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When a bathroom or kitchen drain gets clogged many homeowners will purchase chemical drain cleaning products to try to clean out the obstruction. While drain cleaners can be effective at removing organic material from drains, they also carry a few risks.

Liquid drain cleaners usually contain corrosive alkaline, bleach and lye in concentrations up to 50 percent. They dissolve organic matter like food waste, hair, grease and other material. However, the further the clog is from the drain opening, the less effective they will be. This is why drain cleaners are usually not very effective for unclogging toilets.

Drain cleaners are also highly corrosive and are among the most hazardous household products you can purchase. To reduce the risk of injury, the manufacturer's instructions should be followed carefully and the products stored in a safe location where they cannot be reached by children.

When using chemical drain cleaners it is important to avoid contact with materials near the drain such as wood, paint, fiberglass and aluminum. Wear rubber gloves and protect your eyes.

The alternative to chemical drain cleaners is professional drain cleaning. Physically removing obstructions using a drain snake or water jetting is the safest, most effective way to remove tough clogs from sewer and drain lines. At ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric we provide fast, affordable drain cleaning, so you can skip the chemicals and
rest easy knowing the job will be done right and there are no dangerous chemicals stored in your home.
Published in Sewer and Drain
The holiday season is among us and that means things may start getting a bit hectic - especially if it’s your turn to host this year. From shopping for gifts to getting the house clean there’s lots on your plate and we didn’t even mention food prep yet. With all of these things on your mind, it can be easy to forget about which foods can and cannot go down the garbage disposal so we’re taking a few minutes to remind you. Trust us when we tell you it’s worth a quick read - it can save you lots of money on costly repairs in the near future:
  1. Vegetable peels and skins: peeling potatoes for a large portion of buttery, garlic mashed potatoes? Cutting carrots and celery for your appetizer platter? You’re off to a wonderful start. Just remember the scraps from these items should never be put down the disposal. They can wrap around the blades and cause a jam.
  2. Grease: no matter what you’ve got on the menu for the holidays we’re going to bet there’s something greasy, or that must be cooked in oil. You may have heard that it’s OK to toss grease or oil down the disposal as long as you run hot water at the same time. This is NOT the case - as grease cools it hardens and can cause major problems inside the pipes. Wait for it to cool and throw it in the trash instead.
  3. Meat scraps and bones: similar to the veggies, meat can contain bones which can splinter and get stuck if they come in contact with the disposal’s sharp teeth. Avoid throwing meat and meat parts down the disposal altogether; stick to the garbage can instead.
  4. Non-food items: believe it or not, homeowners often throw a number of non-food items down the disposal as well. Wooden matches, cigarettes, rubber bands and twist ties should all be kept out of the disposal under all circumstances.
Should you find yourself in a predicament revolving around your garbage disposal this holiday season, you can always count on the experts at ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric to get you of a jam.
Published in Sewer and Drain
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 13:56

Tackle Stubborn Clogs With Bio-Clean

Slow drains in the bathroom, a backed up drain in the kitchen sink - we’ve all been there. Clogged drains are inevitable in just about every single home or apartment in the country and they never come at a good time. And each year, homeowners spend hundreds of dollars on drain cleaning products that either A) don’t work, or B) are extremely harmful to the environment. Find out below why you need Bio-Clean for all of your drain blockage issues:

What is Bio-Clean?

Put simply, this product removes the cause of drain back-ups. Whether it’s a result of grease, hair, food, sewage or other materials, Bio-Clean is here to eliminate it.

Bio-Clean is a non-poisonous blend of bacteria and enzymes. The friendly bacteria actually eat away the build up, leaving behind only water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash. The bacteria continue to multiply, thriving on their natural food source . . . that gunky build up in your pipes and drains . . . completely cleaning your home’s entire plumbing system.

How Do You Use It?

Your ABC technician will be more than happy to demonstrate Bio-Clean for your and will have the amazing product available for purchase.

Having problems with your drains? Give us a call today and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!
Published in Sewer and Drain
While pipe bursting may sound like a catastrophic failure of a plumbing system, it's actually one of the least destructive ways to repair a home sewer line as part of a process called trenchless sewer line repair.

Instead of digging up the yard to repair the sewer line, a very strong cable is pulled through the damaged section of piping and attached to a conical pipe bursting head. Behind this head is a new section of piping. As the pipe bursting head is pulled through the old piping it is broken up and the new piping is being pulled through the old pipe bed.

