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A Homeowner's Guide to Drain Repair in Calgary, Alberta

When it comes to wants and needs, clear drains are a definite need. If you’re having a problem with your pipes, you need to get them cleared fast – but you may not know where to begin.

Most days, your drain probably works fine. Then out of nowhere, it’s draining slowly or not draining at all. The first thought that comes across most people’s minds is that it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix it if they can’t figure out how to get it cleared.

You can save some coin on drain repair by figuring out how to do it yourself. You can also save some cash by figuring out how to keep your drain from getting clogged in the first place.

To learn more about clogged drain repair in Calgary, keep reading.

Maybe Your Plumbing System Is Trying to Tell You Something

The next time you go into the kitchen or your basement, look at your pipes. Check for signs of discolouration, especially around joints. These telltale signs may indicate moisture.

Usually, moisture on your pipes means that something is dripping from a drain line or sink. Even worse, however, you may have a leak in your main supply line.

Alternatively, you may have a more noticeable issue, such as an odour coming out of your drain. For instance, you may have a dry trap or a cracked vent line if you smell sewer gas.

If you have a dry trap, you can fix the problem easily by filling it with a little water. If it’s your sewer vent, however, this is a different story.

Sewer vents are a bit more difficult to troubleshoot. Typically, sewer vents lie behind a closed-off wall.

As a result, you’ll have to remove some drywall to get to it. Unless you have experience hanging or repairing drywall, you may want to call a plumber for this one.

A slow drain is another obvious sign of trouble. In some instances, you can repair this issue easily. If nothing seems to work, however, it’s likely that the problem lies further down your water line.

It may take some work to get to the root of a stubborn drain problem. Typically, you can solve the problem if it’s only one drain.

However, if all the drains in your house are slow, you may have a big problem. Perhaps an overly-thirsty tree may be the culprit.

FYI: pipes and trees don’t get along.

Give Your Drain Some TLC

It’s pretty easy to figure out what you shouldn’t put in your drain. However, some things aren’t so obvious.

For example, you should never pour fat, oil, or grease down your drain. When these liquids cool down, they turn solid and stick to the insides of your pipes. Over time, these liquids will build up into a paste and clog your drain.

Eggshells are another item that you don’t want to put down your drain. The edges of eggshells get caught on gunk and contribute to drain buildup.

Coffee grinds are another drain no-no. They like the small spaces inside of your pipes and will build up in those areas blocking your drain.

It’s also a bad idea to throw medications down your drain. They may not cause a clog, but the chemicals used to make drugs will leach into the local water system.

When you have a clog, most people reach for a liquid drain cleaner. However, that’s not necessarily the best idea.

It’s important to make the mechanics of your house, such as plumbing, last as long as possible. Drain cleaner will start to eat away at your pipes after it clears a clog.

A Better Alternative to Drain Cleaners

Instead, begin your attempt to clear your drain using very hot water. Don’t use water that’s boiling. What you need is water that’s hot enough to melt away pasty residue.

After you flush your drain with hot water, rinse it out with cool water to wash away the paste that you just melted. It’s a good idea to do this about once a month.

You should also keep a few basic plumbing tools on hand. For example, you should grab an auger, a drain snake and a plunger from the hardware store. These are go-to tools when the hot water treatment doesn’t seem to work.

Tips for Dealing With Drain Clogs

You can also try a few home remedies. For instance, baking soda and vinegar is a common old-school cleaner. You can use it to help clear your drains.

Begin by pouring hot water down your clogged drain. Then, pour an equal amount of baking soda down your drain. Follow that up with an equal portion of vinegar.

Now, cover your drain with the plug. Let the solution sit in your drain for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Next, give your drain another hot water flush. Hopefully, the chemical reaction produced by the mixture will create enough pressure to clear the blockage. Ideally, that reaction will generate enough force to clear your drain.

You can also try different old-school combinations. For example, you can try making a drain cleaner using baking soda and salt.

Again, you’d pour equal amounts of baking soda and salt down the drain. Then you’d wait 20 to 30 minutes and flush that mixture out with hot water.

Some people also use only salt and hot water. Once again, the key is to let the mixture sit for about half an hour and then rinse it out. The idea is that the abrasiveness of salt can clear the clog.

The Plumbing Debate About Home Remedies

Some plumbing experts argue that such old-school methods are ineffective. They say this because they don’t believe that you can seal a drain tight enough to build up the pressure needed to clear a blockage.

