flooded basement due to sewer backup

Having a basement is a great thing as it provides extra living and storage space in your home. Being the lowest point in your home, basements are usually entirely or partially underground though, meaning they’re prone to flooding or other water damage. How does water enter your basement? And what are some things you can do to prevent a costly disaster in your home? Read on or reach out to the pros at Reid & Pederson Drainage today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

Broken or Clogged Sewer Line

Since we are sewer and drain experts, let’s talk about your main sewer line. Your sewer carries all household biological solid and liquid waste out of your home and to your city main by way of gravity. If you experience a basement flood with wastewater, it’s probably because of a break in your main sewer line. Large clogs caused by tree roots, items that should never be flushed down the toilet, or wear and age on your sewer pipes are main reasons why you experience a flooded basement. Any of these situations means a sewer line repair is necessary.

Nobody wants to head downstairs to find their basement covered in their own waste. But fear not! Your sewer usually gives you signs that you’re facing a backup before a backup actually occurs, such as:

  • Bubbles, bubbles everywhere. Seeing bubbles and hearing gurgling sounds when sinks, tubs or toilets are draining or flushed is a telltale sign of a sewer issue.
  • The unmistakable smell of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide). This is caused by sewer gas escaping from cracks or breaks in your line and finding a way into your home.
  • Many slow drains all at once in your home. One slow drain usually indicates a problem with only that fixture. But if you have several drains that are clogged, slow to drain or cause issues with other drains when used, a backup is likely in your near future.

Ejector Pump Failure

Another reason your basement can flood with wastewater is if your ejector pump fails. If you have a bathroom in your basement, you also have an ejector pump that pumps the waste out to the city main. Your ejector pump fails due to several causes, such as a power outage, a problem with the float switch or a clog caused by items that shouldn’t be flushed, like feminine hygiene products, wipes or paper towels. Any of these issues cause ejector pumps to stop pumping the waste out of your home. Leaving the waste with nowhere to go, except on the floor of your basement!

How to Prevent a Sewer Backup

Sometimes, a sewer backup is inevitable. In those situations, Reid & Pederson is just a phone call away! But as a homeowner, there are also some simple things you can do to prevent sewage from flooding your basement.

1) Preventative Sewer Maintenance

Annual preventive sewer rodding ensures that your sewer is always clear and free flowing. One of the best ways you can prevent a messy backup in your basement, annual rodding finds sewer problems before they become large, costly ones. Some companies even give discounts for participating in annual preventive sewer maintenance and provide a full year guarantee to ensure your sewer line is always clear! (cough, cough)

2) Check Your Pumps

Periodically check your ejector pump to make sure it is operating how it should be and to ensure there are no clogs in the impeller of the pump. Debris that is caught in the impeller (feminine hygiene products, wipes, paper towels and anything else that shouldn’t be flushed) doesn’t allow solid wastes to flow from the ejector pit to your city main. A problem with the float switch can prevent the sensor on the pump to activate, allowing sewage to rise above ground level and flood your basement. If you also have sump pump(s) in your basement, it’s a good idea to check those too, to prevent excessive groundwater or rainwater from flooding your basement.

Local Drain & Sewer Experts

These simple preventive measures help prevent sewer backups. But rest assured – should you experience a backup in your home, the Crete sewer repair experts Reid & Pederson will get to you fast to clear your problem! Book your appointment today!

The leaves are changing and the weather is becoming cooler, clear signals that the Fall season is upon us. Throw on a cozy sweatshirt and fuzzy slippers and consider the following tips for keeping your sewer system in tip top shape during this colorful season.

cleaning gutters as part of sewer maintenance

1. Check Your Pumps

If your home has a basement, there’s a pretty good chance it contains a sump pump or two and/or an ejector pump. Sump pumps pump excess groundwater away from your home to prevent flooding. Ejectors pump waste and wastewater out of your home.

Fall is a great time to check your pumps and their pits for clogs in the discharge lines and to ensure all pumps are operating properly before the winter snow. You can test that they’re working by simply unplugging them, waiting 10 seconds, then plugging them back in. If they kick on when plugged back in, you’re good to go! 

2. Clear Your Gutters

The gutters and downspouts on your home can easily get clogged with falling leaves, branches and other debris as the Fall season continues. It’s a good idea to clean all gutters and downspouts to make sure they’re clear and able to properly move rainwater away from your home. 

