Here’s what backflow is, and how you can prevent it from happening in your home

Preventing backflow is important to protecting your home’s drinking and potable water. But, just what is backflow, anyway? In this blog, we’ll break down how backflow works, why it’s an issue for homeowners here in Buffalo and Western New York, and when you should call in the plumbers at Reimer Home Services.

Need Reimer to solve a backflow issue or install a check valve for your home? Contact us online, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524 to get started.

What is backflow?

In plumbing, “backflow” is the word that refers to water moving into the direction it shouldn’t. All water in the home has a set path and direction: for example, your garden hose is meant to distribute water, not take it back into the hose.

However, when backflow happens, that exact situation is possible. When there are problems with pressure, that water from your garden hose can flow back into your potable water supply.

Why is this a problem?

There are many instances in which backflow can be dangerous. For example, you don’t want wastewater backflowing into your potable water supply. This could foul the water and make you and your family very sick.

There are different levels of contamination when it comes to backflow. Because of the way modern homes and bathrooms are designed, most homeowners probably won’t have to deal with foul water. However, there are instances in which check valves—the pressure regulators preventing backflow—fail, or need to be installed in other points of your home.

Where do homeowners often need check valves?

Most homes already have check valves in place to prevent the serious or dangerous contamination of their home’s drinking water. However, even if these are good, your home might still need additional check valves.

Let’s return to our gardening hose example from earlier. Without backflow prevention, excess water from the hose could return to the primary water supply. In most cases, this is going to negatively impact the taste and quality of that water. It’s been sitting in the sun, in a rubber hose.

Take control of your indoor water quality

Just like indoor air quality, indoor water quality matters. You can’t control everything about the water that’s sent to your tap, but—by preventing backflow—you can ensure that your home’s water is at least in the right pathway once it’s in your home’s pipes.

If you suspect that your home is having backflow issues, it’s time to call in the experts at Reimer for backflow testing. We offer a wide variety of plumbing solutions here in Buffalo and Western New York. Contact us online, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

What are the signs you need a new water heater?

There are many warning signs when your water heater is on the verge of death. In this blog, we’ll run through the signs that you need a new water heater, and when you should give our team a call for service.

#1. Your water heater is no longer keeping up with demand

As a water heater gets up there in age, sediment and rust can collect at the bottom of the tank. At first, this damage is not really noticeable. But, left unchecked, this can start to limit the space that water has in the tank, limiting the amount of hot water available to you and your family.

If you’ve started running out of hot water recently whereas you didn’t before when the system was new, it might be time to consider contacting Reimer for water heater replacement. At the same time, you can consider having us install a new tankless system that provides you and your family with endless hot water.

#2. The water isn’t as hot as it once was

Over time, water heaters are less and less effective at heating water, which results in lukewarm water where there was once steaming-hot water.

This causes a number of impacts throughout your home. Your laundry will be less effective at cleaning your clothes. Your dishwasher will be less effective at cleaning your dishes. And, finally, those winter showers are about to get chillier and chillier.

If you’ve noticed a discernible drop in your water temperature over the years, it’s a sign that your water heater might need to be replaced in the near future.

#3. There’s rust-colored water coming out of the faucet

Your water heater contains a sacrificial anode rod. This rod attracts all the rust in the system, preventing the tank walls from rusting. However, after this rod is completely rusted and spent, the rust will begin to impact the tank walls and collect at the bottom of the tank. You may first see rust-colored water coming out of your tap.

Older homes with pipes can also rust, but there’s an easy way to determine where the problem is: run both the cold and hot tap in sequence. If both are rust-colored, it’s either your pipes or something else. If only the hot tap is rust-colored, it’s most likely your water heater, and it’s time to call Reimer.

If it’s early in your system’s lifespan and the damage is limited (see information below), Reimer can replace the sacrificial anode rod in your system. However, by the time that rod is typically used up and the homeowner notices, it’s often too late for the tank itself.

#4. Your tank is either leaking or has fractures

If this is the case, contact Reimer immediately. A water heater is an compromised tank is a water heater at risk of bursting, which could send water flooding into your home. It’s not a good situation.

