No; is the answer for the vast majority of home owners. There are several reasons not to water jet, but first I’d like to warn you about a trend in Drain Cleaning of Main Drains that is happening in the Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as surrounding communities like Fridley, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Anoka, Mounds View, Shoreview, Little Canada, Roseville, Robinsdale, Crystal, New Hope, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Inver Grove Heights, South Saint Paul, West St. Paul, North St. Paul, Woodbury, etc.
There are currently several Drain Cleaning Companies preying on unsuspecting homeowners. They sell water jetting as a means to make all your plumbing work better and make all your drains drain faster. Statements like this simply are not true. While a main drain line cleaned at the normal cost of approximately $300, the drain cleaning companies selling water jetting will charge more than $1,200, one thousand two hundred dollars for the service. The vast majority of home owners do not need this service. The cheaper service is just as good. Root regrown will occur at the same rate with mechanical snake cleaning as with water jetting. There is no difference.
What is Water jet used for? A water jet uses high pressure water (4,000psi) at a flow rate of around 18 gallons per minute. The Water jet impact of the water is actually what cuts the roots. The problem is that Water jets are designed to operate upstream. In nearly all residential plumbing water jet is a down stream proposition. Minneapolis plumbing around the turn of the century allowed for the installation of 6 six inch clay pipe running almost to the foundation of the house. A 6 inch pipe will hold many times more volume of roots compared to a 4 inch pipe. This means it will often take longer for roots to cause a backup.
Water Pressure is Important
When battling low water pressure, replacing the piping is not always a practical solution. In fact, this can be costly and unnecessary. There are a number of factors that can affect your home’s water flow, so if something doesn’t seem right, check the four main causes of low water pressure before opting to re-pipe your home or make additional adjustments.
Causes of low water pressure can stem from the main shutoff valve, your water meter, your pressure regulator, or damaged washers and fixtures.
While issues outside your home are likely to cause a change in water pressure within, if only one or a few of your faucets is experiencing difficulty, this generally indicates the need to replace washers or fixtures inside your home. The first step in checking your faucets is to turn on your outside spigot. If the water pressure outside is normal, begin systematically checking each faucet in your home, making sure to include showerheads and bath faucets. Take note of each faucet that generates low water pressure. The washers and fixtures in need of replacement will be at the points of variation in pressure. To easily pinpoint these areas and save time and frustration, contact one of Drain King’s professionals.
If your outside spigot is also experiencing low water pressure, examine your water meter. While it is generally assumed the water meter is functioning at full capacity, this simple error is an easy fix and should not be overlooked. Next, check the main shutoff valve located near the street. Incidents such as water main breaks may require the water to be shut off, then slowly allowed back into the pipes. In many cases, the valve is not fully reopened, which leads to a lower flow of water to your home.
If all of your faucets are experiencing low water pressure, your water meter is fully operating, and the main valve is turned all the way on, your pressure regulator may be to blame. A pressure regulator works exactly as the name implies—it reduces the pressure of the water coming from your town’s main water system to a safe pressure for your home. Pressure buildup can blow out pipes, faucets, and fixtures. If this occurs, repairs to the damaged piping elements will be necessary.
If the problem persists, it may be time to consult Drain King about re-piping your home. Sediment, dirt or years of buildup can obstruct the flow of water and create low water pressure in your home. While this is a costly project, it is well worth the expense. After all, who enjoys showers under lightly sprinkling water?
As our society becomes increasingly aware of the consequences of our daily actions and choices, more companies are finding ways to combat problems that have been wreaking havoc on the environment. The large and ever-increasing number of people alive today is reason enough to shift our thinking into conservation mode; striving to find ways to sustain ourselves and protect the Earth at the same time. Our genius species is constantly reviving, uncovering, and discovering ways to keep our forests green, our waters flowing and clean, and our air crisp and breathable.
Recycling is, without a doubt, one of the most important and revitalizing efforts any human can undertake. To reuse and recreate means less trash in landfills and less byproduct in our waters and atmosphere. This holds true even for food waste.