3. Use Drain Traps

A simple fix for ensuring your sewer and drains remain free flowing is to use traps over heavily used drains such as bath tubs and bath sinks. Fall is the season that ushers in the holidays, which can signal more visitors to your home. More visitors means more use of facilities. Traps catch hair and other debris that can easily clog pipes. While things may look a bit different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a good idea to use traps over your drains year-round. 

4. Get Your Sewers Rodded

One last tip to prepare your sewer for the fall season? If you haven’t already, and especially if your home is surrounded by lots of trees, have your sewer rodded to clear out roots and other debris that manages to find its way into your line. And with more visitors in your home during the holidays, a sewer rodding is a good idea to be sure things will flow smoothly all season long. 

Help from the Drain & Sewer Pros

If you need help preparing your drains and sewers for Fall, reach out to us at Reid & Pederson Drainage. We also offer a sewer maintenance program that will help ensure your sewer system is in tip-top shape all year long. To learn more about this program or for help with your drains and sewers, give us a call today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

When it comes to the plumbing system in your home, there are a number of new and great innovations in the field that can help to make sure your plumbing work is carried out more accurately and more efficiently. One of these great new methods is professional video drain inspections. With so much of your home’s plumbing system hidden from view, it can often be extremely difficult to reach without significant modification and troubleshooting. With video drain inspections, our waterproof video camera can go almost anywhere, giving your home an incredibly thorough plumbing video inspection without having to take apart your fixtures and pipes. Our drain cleaning company has put together a shortlist of some of the benefits of taking advantage of this excellent service.

1) Speed

When you are looking for solutions to your plumbing issues fast, a video drain inspection is the way to go. Before these kinds of cameras were readily available, the go-to approach among plumber was the wait-and-see approach, where you would have to wait and see if the repairs that were performed were actually effective. If those repairs didn’t work, then the plumber would move on to the next solution in line and see if that would solve the problem. By utilizing a camera, a plumber is able to directly identify any issues with certainty so you can get the repairs that you actually need.

2) Accuracy

If you ever have any questions about the condition of your home’s plumbing system or a home you are looking to purchase, a video drain inspection can be a great way to get an accurate snapshot of exactly what kind of condition the system is in without the need for major modifications. Not only is this method of inspection incredibly accurate, but as stated above, it can also be done extremely quickly, so no more waiting around.

3) Safety

With video drain inspections, there is no need to cut into your walls, take apart your fixtures, or dig around to examine your indoor plumbing. Utilizing a camera is actually one of the most non-invasive methods that exists on the market today. With video drain inspections, you can get absolute certainty in your diagnosis without having to destroy your bathroom or kitchen to do so.

4) Prevention

When it comes to identifying problems with your plumbing, it is far better to catch problems early as opposed to waiting for a leak, flood, or other plumbing catastrophe to occur. With a video drain inspection, you can effectively identify issues before they are able to spiral out of control and devolve into something worse. This is especially true for your indoor piping system which can be extremely difficult to see and examine without the use of a camera.

5) Savings

When you think about the cost of your monthly water bill, you can easily imagine how much that bill has the potential to go up if your system were to spring a leak of some kind. A video drain inspection can help you avoid this kind of situation by identifying these kinds of problems before they have a chance to leak hundreds of gallons of water into the foundation of your property.

Professional Sewer Line Inspections in Crete, IL & the Surrounding Area

If you’re ready to have your sewer line inspected in Crete, IL or the surrounding area, reach out to the drain and sewer experts at Reid & Pederson Drainage today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

When your sewer backs up, you need a quick and effective fix. Not only is a sewer backup unsanitary but it’s also pretty messy and can cause some pretty massive destruction, too. One of the best ways to prevent sewer backups in your home is by having your sewer rodded every year. Annual sewer rodding ensures a free flowing sewer by cutting out roots and other blockages in your line. But do you know how a sewer rodding machine actually works and why the size of the blade used is so important to achieving an effective rodding? 

How Does a Sewer Rodding Machine Work?

Powered by electricity, a rodding machine consists of a long cable with very sharp cutter teeth at the end of it. When the flexible cable is inserted into your sewer line and the machine is turned on, these sharp blades spin rapidly. As the cable moves through your line, the blades cut through all blockages and debris in your line, breaking them up into small pieces and flushing them away to your city main. 

Why Blade Size Matters When Rodding a Sewer

Most home sewer pipes are a certain size until they meet the city main whose pipes are usually larger in diameter. Roots that have grown in pipes will take up the entire diameter of the pipe. So using a two or three inch cutter blade on a four inch pipe, for example, will not guarantee an effective rodding. Using correctly-sized cutter blades that are appropriate for specific sized pipes will most always ensure an effective sewer rodding. 