Over time, after the anode rod is spent, rust gets through the glass liner inside the tank to the tank’s exterior. As this rusts, it weakens the overall structure of the system.

The problems typically manifest first in the tiniest of cracks—little fractures in the tank shell. Eventually, if left untreated, you may then see water pooling at the base of the unit, or beading on the outside. This is a sure sign that your water heater is done. It’s one of the most pressing signs you need a new water heater.

If you’re seeing signs you need a new water heater, give Reimer a call

If you’ve noticed any of the four signs listed above, it’s time to contact Reimer for water heater services. Give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

Prevent a sewer line blockage in your home

A sewer backup is a major problem for homeowners, and it results from a sewer line blockage. If you find yourself with a clogged sewer line, you should call Reimer for sewer line cleaning.

In this blog, we’ll review some of the ways you can help your line avoid these problems.

Pictured: A sewer camera inspection can help you avoid the need for major sewer line work.

Pictured: A plumber having to dig up and fix a ceramic sewage pipe that clogged. A sewer inspection can help you avoid this outcome.

#1. Divert grease to the trash

Homeowners who have had sewer line issues in the past tend to be very outspoken about this. Pouring cooking grease down the sink seems like an easy way to dispose of it, but taking that shortcut today can lead to big problems tomorrow.

As grease cools, it turns from a liquid into a solid. When dumped down the disposal, this process often happens by the time the liquid, solidifying, gets to your home’s sewer line.

In most cases, this grease is washed away. But, over time, that grease begins to take a stand. Grease is stubborn: it sticks to the line’s interior walls and collects other bits of grease and food.

Eventually, this blockage grows to the point where it starts to prevent other wastewater from going down, causing the sewer line blockage.

Grease, on a larger scale

City sanitation workers know how dangerous cooking grease can be. In London in 2017, sanitation workers in London had to remove a 130-ton block of grease known as “the fatberg” from the municipal sewers. Hardened to the point of concrete, it cost millions of dollars to remove.

If this phenomenon can happen in a large municipal sewer, it can happen in your home’s sewer line, too.

Dispose of grease properly

The best way to dispose of grease is to place the hot liquid into a disposable, heat-proof container. Typically, used glass jars or aluminum cans work well for this. Put the grease in the jar or can and seal. Then, once the grease has cooled and solidified, put it out with the trash.

#2. Avoid putting trash down your pipes

Your toilet, kitchen sink, and bathroom sinks are not trash cans.

Bathroom trash

Avoid putting bathroom trash down toilets and bathroom sinks. This includes everything from Q-tips to plastic wrappers—anything that’s not toilet paper. Also, be sure to watch out for “disposable wipes” that aren’t actually disposable.

Kitchen trash

Some people use their garbage disposal as a kind of trash can. Really, you should only use your disposal for the last bits of food coming off the plate. Fruit rinds, vegetable trash, and more should all just go straight into the trash can—or into your compost bin.

Call Reimer for help removing a sewer line blockage

If you do find that you have a sewer line blockage, turn off your water and contact the team at Reimer. We’ll send out an experienced plumber to take a look at your line and determine the scope of the problem.

Don’t do it yourself: the dangers of DIY plumbing repair

The Internet has profoundly changed our lives. Of its many impacts, one of the most significant is that millions of people now have instant access to tutorials, videos, and instructions on how to do or build things themselves.

Don’t pour boiling water on your pipes to unfreeze them.

From building your own coffee table to “lifehacks” that turn old bike handles into in-style wall decor, “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) is more popular than ever. Here’s where you should draw a line, though: unlike bottles recycled into planters, DIY plumbing repair is never a good idea.

In this blog, we’ll go over why you should only trust your plumbing repair needs to a professional plumber who has the right equipment, training, and more to get the job done.

Situation #1: Frozen pipes

Every winter here in Buffalo, frozen pipes pop up all across the city. And, every winter, homeowners decide that they want to take matters into their own hands. In one of our previous posts, we addressed why this is bad idea. Put down the hairdryer or—especially—the blowtorch and call Reimer, instead.

Seriously: no blowtorches.

Any kind of “hack” for unfreezing your pipes could make the situation a lot worse. Frozen pipes are very volatile: the expanding ice has placed the pipe material under immense pressure.

