Absurdly low rates – Be wary of companies charging low, low fees for sewer work. While you may find a reputable plumber dropping rates temporarily as an honest incentive (see our coupon), an unbelievably low rate may only be in place to gain access to your premises, with add-ons sure to follow. Sewer jobs are labor intense, complicated, and occasionally require two men. Don’t let the $89 sewer cleaning offer lead you to a $9,000 sewer replacement.

Using the right tools. Getting cost-effective results – Typically, sewer lines are 4 – 6 inches in diameter. If the plumber has to clear the line, a 6 inch saw blade is necessary to do an effective job. Make sure that the plumber is using either a 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch cable with a 4 inch or 6 inch cutter blade respectively, to fully cut out any roots. Using a smaller cable or smaller cutting blade is not effective. A company using the wrong size cable and/or cutting blade may be trying to get you to pay for a camera inspection so that you can see that their attempt to clear the line was unsuccessful. This is a stage-setter for you to potentially pay thousands more to re-line the sewer or dig it up and replace it. Before you commit your sewer needs to a plumbing company, be sure to ask what size cable and cutters they use for sewer mains. If they are using inadequate equipment, wouldn’t it make you wonder how serious they are to clear your sewer line?

The Allied solution – Use the proper equipment the first time to solve the problem. After all attempts to clear the sewer have been exhausted, you may still have to dig up and replace the line, but we’ll give it a full-hearted attempt to open the sewer line using state of the art equipment before ever expanding the project.

BONUS: USE OUR 20% OFF SEWER CLEANING COUPON
We’re out to earn your business – not give you the business. GET COUPON

Root Removal Highlights:
• Labor level: Complex
• Cost: $230+
• Use online reviews: See what customers are saying
• Recommended tools: 4 or 6 inch cutting saw machine (an auger that chews through clogs)
• Optional tools: Sewer camera, high-pressure water jet
• Sewer Cleaning Cost Calculator: (calculation does not include state sales tax)
http://www.homewyse.com/services/cost_to_clean_sewer_line.html

Be informed: Tree roots are a big culprit in sewer clogs and cracks
In the world of plumbing, trees are like icebergs: Beautiful above ground and treacherous below. Tree roots require a reliable water source and nutrient-rich sewer drainage is a favorite. In Cincinnati’s older neighborhoods, sewer lines are commonly made of cast iron or clay tile sections that fit together in an overlapping manner. Over time, freezing and thawing cycles can cause the joints to loosen and provide an inlet for invasive roots (weeping willow and sycamore trees are common problem trees in this region).

Over time, the roots grow inside the sewer lines and create blockages, causing wet spots in the yard, basement backups, and clogged toilets.

According to The Family Handyman, homeowners have 
three options when roots have invaded the sewage system:

Attempt to self-treat the roots – Use a natural approach such as “blue vitriol” crystals (also known as copper sulfate). Copper sulfate is commonly available from your plumber, usually in 1 pound plastic bags. Purchase the crystals (not the powder), which are slow to dissolve, will remain in your system long enough to eliminate roots in your lines but will not kill your tree. Note: A plumber may be needed to clear the initial clog. Copper sulfate is an excellent preventive maintenance approach. Flush 1 pound of the crystals down the toilet regularly (e.g., 3-4 times/year), as the last flush of the evening (or before going away on a long weekend).

Cut down all your trees – Unrealistic and costly, but effective.

Call a professional plumber, with a sewer machine – Ask if they also have a sewer camera and a high-pressure water jet available too. If needed, they can use the camera to scope the problem, determine the extent of the damage, and recommend an action plan.

Typically, a sound plan includes:
• Commercial auger – Clears the lines
• Damaged line – A reliable plumber excavates & replaces the old line with new (e.g., plastic).
• Chemical treatment – (like copper sulfate) to kill problematic roots (no damage to tree).

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of any plumber performing work at your home or business. The best ones will appreciate your curiosity and will be very willing to explain the work to you. Satisfied customers are always the goal.

Water You Waiting For? If you suspect tree roots are blocking your outbound sewage, call Ray today for an instant sewer cleaning quote that you can trust. His skilled and trustworthy team of plumbers has state-of-the-art equipment and the professional skills needed to clear or replace your sewer lines, typically in less than a day. Call 513-396-5300 for a free consultation.

We’re writing this while looking out the window at several inches of newly fallen snow. It’s pretty. It’s cold. It’s wet. For the next few days, the snow will remain solid, but when it melts, look out. Record cold temperatures have the ground frozen like a rock; eventually all that melting snow and ice water has to go somewhere. Will it find its way into your basement?

As the thermometer slowly moves north, all this accumulated snow will eventually melt. Under normal conditions, the soil would absorb the water and no one would be the wiser. With deeply frozen ground, however, the soil is unable to absorb “melt”… is your sump pump ready for action?