Sewer Rodding Pros

At Reid & Pederson, we use the largest, professional-grade blades whenever possible. Our technicians are trained to assess any drain or sewer problem and to use the best sized cutter blades to rod your sewer or unclog your drain pipes. Give us a call today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana

The EPA estimates that a single person turns 50-70 gallons of water into sewage every day. The early history of sewers and sewage treatment is quite fascinating and really makes us thankful for the systems we have in place today!

The First Drainage Systems

By 3200 BC, inhabitants of the Orkney Islands in Scotland devised small “niches” with holes that drained underground, the earliest evidence ever found of drainage systems. Most civilizations of that time (Mohenjo-daro in modern-day Pakistan, Babylon and Eshnunna in modern-day Iraq, Crete and Egypt) recognized that human waste must be dealt with so they developed rules in regards to sanitation. Other civilizations, such as Greece and Rome, also devised ways to deal with waste, however, were less strict with their rules. In fact, it was common for residents in these cities to simply throw their waste into the street!

The Dark Ages

The Middle Ages brought the fall of the Roman Empire and with it, concepts of basic sanitation and sewer systems fell too. During the “Dark Ages”, a prevailing thought was that uncleanliness equaled godliness. As such, people, homes, towns and waterways became extremely polluted.

Larger European cities, such as Paris and London, became permeated with stench and filth. Cesspits and cesspools were common and people literally relieved themselves whenever and wherever they wanted. Public latrines were erected to try to stop the problem and an immediate solution became necessary when a series of cholera outbreaks erupted in the 1830s. 

Sewage, Bacteria & Disease, Oh My!

Improvements were made but there was still much unknown about sewage and the dangers it posed to humans. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s when the link between bacteria and infectious diseases became more understood, thanks to Louis Pasteur, a French biologist who pioneered the study of diseases and their prevention. 

In 1858, London experienced the “big stink.” With a population of nearly three million people dumping their waste into the Thames, the river did not have a strong enough flow at low tide to properly move it. The result was a huge cesspit of human waste left to bake in the sun. With such an unbearable stench permeating the city, Parliament finally decided it was time to develop a better system to move the waste out of the city. 

A New Type of Sewer System

After a fire destroyed half of the city of Hamburg, Germany in the 1840s, officials there designed and implemented a new sewer system. With vents through roof drains of buildings and a flushing system to clean the system once a week, this totally new type of sewer system became the model for sewer systems in major metropolitan cities across the world, including London. In fact, Chicago was the first major American metropolitan city to design and install a comprehensive sewer system!

Modern Sewer Systems – Thank Goodness!

Today, we are blessed with modern sewer systems and treatment methods that ensure we remain safe and healthy. If your sewer does backup, however, one simple phone call (to us!) will clear up your problem fast and get you back to enjoying your life – and thanking your lucky stars for the modern technology we enjoy today!

If you’re making updates to your home or landscape or planning a repair on your property, it is very important to have the underground utilities on your property located and flagged before doing so.

In Illinois, calling 811 or “JULIE”, or in Indiana, calling Indiana811, before you dig is the proper way to begin any project that involves digging on your property. Failure to do so could result in a dangerous and hazardous situation called a cross bore.

What is a Cross Bore?

A cross bore is defined as “the intersection of an existing underground utility by a second utility installed using trenchless technology.” What does this mean in relation to your sewer line? Let’s say our technician is rodding your sewer line. If there is a cross bore, and our equipment hits it, then natural gas can enter your sewer line. The result is an extremely dangerous situation that poses an immediate threat to occupants and those nearby. 

What Should You Do If You Discover a Cross Bore?

The first thing to do is evacuate the property. Ensure the homeowners, any workers and even neighbors move away from where the cross bore is located. Avoid anything that can cause a spark as that can trigger an explosion due to the gas.  When in a safe place, call your gas company and let them know a cross bore was found. They are the professionals and can perform the necessary actions to remedy it and make it safe for you and others to return to your homes. 

Although a rare occurrence, cross bores do happen. In fact, we have experienced some ourselves. The most important thing to remember is to take swift action if a cross bore is discovered on your property. If you have questions about cross bores or anything related to your drains or sewers, give us a call at Reid & Pederson today!

South Suburbs
NW Indiana
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