Restaurants that recycle the fat, oil and grease (FOG) byproducts of their kitchens are taking a necessary step in keeping sewer lines, waterways, and our environment in good shape. Grease accumulation in sewer lines can become a messy and costly nuisance. Using a grease trap that is serviced by professionals will save time, money, and probably a few headaches along the way.
The government has started to regulate the disposal of FOG, and companies have risen to the occasion and stepped up their FOG disposal game. Business owners can rely on professionals to keep their kitchens clean, up to code, and environmentally safe.
When hiring a grease trap service, be sure the fee includes removal and proper disposal of FOG, as well as a thorough cleaning of all grease traps and exterior grease tanks. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of equipment, decrease the frequency of clogs and spills, and eliminate the possibility of polluting waterways. Using screens in kitchen sinks, wiping up grease spills instead of spraying them into traps or drains, and adhering to the 25 percent rule for grease traps are other great ways to control FOG.
Whether the goal is to save money while running a clean and efficient business or to do your part in saving the environment, keeping close tabs on fat, oil, and grease recycling and disposal is a good idea, and necessary for the well-being of your patrons and staff. Call the professionals at Drain King and allow us to keep your kitchen running smoothly.
We, as residents of Earth, all have a carbon footprint. There is always a byproduct, a sweet little something left behind from everything we do. Not so sweet is the lack of knowledge available to the general public about the impact every person has on what happens to our environment, the sizable prints left by our everyday actions, and the simple ways to reduce the negative impact of those actions.
According to timeforchange.org, a carbon footprint is ”the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).” This number per person grows to be pretty substantial when counting the energy used to provide food, create comfortable living spaces, provide gas to drive a vehicle, and countless other types of energy use.
Though we do indeed create a very large and mostly unsavory change to the planet and its climate, the good news is; there are many easy ways to change our daily habits that will positively impact each carbon footprint. The use of hybrid and electric cars greatly reduces carbon emissions, and it saves the user quite a bit of money on gas as well. Reducing emissions at home can be as simple as hanging clothes out to dry in the summertime and turning the thermostat down a few degrees overnight in the winter.
Other ways to be mindful around the home include washing clothes in cold water as opposed to hot, replacing old and inefficient appliances with Energy Star-compliant models, and installing a programmable thermostat. Being thrifty with energy use at home is always a great idea, as it saves money and the planet simultaneously.
Business owners can also play a large part in creating sustainable living practices and setting a good example in their communities. For restaurants in particular, proper handling and disposal of waste products such as fats, oils, and grease from deep fryers and sauté lines can greatly reduce pollution in sewers and local waterways. When kitchen waste is not disposed of correctly, it can clog sewer lines, which causes messy backups and damage. Installation of grease traps in commercial kitchens and arranging for regular cleaning by a professional are a great way for entrepreneurs to reduce their carbon footprints.
If you are an environmentally conscious business owner, contact Drain King for information on grease trap installation and maintenance. Let’s work together to reduce the negative impact left behind by living on our planet.
Hard Water Cavern
Have you heard the terms “hard water” and “soft water” and wondered what they meant? Have you heard people debate the merits of each? Perhaps you’ve experienced both types and prefer one over the other, but you’re not sure why. This article will answer all of those questions and give you the information you need to choose the type of water that will work best for your home or business.
Let’s start by defining each type. Water is rated on a hardness scale based on how many grains of minerals it contains per gallon. Hard water has a high mineral content. As it flows over rocks and soil, it picks up calcium and magnesium, which are not filtered out in the water purification process. Soft water does not contain the extra minerals. Any water that falls from the sky is automatically soft water, at least until it hits the ground and picks up the extra minerals. Soft water can also be created by treating the water with chemicals or a chemical process to remove the extra minerals. There are benefits to using both types of water, as well as drawbacks for each.
Hard water offers increased health benefits, since added minerals promote stronger bones and teeth and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Most people prefer the taste of natural hard water to water that has been softened by chemical means.