A professional plumber has the equipment and finesse to gently thaw the ice and relieve this pressure with no further damage to the structure. Other methods, however, risk the pressure building further and the pipe bursting. Not good!

Situation #2: Drain cleaning

As plumbers, we believe that it’s important to know what you’re getting into before each and every project. Drain cleaning is a good example: we use equipment to figure out what is down the drain before we attempt to remove it.

Many homeowners resort to using store-bought chemicals. Here’s the thing, though. If these chemicals are harsh enough to eat through whatever’s down there, aren’t they harsh enough to also damage your pipes? The answer is yes, which is why we think drain cleaning chemicals should be rarely used, and only as a last resort.

Instead, call Reimer. Our plumbers have a variety of professional snake tools that we use to clear drains, depending on what the obstruction is.

Situation #3: Re-piping

The popularity of home renovation shows on TV has prompted a number of homeowners to try to give their own property a makeover. That’s great: as long as you enlist the help of some professionals, opening up that kitchen will really bring your home up-to-date.

However, there’s two areas where you should really call in a specialist: plumbing and electrical. Reimer can help with the former. Moving pipes, sealing pipes, and any kind of re-piping should really be left to the experts.

The last thing you want is to get everything the way you want it, go to turn on the water supply to your home again, and disaster strikes. It’s just going to ruin everything you worked so hard for, and it can be prevented by calling in an expert.

DIY some things, call experts for others

Sure, there are some things that homeowners should try taking on themselves. However, we recommend calling Reimer if you get in over your head, or if you’re tackling something big, potentially dangerous, or technically complex.

To schedule service, contact us online, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

Demand-type water heaters: What are they, and how do they work?

Are you looking to upgrade to a new water heater? If so, you should consider making the switch to one of our demand-type water heaters. These systems are great, and you’ll love having one in your home.

In this blog post, we’ll review what demand-type water heaters are, how they work, and the benefits of making the change.

What are demand-type water heaters?

Tankless Water Heater Repair Buffalo NYAlso known as tankless water heaters, demand-type water heaters are a new alternative to the “traditional water heater” that has been the standard in American homes for decades. Efficient, effective, and long-lasting, demand-types are, well, in demand here in Buffalo and Western New York.

What’s the main benefit of switching to a tankless system?

Demand-type water heaters cannot run out of water like a typical water heater. In fact, they can supply a near-infinite amount of hot water for you and your family. That’s unlimited hot water for showering, dishes, laundry, and more.

How do they work?

In contrast to standard water heaters, which heat water in a tank and maintain it at temp until it’s needed, demand-types heat water as needed in your home. This is accomplished by running cold water from the tap past heating elements inside the unit, which quickly warm the passing water until it’s at the desired temperature.

If you think about it, the name itself makes sense. When you demand hot water, you’ve got it. Since the system heats water as needed, you can’t “run out” of hot water like with a standard system.

That means fewer cold showers in the morning for your family.

What about energy-efficiency?

Depending on how much water your family uses on a daily basis, tankless water heaters are anywhere between 24-34% more energy-efficient than standard units, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

That may not seem like much. However, over the 20+ year lifespan of the system, those savings can really add up. In fact, over time, your energy savings will exceed the additional cost of upgrading from a standard to tankless unit altogether.

What are some other benefits?

Many tankless water heaters are wall-mounted. A standard water heater can take up a significant amount of real estate in your garage or utility closet. With a mounted tankless system, you can get that floorspace back.

Tankless water heaters don’t have a tank, which means they don’t present the same leak or burst risk that a traditional water heater does. Plus, as we alluded to earlier, tankless systems last longer and run better, often past the two-decade mark.

How do I learn more?

If you live here in Buffalo and Western New York, start by contacting Reimer. We’re more than happy to review our selection of tankless water heaters with you and answer any questions you have.

Plumbing 101: What should you do if your pipes freeze this winter?

For many Buffalo homeowners, having their pipes freeze and burst is one of their worst nightmares. All it takes is one especially cold night and your furnace breaking down, and your home is at risk.

Last month, we reviewed some tips for preventing your pipes from freezing. But, what do you do when it’s already too late, and your pipes have frozen?