These plumbing pros argue that the key ingredient in clearing drains is actually the hot water. In their opinion, this is the only home remedy that might clear a drain blockage.

Furthermore, they recommend against putting baking soda in your pipes because, like drain cleaner, it can destroy your plumbing system.

The jury’s still out on these arguments. Ultimately, the choice is yours whether to try this home remedy.

When Doing It Yourself Doesn’t Do the Trick

If none of your home remedies or drain cleaners seem to do the trick, then you’re left no alternative but to call for help. However, you need to make sure that you hire someone that can do the job right.

Simple plumbing problems such as a leaky faucet, shower drain repair or a clogged toilet are usually an easy fix. However, if you do something wrong, it can end up costing you big bucks.

As a homeowner, the best thing that you can do is to perform routine maintenance on your drains, such as a monthly hot water flush. Yet, if your drain is unyieldingly stubborn, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

It’s never fun to pay for a service repair call, especially if you could have avoided it with a routine maintenance call. This point highlights the benefit of scheduling regular plumbing maintenance.

In less than a year, you’ll recoup the cost of plumbing maintenance. The state of your home directly correlates to its value.

Regular Maintenance Pays Off

Your return on plumbing maintenance will vary depending on your neighbourhood. It will also vary depending on the overall condition of your home and its design.

Usually, you can recoup 77% to 91% of the upfront costs for plumbing maintenance. Plumbing repairs can cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

In contrast, a maintenance call may only cost around $600. Even better, you’ll recoup most of that cost by maintaining the integrity and value of your plumbing system and avoiding repair costs.

There’s another good reason to call a plumber. When you hire an expert, they fix the problem permanently. This benefit prevents you from having to deal with the same problem repeatedly.

Professional plumbers are skilled at troubleshooting and fixing problems. Furthermore, through routine maintenance, they can help you meet your plumbing needs and keep your repair expenses in control.

Choosing a Drain Repair Company

Plumbing drain repair and maintenance are wise investments in your home. However, drain repair services are only as good as the professional that you choose.

You must find a reliable plumber who keeps the lines of communication open. Never settle for the first name that you come across online. With some planning, you can find an honest, reputable and skilled plumbing professional.

To begin your quest for the perfect plumber, talk to your friends, family members and neighbours. Find out what service providers have done a good job for them over the years.

When you talk to people about finding a plumber, ask about their experiences with different service providers. You can benefit from the research that these individuals did to find their plumber. More importantly, you can find out which professional service providers they’d hire again.

There’s a lot of information about businesses on the internet. However, none of that information is more valuable than a first-hand account given to you by someone that you trust.

Once you find out about good plumbers in the area, you can focus on soliciting bids for your plumbing maintenance and repair needs with confidence. Before you start talking to contractors, think about what you want out of the relationship.

For example, don’t call the busiest plumber in town if you want the security of someone who’s available for 24-hour emergency service when you need it. The more specific you are about what you want out of a professional relationship with your plumber, the better your search will go.

Think about things such as your budget and your schedule. Now, you can begin looking for service providers who can meet your needs.

Vetting Candidates: Asking the Right Questions

To find the right plumbing service provider, you’ll need to ask the right questions. Prepare your questions before you start making calls. Also, make a list of the companies that you’re going to contact and keep it handy.

Ask all the companies the same set of questions. As you’re interviewing companies, assess the service providers’ attitude and level of communication. By evaluating these traits, you can get an idea of what it’s like to work with these professionals.

As you speak with potential service providers, ask them if they have experience performing the type of repair that you need. You should also ask them how long they’ve been in business.

It’s always important to make sure that a potential service provider is licensed, bonded and insured. Also, ask them about their availability.

Finally, ask for references. Call those references and listen closely to what they have to say about their experiences working with various service providers.

After completing these tasks, you should have narrowed your selection of candidates down considerably. Now, make an appointment to meet with potential service providers in person. During these meetings, you can get a feel of what it’s like to work with a specific service provider and then make a final decision.

Trust the Experts for Your Worst Plumbing Emergencies

Mr. Rooter has helped many Calgary homeowners work through their most difficult plumbing challenges. Our service providers are a part of the community.

Our local plumbing experts understand how important it is to protect the health of your family and the value of your home. Furthermore, every service professional on our team is licensed, bonded and insured.

Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary today at (403) 640-7789 for safe, quality service at a fair price. If you need drain repair, our plumbing pros are standing by and ready to exceed your expectations in every way!