When it comes to cleaning, however, the mineral deposits in hard water react negatively with the cleaning components in soap. This reaction leaves behind a layer of film or scum. If you’ve ever opened the dishwasher to find cloudy spots on your glassware, or your tub has a shadowy ring around it no matter how often you clean, you can blame hard water. This type of water is especially troublesome for pipes and hot water tanks. When hard water is boiled, it leaves behind a layer of calcium, which deposits on coils and in pipes. The more buildup there is, the less efficiently those coils work, causing an increase in energy bills and a decrease in performance.
Soft water is created when the minerals in hard water are removed by artificial means. When an ion exchange column is used to soften water, sodium ions trade places with calcium and magnesium ions. Sodium ions don’t leave behind a mineral deposit or residue, but they do make the water taste salty and can be harmful to people who require low-sodium diets. Because no minerals are left to react negatively with cleaning agents, soft water produces more soap lather with less detergent, making objects look and feel cleaner. With no minerals to build up in pipes or on heating coils, water heaters and pipes work more efficiently. The use of soft water can prolong the life of dishwashers and washing machines.
In conclusion, hard water is best for drinking, and soft water best for washing. Drain King’s experts can help you identify hard or soft water in your home or business and offer solutions that best suit your water-softening needs.
Commercial kitchens produce a large amount of grease and fats that need to be disposed of regularly to maintain functionality and environmental regulations. Restaurants use grease traps or inflammable waste traps to collect these FOG (fat, oil, grease) materials, which prevents them from congealing in pipes and causing the sewer system to overflow. The grease collected from these kinds of kitchens can be categorized into two separate types: yellow grease and brown grease.
Yellow grease is typically used cooking oil left over from deep fat fryers and industrial-sized griddles. When the fryers need to be cleaned, the used grease is emptied into metal drum containers where it cools and congeals, and can then be recycled. It is considered a “clean” type of grease because the food it comes in contact with is either fresh or frozen, so there is no chance of contamination. Recycled yellow grease is mainly used to feed livestock, but it’s also used to make soap, cosmetics, detergents, rubber, and some types of clothing. It can even be used to create biodiesel fuel! Biofuels that have been created from yellow grease burn cleaner than other types of fuel, they have a lower carbon content, and they don’t produce carbon monoxide. They can be used to generate power and heat.
Brown grease is used to describe the FOG materials that are collected in grease traps or waste traps. These receptacles are designed to catch the FOGs before they can contaminate the rest of the sewer line. Some are small enough to fit under a commercial sink, while others need to be installed underground. Because the waste traps hold everything that is washed down a commercial drain, the grease mingles with rotting food and dirty water, making it unsafe and unsanitary for recycling purposes. Brown grease is usually pumped out of the waste traps and disposed of in landfills or incinerated. In the last few years, there has been some interest in creating ways to recycle brown grease. While it will never be suitable to manufacture the same types of products as its yellow counterpart, brown grease has the potential to become a viable alternative to diesel fuel and an oil substitute for heavy fuel. Developing technology may make it possible for brown grease to be processed in a manner similar to yellow grease, making it a viable source of biofuel.
The most important thing to remember about grease, whether yellow or brown, is to keep it out of your drain as much as possible. If left untreated, grease buildup almost always leads to sewer overflow. Remember to collect it and throw it away instead of dumping it down your sink or toilet! The environment will thank you, and so will your wallet!
One of the smallest areas of your home has been found to be the most dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 235,000 people visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom—from slippery surfaces in the bath and shower to falling in and around the toilet. This room should be examined and, if needed, retrofitted so no one gets hurt.
The CDC found that almost 33,000 people over the age of 14 go to the hospital after sustaining injuries while using the toilet. Not too surprisingly, people age 85 or over are particularly prone to injury this way, due to falls and the lack of a safety grab bar at the toilet. In fact, 81 percent of all injuries in the bathroom are due to falls. This calls for the need for homeowners to consider preventive equipment.