Pipe bursting is an ideal pipe replacement process for clay, steel and concrete piping that ranges in diameter from 75mm up to 300mm and in lengths up to 100 meters. New MDPE or HDPE piping can be installed in short sections or one continuous length.

Have questions about pipe bursting? Give ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric a call. We're here to help.
Published in Sewer and Drain
The type of sewer pipe material your home uses will mostly be determined by its age. Older homes often have clay or cast iron pipes, while newer homes are most likely to use plastic. However, as older sewer lines are replaced, it's becoming more common to find plastic sewer lines in older homes.

Clay Sewer Pipes

Clay is one of the oldest pipe materials still in use today. It's main advantage is that it's inert and therefore resistant to chemical degradation. The downside of clay sewer pipe is its porous surface, which makes it a magnet for tree roots. Clay is also more brittle than some other pipe materials.

Cast Iron Sewer Pipes

As with clay pipe, cast-iron sewer pipe is more commonly found in older homes, although it is still commonly used today. The main advantage of cast iron is it's long lifespan and strength. A 4" diameter sewer pipe can withstand almost 5,000 pounds of pressure per linear foot. By comparison, a plastic sewer pipe can be damaged by a person standing on it! Cast iron's main disadvantage is cost and weight.

Plastic Sewer Pipes - PVC and ABS

Plastic sewer pipe is made from either ABS and PVC. Its smooth surface provide excellent carrying capacity of waste and makes it resistant to tree root intrusion. It must be installed carefully however, as plastic is not as strong as other materials and can bend or collapse if not sufficiently supported with sand or gravel.

Orangeburg Sewer Pipes

Orangeburg is a pipe material you're unlikely to encounter today, and for good reason. Made from cellulose wood fiber held together with adhesive and impregnated with liquefied coal tar, Orangeburg pipe was lightweight and easy to work with, but was also weak and prone to failure, which has resulted in many sewer lines being replaced prematurely over the years.

Have question about your sewer line? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric.
Published in Sewer and Drain
Ever experience a sewer line break? If not, consider yourself lucky. It can be a real mess and a major headache for homeowners that involves a destructive process to repair. That is, if you choose to go with a company incapable of performing trenchless sewer repair. At ABC, we’ve mastered a new technique without digging up your entire lawn!

How does it work? First, we use an in-pipe video camera to find the problem area. Next, the sewer pipe is re-lined from the inside using a pump to pull a special epoxy through, creating a strong new layer. This brand new layer gives your sewer line the strength and performance of any other pipe and will last up to 50 years without requiring repair or replacement.

We know you’ve got lots of other things to worry about every day, so why add a complete mess of your yard to the list? When you choose ABC, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be able to spend your time doing the things that really matter.

If you happen to encounter a sewer line break in the upcoming weeks or months, give the experts at ABC a call. Our trenchless sewer line repair is fast, minimally disruptive, and provides a permanent solution.
Published in Sewer and Drain
If you notice a smelly sewer odor in your home, there are several possible causes. Here are some things to check:

1. Check the floor drain trap. Without water to block the sewer gas from escaping, odors will enter the room. Pour water down the drain to refill the trap.

2. Check the cleanout plug inside the floor drain. Remove the grate that covers the drain and make sure there's a plug inside the drain bowl. If the plug is missing, sewer gas will be able to bypass the water trap. A replacement plug can be bought at most hardware stores.

3. Check the toilets. When toilets are unused for a long period of time the water in the trap can evaporate. Simply flushing the toilet will refill the trap.

4. Check toilet wax rings. The wax ring seals the toilet flange to the toilet base. If the wax ring leaks, sewer gas will escape from under the toilet. If the ring is broken, the toilet will need to be removed and and the wax ring replaced. If the toilet is loose on the base, shims can be used to ensure that a rocking toilet doesn't break the new wax ring.

Other possible causes of sewer odors include a broken or cracked sewer line or, less often, a loose connection joint in an interior wall. If you've checked the other possibilities above, it may be time to contact your plumber to hunt down the cause.

Have sewer and drain line questions? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, we can help.
Published in Sewer and Drain
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ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric • 220 W Campus Dr, Arlington Heights, IL • 60004 • 888-903-4070 • State of Illinois Plumbing License Number 055-013536

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