thorough camera inspection before the procedure begins. If high-pressure water is used in already deteriorating pipes, the spray could cause the plumbing line to burst, resulting in a serious, more expensive repair. A seasoned plumber will spot signs of chipping metal and rust inside the pipe and be able to determine whether removal and replacement is a better repair choice to avoid water damage from a potential burst pipe.

If your home or business has a plumbing line blockage, call Captain Plumbing immediately. Get a professional inspection of your pipe blockage and find out if pipe jetting is an efficient solution for your situation.

Sump Pump

What You Should Know About Sump Pumps

What do you know about sump pumps? If your basement gets wet in a storm, as 60 percent of basements do, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, you should be informed Sump Pumpabout how sump pumps work, how they can keep your basement dry and how you can maintain the machine and minimize water damage to your basement.

How Do Sump Pumps Work?

Professionals dig a hole two feet deep in the lowest corner of the basement. They place gravel at the bottom of the hole and install the sump pump. The sensor at the base of the pump signals the machine to turn on once water collects and rises to a predetermined level. The water is expelled through an outlet drain that runs outside of the home, away from the foundation. Most outlet drains include a check valve that prevents the backflow of water into the sump pump cavern.

What Is the Power Source?

Almost all sump pumps are powered by electricity. The sump pump must be installed close to a grounded 110-volt electrical outlet. Depending on your local electrical building code, you may or may not have to ensure the basement outlet is a ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI). The benefit of using a GCFI outlet is electrocution protection. Since the sump pump is an electrical machine constantly near water, this type of outlet will trip as soon any of the electrical current fails to return to the outlet. The same feature counted as a benefit can also be considered a downside, as GCFI outlets are sensitive to tripping. If any current interruption takes place, the sump pump will shut off and will not turn back on without a reset. For homeowners who cannot always check their automatic sump pumps, this is a dangerous risk.

How Do You Maintain the Machine?

Homeowners should test the machine’s function once every few months. Pour a bucket of water into the pit and ensure the pump engages. Watch the flow of water from the exterior of the house. Remove any blockages impeding the correct progress away from the home’s foundation. In high-risk flood areas, homeowners should consider purchasing a generator to keep the machine running during power outages. A battery-powered backup pump can provide further peace of mind.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

While most manufacturers build their products to last for 10 years, the machine may expire before then, depending on how often it runs. If you don’t know your sump pump’s age, purchasing a backup machine is a smart decision so as to prevent any lapses in basement drainage coverage.

Contact Captain Plumbing for information concerning all you should know about sump pumps, including an individual needs assessment at your property.