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Plumbing FAQs

Why are my water bills higher than normal?

You probably have a leak somewhere. If you haven’t noticed any standing water, stained ceilings or drywall, or soggy spots, start by checking your toilets. Put a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank and wait 15 minutes (do not flush while you’re waiting!). If you see color in your tank, it is leaking and the ball and/or flapper need to be replaced. If you can’t find your leak, give us a call and we’ll figure out where all that water is going. 

When should I get my septic system inspected?

We recommend a septic inspection at least once every three or four years. That way, you can catch problems before they become major issues. If your septic tank gets too full, you can end up with unwanted solids, like paper, flowing into your drain field. These will eventually block the pipes there, which can be very expensive to repair. 

My garbage disposal smells terrible! What can I do to get rid of the odor?

If your garbage disposal smells, there’s likely a buildup of food debris inside it. This debris can stick to the walls and refuse to drain. Get rid of the odor by placing ice cubes or citrus peels in it and running it for 30 seconds. Keep it running and squirt a generous helping of liquid dishwasher detergent into it. Finally, run cold water down the disposal for at least 30 seconds to wash any loosened debris away. If this doesn’t make your kitchen smell better, call us for further help. 

How can I prevent frozen pipes during the winter?

Avoid frozen pipes this winter by taking a few easy steps. Turn off your outside faucets and remove any hoses that are connected in them, allowing any water still in the pipes to drain out. Further waterproof your pipes with a kit or supplies from your local hardware store. Follow directions on the supplies to wrap and insulate your pipes this winter. If you have a sprinkler system, get it drained and blown out before the ground freezes. 

There’s a white substance on my shower heads and faucets. How do I get rid of that?

That white substance is mineral buildup and it may indicate that you have hard water. To remove it, pour a cup of vinegar into a bag. Tie the bag tightly around the faucet, so the mineral deposits are soaking in the vinegar. Leave it on overnight. In the morning, use a brush to scrape away the mineral deposits. If you can remove your sink aerators or your shower head, do so and simply soak them in vinegar overnight. 

What is the best temperature for my hot water heater?

You may need to experiment to find out where you want to set the temperature on your hot water heater so you have enough hot water for your family’s needs but can save as much money as possible. Most people find that 120 degrees is the best setting for them. In fact, this is the standard that manufacturers use when they preset water heaters at the factory. If you can’t set yours to a particular temperature, start somewhere in the middle and work up or down from there. 

Drain FAQs

My drain is clogged again even though I’m careful. Why does this keep happening?

Unfortunately, it’s easy to accidentally put grease down your drains no matter how hard you try not to. When you rinse dishes in your sink, they often have a thin layer of grease on them. Your hot rinsing water dissolves this and helps it run down your drains. When the grease cools later, it hardens against the pipe wall. Over time, this can cause significant grease buildup that can also catch other debris in its trap, causing a major sink clog. 

Some of my drains smell terrible! How can I stop this odor?

If the drains are ones you use a lot, try rinsing them with a 1:1 combination of vinegar and baking soda. Put the baking soda in the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then pour the vinegar down and leave it for 15 more minutes. Finally, wash it all down the drain with hot water and see if things smell better.

If the drains are ones you don’t use much, you may need to simply add water to them. Many drains keep out odors because they place a water trap between you and the smells. If this water leaks out, which it often does over time, there won’t be a barrier between you and the bad smells. Pour a bucket of water down the drains and see if that helps. If your water trap keeps disappearing, call one of our plumbers to find out why.

What can I put down my garbage disposal? I don’t want it to clog!

The key to making most garbage disposals work is to use enough water with them. You’ll want to allow the water to run for at least 10 seconds after the scraps you put down them are gone, and maybe up to 30 seconds. When you do this, you can put almost any non-fibrous items down the disposal, including coffee grounds, eggs and egg shells, potato peelings, bones up to ½” in diameter, apples, and citrus peels. 

How can I prevent clogs throughout my home?

There are a lot of things that you can do to prevent clogs at home. Make sure each drain opening is covered by a trap of some kind. These will collect hair (in the shower) or food scraps so they don’t accidentally go down the drain and cause a clog. You should also make sure that only products intended for your toilets get flushed. In the kitchen, do your best to remove grease before you rinse your dishes in the sink and make sure larger debris either goes into the trash can or gets put down the garbage disposal correctly, with plenty of water. 

Can I try to unclog my own drains?