You can improve your bathroom’s safety. Use nonslip strips or mats in the bathtub and shower. Equip your tub or bath with a safety bar to hold while getting in and out. Install a grab bar or holding rail by the toilet for those who need assistance getting up and down from the seat. Consider getting rid of bath mats that can trip you or those that are placed in your walking path. Bathrooms are usually poorly lit; consider installing a light that comes on automatically when the illumination level in the bathroom drops.
While the elderly are more prone to bathroom accidents, all age groups visit the emergency room for accidents related to one of the smallest areas of the home, the bathroom.
Have you ever walked into a public restroom or a restroom in an office building and been hit with a strong, unpleasant odor? This may be the result of a dirty or clogged floor drain. Floor drains are found in many places like commercial restrooms and industrial spaces, near and around water heaters, in basements, kitchens, or laundry rooms.
The floor drain captures overflow water from sinks, toilets, tubs, rain, and any other pipe in your home, and then directs it safely to a sewer or municipal storm drain, so floors stay dry and rooms do not flood.
If you have floor drains in your home or business and you smell something bad coming from them, it’s typically because the traps have dried out. Floor drains have a U-shaped or P-trap pipe, just like your bathroom sink drain. The U-shaped pipe is designed to hold water that stands in the pipe and prevents sewer gases from coming up through the drain. If you smell sewer gas, fill the drain with a five-gallon bucket of water. This will seal off sewer gases and also let you see if the drain is working properly.
Floor drains become clogged just like any other drain, even more often because they’re on the floor where dirt collects. If your floor drain is clogged or slow, take steps to remove the clog. Use a drain auger or snake to see if you can reach the clog. Floor drains are often connected to longer pipes, so if you are still having problems, please call our professionals at Drain King. We can unclog and, if needed, clean out the pipe.
Lift stations are not something a homeowner or business owner thinks about until something goes wrong. A lift station is used to pump wastewater or sewage from a low level to a higher level when the gradient of the area does not allow for a natural flow.
There are two main elements to a lift station: the wet well and the controls. The wet well is a basin into which the inflow is discharged and where the pumps sit. The control panel is the brain of the lift station.
So, how do lift stations work? Sewage is stored and fed into a pit. Once this sewage reaches a certain level, electrical instruments recognize the pit is full and activate the pump, which will then pump the sewage out to its next destination. Most lift stations are housed underground to prevent health risks in a confined area, since the sewage can release poisonous gases like methane and hydrogen sulfide. Therefore, it is essential that owners of existing lift stations consult a professional like Drain King to ensure the pump is still working sufficiently.
A professional can also ensure proper maintenance of your lift station. The pumps, electronic controls, and electrical system are all in a constant corrosive environment, so lift stations require maintenance to head off the need for costly repairs.
Proper maintenance includes wet wells being pumped out and cleaned to prevent solids and grease buildup, inspection of the pumps, greasing of the check valves, and inspections and cleaning of the floats to assure proper performance. Also included is an inspection of all electrical motor-control equipment and of the basin, clean-outs, and covers to prevent buildup.
Have you walked through your home and counted the number of drains you actually have? Probably not. So until there is a problem, most people do not think about their pipes or what is done to clean them after something goes wrong.
It takes the right skill and proper equipment to do an effective, long-lasting, and thorough drain-cleaning job. Some companies focus on a “punch-and-run” approach, in which they simply make a hole in a clog rather than clean out and flush the pipe. At Drain King, we focus on doing the job right. To us, the punch-and-run approach is only putting a Band-Aid on a problem that will return sooner than necessary. To properly clean drains, you need the right diagnoses of the problem, the proper equipment, the correct size cleaning-head attachment, and a professional who will take the proper time to make sure the drain is fully cleaned.
There is a difference between just unclogging a drain and cleaning a drain line. A good drain-cleaning professional will have a clear understanding of this and likely know the cause of any clog. If you look around your house, you’ll find a variety of different drains that need to be kept clean so they work properly. Kitchen drains, shower and bath drains, bathroom sink drains, toilet drains, and floor drains all lead to the main sewer-line drain connecting your home to the city system or your septic tank. Done correctly, a professional drain cleaning will ensure the entire system is running properly.