Drains & Drain Cleaning

Expert Technicians at Eric’s Plumbing are ready to help. Responsive. Reliable. Trusted.
Expert Technicians at Eric’s Plumbing are ready to help. Responsive. Reliable. Trusted.

What Drains do I have in my Home?

There are many names and terms that are used for the drainage in your home. Here we are going to describe some to help you understand plumber-speak.

Main line/Sewer Lateral

The main line is the biggest drainpipe in the home and is typically under the floor in a basement, or in a crawlspace for those without basements in Utah County. It runs from your home, under the front yard to the city main line. This line takes all sewage out to the city sewer main line under your street. From there it travels to the city waste treatment plant. This is sewer heaven, and we want all of it to end up here. If it ends up in your house, then it is just…well you know!

The main line can be made from various materials and more than one type may be used together.

Here are a few: ABS, PVC, Transite or Asbestos Pipe, Concrete, Orangeburg, Cast Iron, Galvanized

Secondary Drain/Branch Line

This term is used by plumbers to refer to any other line that is not part of the main sewer line. This would include your kitchen drain, floor drain, laundry drain, bathroom sink drain, and your tub or shower drain. These lines will tie into the main line of your home or business. 

These pipes are usually one of these types of materials: ABS, PVC, GalvanizedCast Iron, Lead

What Equipment Do We Use?

Sewer Camera - A camera made to go down 3-4” main drains, as well as some 2” drains. These cameras can show us and you the status of the line, blockages, bellies, breaks, roots, and a lot of other things that can cause problems in the main line. These cameras allow us to see and record what we inspect. You’ll have the ability to see and have documentation of problems, as well as the outcomes of our services. 

Main line Auger (you might call it a “snake”) - We call this the “big auger”. It is a machine with a 5/8-3/4" cable that spins at high speeds with cutter attachments on the head to penetrate the blockage and get the line flowing. As with all augers, this machine will remove some, but not all, roots and does not clear sludge off the walls of the pipe.

Secondary Auger- We call this our “medium auger”. It is used to clear drains 1½-2" in diameter which are your secondary drains.

P-trap Auger- This is our “small auger”. It can go through the p-trap of your sink or shower. (The p-trap is that goose neck thing under your sink.)

Flex Shaft- This is a newer tool in our arsenal and is very powerful. This machine uses a chain with carbide tips to cut roots and to descale pipe or even to remove grease build up. This tool can have a camera in the line at the same time so we can pinpoint roots and remove them.

Jetter – A sewer jetter, also known as a “hydro-jetter” or “water jetter”, is a powerful drain cleaning machine that use high-pressure water jets to clear obstructions in residential and commercial drainpipes. It’s like pressure washing the pipes so they are almost like new. Jetters are great for main lines, kitchen drains, and laundry drains especially. These lines build up a lot of grease and sludge over time which ‘catches’ other material and blocks the line. A hydro-jetter blasts all this sludge away, clears the sludge, and allows the pipes to flow smoothly.


Give us a call, we'll get you scheduled!

We care about you and want to help assist you in all your plumbing needs.

Give us a call at (801) 852-5651, we will get you scheduled!

We care about you and want to help assist you in all your plumbing needs.

What are the Common Drain Problems?

The most typical calls we get for a drain are due to a plugged drain, sewer flood, an overflow, or a backed-up drain. Sometimes these drain issues are simple blockages, but in some cases can, or are causing real damage.

When you call “Your Personal Plumbers” at Eric's Plumbing & Drain Cleaning our customer care representative will ask you a series of questions to better understand the type of back up you are having. This is so we can better prepare your plumber for your problem, determine the level of emergency, and ensure we have all the equipment necessary. 

These questions will let us know if it is a main line problem or a secondary drain backup. Though these phone questions are important, we will not be able to fully diagnose your problem over the phone, but it will give us a start. An in-home drain inspection or diagnostic will be needed to give clear direction. 

This evaluation will allow us to better serve you and to get to know your home better. Once we can determine the problem, we can then start building options for you. Every home and problem are different, not every drain takes the same amount of time or equipment. 

Often plumbers will entice a customer with very low drain fee, with criteria that most drain cleanings won’t meet. Often the customer is surprised by the proposal given. At Eric’s Plumbing & Drain, we don’t believe this is a good way to start off a long-term relationship. It will usually lead to unrealistic expectations of what you get for that price and a bad break up. We come to your home ready to work, diagnose the problem, present transparent pricing from our Straight-Forward Pricing Guide, and as you choose, we fix it – guaranteed.

How Can We Take Care of Your Drain Problem?

Let’s start with a main line back up and visual inspection with the use of a sewer camera. In order to access this line, we will need to enter through a cleanout in the yard in the home (typically located in the wall) or by pulling a toilet. Then we will use a special camera to follow the line down, showing us the line condition, blockages, roots, offsets, bellies, other abnormalities, or even if the line is in proper shape.

Sometimes, the conditions are such that water has filled the line. Unfortunately, you cannot see anything reliably under water and determining an issue in the dark is almost impossible. Try watching a movie blind folded and with no sound. You will get as much information about that movie as you would with a camera that can’t see underwater. We will then have to clear the line and get it flowing again first. Then, at that point, a visual camera inspection can be done. 

There are some circumstances where the line cannot be cleared and the experience of our plumbers can make a good assessment without a visual inspection. Then, the camera may be put down the line to locate the area where the camera stops. Cool right? That is because our special cameras send a signal to a hand-held locator telling it where it is located underground. We have great plumbers with great tools; We will fix it.

To clear your main line we may present some of these options: Auger, Hydro-Jet, and Flex Shaft Sometimes, it may take a combination of tools or procedures to clear a line. For example, after augering a line, it may be determined that further work needs to be done like jetting to clear sludge, or descaling using the flex shaft machine, or even to clear the line of all roots.

Secondary Drains

For a secondary drain we would access this at the drain location…or even on the roof. Many people ask, “why do you get up the roof"? Well, each drain in your home lets water flow down the drain, but also connected to each drain is a vent that extends up to the roof. This is so each drain can “breathe”. It’s like putting your finger over a straw when it is in water. When you pull the straw out, the water stays in the straw until you take your finger off – or ‘vent’ it. Besides allowing air into the pipe which facilitates draining, this opening also gives practical access to the drainpipe for clearing blockages.

The same options for a main line may also be proposed for your kitchen drain or other secondary line. We also highly recommend hydro-jetting your kitchen drains. These drains notoriously become coated in grease and sludge which slows or blocks drainage. We will give you the best options and best experience. We’ll be transparent and straight with you. Ask to see our “Straight Forward Pricing Guide”. Call us today if you are experiencing drain issues. 

We want to be “Your Personal Plumbers”!