A Quick Inspection is Worthwhile
If your pump has been in place for more than a year (or loud, periodic thumping noises are coming out of the basement and it’s not the children), we recommend a quick visual inspection:

1. First, unplug the sump pump to eliminate the risk of electric shock.
2. Remove the pump cover, if possible. Note: if you cannot remove the cover, call a plumber.
3. Look into the sump pit (use a flashlight for a better view). If the water in the pit has an oily appearance, it’s possible the pump is leaking coolant. Contact a reputable plumber immediately
4. Remove any foreign objects or debris that may have accumulated in the sump pit.
5. Examine the pump float and make sure it moves freely
6. Test the pump by plugging it back in and slowly pouring water into the pit until the float rises and the pump kicks on. Listen to the motor – is it running smoothly? It should not race, sputter or be overly noisy. Observe the pump until the excess water is removed from the pit.

Water You Waiting For? If you suspect your sump pump may need an official inspection or replacement, call Ray at Allied Reddi-Rooter before the spring thaw (and eventually, the spring rains).. He’ll listen, provide a free estimate, and has a trained staff that can assist on your schedule. Call today: 513-396-5300.

Why do people call a plumber?  At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we like to think it’s because we’re among the best plumbers in town. We enjoy that people trust us with ensuring the safety of their drinking water and sanitary situations.  Deep down, however, we know home and business owners usually call because the job is dirty. The job is big and/or overwhelming. The job takes time, skills, and tools beyond what the caller can provide.   In plumbing, that’s pretty much how it works.

This week, we’d like to share our favorite links to online plumbing forums.   These forums are both entertaining and informative – how many times have we all wondered if toilets should flush and fill at the same speed?  Frankly, it’s heartwarming to know that other people have water simultaneously flowing from the tub spout and shower head.

Plumbing forums a good way to quickly research a problem and gain insight into a situation before (or instead of) hiring a plumber.  It’s good to be informed.

Typically, the forums are moderated and managed by a credible plumbing expert.  Users post plumbing questions to the forum and await replies/advice from the forum members.  Answers range from vague-to-detailed, depending on the skills and knowledge of those who take the time to reply.

Below are links to our favorite forums:
This Old House/Plumbing (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/plumbing/)  – When it comes to plumbing TV personalities, TOH’s Richard Trethewy is The. Best.  Known to at least 3 generations of DIY-ers, Richard is professional, polished, and always offers sound approaches to plumbing needs.    This structured forum is exceptional – it’s well-written, easy to navigate, and includes how-to videos for common plumbing problems.

Plumbing Forums (http://www.plumbingforums.com/forum/) – This is precisely with it advertises:  a bulletin board of plumbing Q-and-A, sorted by category:
• General plumbing help – by far the most popular category with 18,467 posts)
• Drain and Sewer Cleaning
• Plumbing Tools and Equipment
• Plumbing Codes (with a paltry 699 posts…code, schmode)
• The Family Handyman’s Plumbing Forum (http://community.familyhandyman.com/tfh_forums/f/20.aspx) – The Family Handyman has multiple forums (Bath & Kitchen, Flooring & Tile, etc.), but we like their plumbing forum a great deal.  Readers offer troubleshooting tips and good suggestions on when it’s appropriate to call a professional.
• Terry Love’s Plumbing Forum (http://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?forums/plumbing-forum-professional-diy-advice.6/)  – Terry Love is based near Seattle and appears to be on the leading edge of internet plumbing.  His online approach is definitely interesting and appears technically sound.

Water You Waiting For?  If, after researching your plumbing concern,  you find that a professional may be needed, call Allied Reddi-Rooter (513.396.5300).  Ray’s team of professionally-trained plumbers are available 24/7 throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton area.

Have a rehab that needs new copper? How about a new dishwasher installation for your sweetheart? Enter Allied Reddi-Rooter’s new spring sweepstakes and win 4 hours of absolutely free plumbing service. What a great way to jump-start an improvement project in your home or business!

Entry is Easy – Just Like Us on Facebook
Everyone located within the greater Cincinnati and Dayton area who “likes” Allied Reddi-Rooter on Facebook between now and March 1, 2015 is automatically entered in the sweepstakes. No forms, no sharing of personal information, just the familiar thumbs up and you’re in. At Allied, that’s how we like to do business – as quickly and easily as possible.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Allied-Reddi-Rooter/142361175810624

What’s Included in the 4 Free Hours?
It’s four hours of pure labor from our highly-trained service professionals. You can supply your own parts/materials to get the job started and our plumbers will fill in the gaps as needed (any parts supplied by Allied are an additional fee).

What Does 4 Hours Do for Me?
Four hours is a LOT of plumbing time. It’s a half-day’s work in an industry typically finishes jobs in 1-2 hour increments. With four hours of labor, jobs like the ones below can be either finished or mostly finished:

• A large portion of a shower install (especially if you supply the shower stall & finish work)
• Re-piping your laundry area to make the washer-dryer arrangement more efficient (helpful in older homes with unfinished basements)
• A new floor drain in the garage
• 2 new toilet installations
• A new kitchen sink + garbage disposer installation
• A new water heater installation
• Grease trap cleaning

When’s the Deadline?
Enter no later than Sunday, March 1, 2015 at Midnight. The winner will be announced on our Allied Reddi-Rooter Facebook page on Tuesday, March 3rd.

Water You Waiting For? Enter Today!
Ray’s is team of available 24/7 to assist with your plumbing needs in your home, apartment building, rehab, or business. Keep your water flowing free and clear — call Allied today at 513-396-5300.