Whether you try to unclog your own drains is up to you. We don’t recommend using chemical drain cleaners, like Drano. These won’t actually solve your problem but will, instead, simply dissolve a hole through the middle of your clog. If you use them too often, they may dissolve holes in your pipes, too! You can try leaving a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and baking soda in a clogged drain for up to 30 minutes and see if that helps, instead.

A plunger may also help with your clogged drain, even if it’s not in the toilet. If it doesn’t work, there are a variety of products that you can rent or buy that may help you unclog your drain. These hooks and short snakes can be useful, though they can also further damage your plumbing. If you choose to use them, make sure you understand how to do so before you start your project. 

When should I call a plumber about my drain problems?

We are always happy to look at your drains, whether it’s for maintenance or to solve an acute problem. However, we definitely recommend bringing in a professional when:

  • You can’t get rid of a clog using your normal method of drain cleaning
  • Your clog is causing a major backup and water or waste are damaging your home
  • You have a clog that keeps coming back, no matter what you do
  • You have clogs all over the house, all at the same time

Trenchless Sewer Repair FAQs

What is trenchless sewer repair?

Trenchless sewer repair refers to several technologies that allow us to clean out or repair your sewer pipes without digging up your whole yard. Traditional sewer repair involves digging a trench along the entire length of your sewer line, from your home to where it joins the city’s line in the street. This often involved taking out grass, trees, sidewalks, driveways, and more! With trenchless sewer repair, you can get a long-lasting fix to your sewer problem without all that hassle and expense. 

How do you know what is going on in my sewer without digging it up to take a look?

We’ll send a small camera on a flexible cable down the entire length of your sewer line. Our camera gives us a clear, 360-degree view of your entire sewer line. It allows us to see any clogs in the line, cracks or breaks in the pipe, or other potential problems with the line. It also allows us to determine the exact location of the problems so we can target our repairs accordingly. 

What is hydro jetting?

Hydro jetting involves shooting a controlled, concentrated stream of water into your pipes. We can direct this stream so that it targets the scum and scale that has built up on the sides of your pipes or so that it decimates clogs in the lines. The water is so concentrated that it can break up even tough clogs, including some tree roots. After hydro jetting, your clog won’t just be gone, but the insides of your pipes will look brand new. 

What is cured-in-place piping (CIPP)?

Cured-in-place piping technology allows us to reline your sewer pipes without having to dig up the line. We turn the liner inside out and cover the inside with epoxy. Then, we run the liner into your line until it covers the crack or break in your sewer pipe. Our machines turn the pipe liner right side out again, allowing the epoxy to adhere to the existing pipe. Then we heat the inside of the liner so the epoxy can form a lasting seal. When we’re done, your pipe will have a brand new interior lining. 

How long will CIPP last?

The project duration for your CIPP repair will vary based on the products we use, the length of pipe replaced, and other factors. However, many products come with a 10-year warranty and you can actually expect them to last for 50 years or more. The liner resists corrosion by water and other substances and provides a barrier that repels tree roots, too. 

Will trenchless sewer repair save me money?

Most of the time, trenchless sewer repair is not only the fastest and easiest way to fix your sewer line, but it’s also the cheapest, too. While we cannot quote a price for your project until we know what is going on in your sewer line and what you need to have done, experience has shown that trenchless repairs almost always cost less than those done via traditional methods. 

Trenchless repair is cheaper simply because you don’t have to pay to have your yard dug up and you don’t have to pay to have it put back together when we’re done, either. Eliminating these costs means that all you pay for is the repair itself. 

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4.8 Stars | 520+ Google Reviews
    "

    Apollo jetted the basement drain line in our old 1927 Portland house. The line has been backing up thru the floor drain for a while. The technician cleared out the line with the hydro-jet, and it’s running great now. On-time and professional!

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    - Tim T., Google Review

    "

    Apollo Drain was on time, professional, and very knowledgeable. He took the time to inspect our rain drain to our dry well and do everything he could to alleviate the issue. I would highly recommend Apollo, they were informative and straight forward. Honesty is obviously a value they uphold for their customers.

    "

    - Forrest W., Google Review

    "

    I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we were with the service we received today from Anthony. He was incredibly personable and friendly. He went above and beyond and made the service call painless. Anthony took care of our clogged train in no time. Apollo and Anthony are the best! We highly recommend them.

    "

    - Jennifer T., Google Review

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