Don’t assume the problem will solve itself

When your pipes freeze, call Reimer for service.A frozen pipe is not something you should take lightly, or try to wait out. It’s very possible that a frozen pipe can burst, even after daybreak brings warmer temperatures.

At the same time, don’t panic. You need to act fast, but don’t do so in a way that puts yourself or others in danger, or that leads to worse problems for your home’s plumbing.

When your pipes freeze, here’s where you start

When your pipes freeze and you first notice the problem, start by immediately turning off the water supply at the main valve.

Here in Buffalo, snow drifts can often cover your outdoor valve—we recommend always knowing where this is, and perhaps even marking it so that you can find it quickly in an emergency and at night. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where the water valve is located, and also how to turn it off.

Turning off the water supply will at least limit the extent of the damage if your pipes do burst.

Next, call Reimer for emergency plumbing repair services. We offer 24/7 service specifically to deal with problems like frozen pipes.

Here’s what NOT to do

#1. Never try to defrost your own pipes

This is often a source of heartbreak, as a homeowner—in a panic—follows some not-so-sage Internet advice and attempts to defrost their own pipes using either boiling water, poured over the pipe, or an electric hairdryer. This is not recommended.

First, you don’t know where the freeze is at, so what you’re doing could be relatively ineffective. Second, frozen pipes are more likely to burst when rapidly defrosted. Plumbers carry special equipment that slowly-but-steadily defrosts the pipe, avoiding damage to the pipe and avoiding a burst.

#2. Don’t continue to use water and toilets

As we mentioned above, you need to turn off your home’s water supply. If there is a freeze in the pipe, it’s going to block water from going down. What can’t go down must come up. In other words, a frozen pipe is no time to be doing the dishes.

Call Reimer for emergency plumbing services in Buffalo and Western New York

When your pipes freeze, quick thinking and remaining calm can protect your home and your plumbing. Make the right call to Reimer for 24/7 emergency plumbing services. We have the right tools and experienced technicians who know their way around frozen pipes.

Contact our team today, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

Here are the five signs you need a new water heater in your home

There are certain telltale signs that indicate that it’s time to replace your water heater. You just have to know what to look for. In this blog, we’ll run through the five signs that you need a new water heater, and when you need to call in the professionals at Reimer.

5 signs you need a new water heater

For most of the time, your water heater just works, without incident. So, how do you know when it’s time for a new system? Let’s run through the 5 signs that you need a new heater—and when you need to call Reimer.

1. Your older water heater is getting up there in age

Most standard water heaters last about a decade before they need to be replaced. You may squeeze a few more years out of your system, but past the 10-year mark, you need to at least consider buying a new water heater.

If you’re unsure how old your water heater is, check the serial number. This is most likely on a sticker on top of the unit. If you can’t find a date, plug that serial number into the manufacturer’s website for more information.

2. It’s making strange noises

A water heater makes strange noises as it gets older. Over time, sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank. When the water is heated, the sediments harden. As a result, you can hear banging or rumbling noises from inside the heater.

This is a sign that you need to get a new water heater, as its nearing the end of its operational lifespan.

3. You’re getting rusty water out of the tap

Another sign that you need to buy a new water heater is rusty water. Water, plus metal, will eventually equal corrosion, especially after the sacrificial anode rod is exhausted. After that point, the water will likely pick up the corrosion, leading to rust.

If this is happening early in the system’s life, you can have the team of plumbers here at Reimer add a new zinc anode rod to the water heater. However, late in the system’s life, it’s probably more cost-effective and easier to just replace the entire unit.

4. Your hot water doesn’t last as long as it used to

Insufficient hot water is yet another sign that you need to buy a new water heater. Not only do water heaters get worse at heating water as they age, but they also lose capacity due to that sediment buildup we mentioned earlier.

Lack of hot water is a clear sign that your heater is failing and needs to be replaced. If hot water supply is an issue in your home, you may want to consider the benefits of a tankless water heater, which can provide your family with an endless supply of hot water.

5. There are water puddles around the unit

If you see water leaks around the water heater, there might be a leak in the tank that needs to be dealt with—immediately. Slight fractures develop over time as the metal tank expands and contracts with heat, over and over again. However, when it fractures, you’re at serious risk of a tank burst, and it’s time to call in the professionals at Reimer.

