Emergency Plumbing Repair

How to unclog a drain

Before you attempt to unclog a drain yourself, or hire an emergency service plumber, or rent a plumbing

snake, it is important to first determine what is working, and what is not working. For example can you

flush all the toilets in the home, or is 1 giving you a problem?

Does the toilet back up as in that is the only issue, or does it began filling up the bathtub, or coming

up in the basement or garage? Do you need an emergency drain cleaning company, or is this really

something that you want to tackle yourself?

For most homeowners, hiring an emergency drain cleaning company is the preferred choice. Now,

with so many companies fighting for your business, how do you know who to call? Or what company

you can trust? Or which companies quote low over the phone pricing, only to send mediocre techs

with hardware store (low grade) machines…… so that they can upsell you on expensive drain pipe


Well, if you insists on trying to tackle the problem yourself, you may need a plumbers snake. You also

want to make sure you have high quality gloves that has steel plates woven into them. You also want to

make sure that your not wearing loose clothing, and that you keep your hair ( if it’s long) away from the

machine at all times.

Two other very important safety features to keep in mind is to keep your plumber snake as close to the

backed up drain as you can, and wear safety glasses at all times.

Now how can you avoid hiring the “wrong ” company to handle your emergency drain cleaning? For

starters, make sure this is something they do on a daily basis, and not when “work gets slow”. Find out

upfront what happens if the drain cannot be cleaned.  Will you be charged hourly regardless of the

outcome? Will they charge you half? Or will they expect full payment regardless of the outcome?

The last and possibly most important consideration you should have when requesting emergency drain

cleaning is to confirm that the company you hire has drain blasting machines on the service vehicle. This

is important because the plumbers snake is not enough in most cases. They primarily create an opening

thru the pipes to restore flow, meanwhile grease, oils, sludge, and other soft obstructions is stuck to the

walls of the pipe. This creates an illusion that the drain is cleaned, when it is not.

Also there has been numerous cases when the plumbers snake went right thru the blockage (

soft obstruction), and the line was still backed up. So the option given in  most cases is to tell the

homeowner they must replace the underground piping which can cost thousands of dollars. If only they

had drain blasting machines, or even recommended to the customer to hire a contractor that does.

Water heater installation

Having a new water heater installed is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In fact, many things

should be taken into consideration in addition to the proper tank size. Items you may want to consider is

making sure the company you hire is licensed and insured. This is important because you will have peace

of mind knowing that you at least have a good chance of a proper installation.

There are some advantages of going to the home center, price , price and price. The disadvantages

however far outweigh the lower perceived price. For example, whatever big box store you are thinking

of purchasing a new water heater installation from, just type in the name of the store in Google, then

type in water heater complaints and see what comes  up after you do a search.

Also, who is actually doing the install? Do they have drug tested , and background checked employees?

Since the water heater installation is being subcontracted, will they take the time to install the water

heater correctly?

There are at least 10 things that should be done on every water heater installation, that 95% of

plumbers ignore. This results in shorter tank life, premature failure, and potentially the escape of flue

gases into your home, which effects the entire family.

Be very clear with the company that you hire to do the install ….. what happens when something

goes wrong? Can you call the company that did the water heater installation? Or do you have to call

the manufacturer?  Or if you purchased from the big box store and a leak occurs during the warranty

period……. they expect you to bring the tank to them!

So , hiring the right company that gives warranties on product and service is probably the most

important decision that you have to make. Skilled professionals can advise you on all the extras that are

available to you.

These items may include special filters to extend tank life, alarms that will shut the water and gas

when the tank leaks, and even alarms that will call you on the phone the second a leak occurs. This is

encouraged if you have a finished basement, or if the tank sits in an area that is not seen often.

It is unfortunate, but many homeowners have paid the price because of hiring the wrong company to

do the water heater installation. Too many times, we have been on jobs where the gas valve does not

work, the water shut off valve does not work, the flue pipe was never secured properly, 2 different

metals were touching at the water connections which creates electrolysis, the flue pipe was not pitched

properly and this list goes on and on. So, make sure that you are comfortable with the company, and the

technician that is doing the work.