Call Reimer for new water heater here in Buffalo and Western New York

If you’re experiencing water heater trouble, Reimer is the company to call here in Buffalo and Western New York. Our experienced and licensed plumbers can resolve all kinds of plumbing issues. We also repair and install new water heater units. Contact us today!

Prevent water pipes from freezing by following these three steps

Frozen pipes are a common problem in the winter here in Buffalo and Western New York. They are a pain to deal with, and—in the worst cases—can cause pipe bursts that lead to thousands of dollars in property damage. In this blog, we run through the top 4 ways to prevent water pipes from freezing.

Prevent water pipes from freezingWhat causes water pipes to freeze in the winter?

Your water pipes freeze during the coldest nights and days of the year when exposed to below-freezing temperatures for an hour or more. So, why is this a problem? First, using the water again will require professional pipe thawing services from Reimer. But, you’re also at risk of a pipe burst.

What is a pipe burst?

As it freezes, water expands into ice, physically taking up more space. For pipes filled with water, this means that freezing causes the ice to push up against the sides of the pipes. Sometimes, nothing happens. But, if the pipe can’t handle the strain, it will burst.

The damage is prominent at the point of freezing and the water source as the blockage experiences an increase in pressure. A burst pipe can flood your home and generally turn you entire life upside-down. It’s not a good situation to be in.

Our four best ways to prevent water pipes from freezing

Here are four ways you can prevent water pipes from freezing this winter:

1. “Hide” your water lines by insulating them

Ok, let’s start with the most-vulnerable targets: your outside water lines. If you want to prevent water pipes from freezing, this is where you need to start. 

These lines are too exposed to keep the water in them liquid without your help. What you need to do is insulate these pipes so that they have a blanket of warmth protecting them at all times.

If you need further tips and advice—or would like a professional plumber to come to your home and inspect your outdoor pipes—give the team here at Reimer a call.

2. Make absolutely sure you know where your shutoff valve is

This is a big one. We’re always surprised at the number of people who don’t know where the water shutoff valve is, especially renters. Most of the more catastrophic pipe bursts can be nipped in the bud by quickly and effectively shutting off the water in your home, limiting the damage caused by a frozen pipe.

You want to prevent water pipes from freezing in the winter, but you also want to be ready to deal with those that do, in the event that something goes wrong.

The last thing you want to being doing at 2:35 on a cold Buffalo morning in December is running around the outside of your house in the dark looking for a snow-buried shutoff valve. Locate it now in the fall so you know what to do in the case of an emergency.

3. Check the insulation in your attic and basement

We’ve already talked about outdoor pipes and plumbing that are exposed to elements. But, insufficiently insulated plumbing in your home’s attic and basement can also freeze up if not given an extra layer of protection.

Take a quick look through your basement and attic. Are there exposed pipes near outside walls or the ceiling? If so, it might not be a bad idea to wrap them in an insulating layer.

“But, these pipes are in my house!” Yes, but consider this: in the event of a furnace breakdown and the need for furnace repair, any extra insulation on those pipes can buy them critical hours as the rest of your home gets frosty. In other words, insulation can be the difference between waking up to a frozen pipes and, well, not.

4. Schedule a heating tune-up with the team at Reimer

One of the best ways to ensure that your indoor pipes don’t freeze this winter is to make sure that your home’s furnace is running right and not at risk of a breakdown. Furnace problems that happen while the family is sleeping are the most common cause of frozen pipes. 

You can’t prevent every problem, but you can greatly reduce your risk of a breakdown by scheduling a furnace tune-up with our team. Not only do furnace tune-ups help you avoid furnace issues throughout the winter, but they’ll also make your system more energy-efficient—saving you money, all winter long.

That’s a win-win.

For more plumbing tips, advice, and other services, call the team at Reimer!

At Reimer, we handle all your frozen pipe problems with our 24/7 emergency plumbing repair services. For service here in Buffalo and Western New York, give us a call at (716) 694-8524 or contact our team online.

Seasonal plumbing tips to get your home ready for winter weather

The falling temperatures during the fall are a polite reminder that the winter season is not far away. This is the season when you should get your home’s plumbing ready for the fall. In this blog post, we’ll share 5 seasonal plumbing tips to help you, your family, and your home have a happy and safe winter.

Pictured: Using our seasonal plumbing tips, this bathroom in Buffalo is ready for the winter ahead.

Prepare for cold weather with our seasonal plumbing tips

Here are five seasonal plumbing tips that can help you to avoid plumbing disasters during the coldest months of the year.

1. Check the insulation around pipes

There’s no two ways about it: frozen pipes are an absolute disaster waiting to happen. That’s why one of the most essential tasks in the fall is making sure your pipe insulation is ready to go. Properly insulated pipes are not just less likely to freeze, but they can help your water heater work more efficiently, since less heat escapes from the pipes as water is transported through them.

Have one of the professional plumbers here at Reimer check both your inside and outside pipes to make sure the insulation is in good shape and not showing signs of deterioration. If your pipes do need new insulation, we’ll advise you on how to best go about that and what areas of the home need to be re-insulated.

2. Have Reimer check the water pressure in your pipes

Another one of our seasonal plumbing tips: check the water pressure. You can buy a gauge from your local hardware store to check the water pressure. Experts suggest that the water pressure should be between 40- to 80-pounds per inch (PPI).

So, what if you find that you do have high water pressure? You need to call Reimer. We have tools and ways to reduce the water pressure in your home’s plumbing. Excessive water pressure can result in damaged pipes, valves, and faucets. It can result in a pipe leakage problem and dramatically shorten the lifespan of your home’s plumbing.

3. Call our team for a leak inspection

When people picture leaks, they often imagine them in easy-to-reach places, such as underneath their kitchen sink. That’s because you don’t see many of your home’s water pipes, which are underneath the slab, in walls, or behind cabinets.

Left untreated, a water leak can destroy your home by causing all sorts of problems, ranging from structural damage to the growth of mold and mildew. That’s not something you want to be dealing with during the holidays!

If you suspect you have a leak in your home, contact Reimer for leak detection services. Our plumbers have specialized tools that allow us to pinpoint where leaks are. From there, we’ll talk with you about your options for fixing the leak and any damage that it has caused.

4. Have Reimer inspect your water heater

On a cold morning here in Buffalo, is there anything more important than a hot shower? That’s why one of our seasonal plumbing tips is to have Reimer inspect and maintain your water heater.

If you own a standard water heater, chances are that it will need to be replaced after approximately 10-12 years of service. If yours is getting up there in age, it’s an especially good idea to have Reimer take a look. Even if we advise a new water heater, that’s better than having yours fail on the coldest night of the year or, worse, having it burst and flood your garage, basement, or laundry room.

5. Get your sump pump checked

Your sump pump is the last line of defense for your home. Sump pumps help protect your basement from flooding, and it’s important that yours is in working order ahead of a winter full of snow and burst pipes.

Have the team at Reimer take a look at your sump pump to make sure it’s ready for the cold weather ahead.

Call Reimer for your plumbing needs in Western New York!

If you want to schedule a plumbing maintenance to get ready for fall, you can contact Reimer Home Services. We provide expert plumbing service in Buffalo and surrounding areas. Ourexperienced team of certified and licensed plumbers will do a terrific plumbing job for you.

Sewer camera inspections: Here’s why you need to see into your sewer

Sewers do not have a positive reputation. Most people associate them with awful smells, disease, pests, and—given the latest box office—possibly even murderous clowns. All bad things! But, your sewer does serve a purpose. In this blog post, we’ll walk through the reasons why a sewer camera inspection for your home is something you should consider scheduling.

Here in Buffalo and Western New York, Reimer offers sewer camera inspection services to homeowners. If you need to schedule an inspection or you need repairs to your sewer line, we can help. Call us at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online to get started.

A cracked sewer pipe is a big problem

Pictured: A sewer camera inspection can help you avoid the need for major sewer line work.

Pictured: A plumber having to dig up and fix a ceramic sewage pipe that clogged. A sewer inspection can help you avoid this outcome.

When was your home built? Today, homes are built with PVC piping for sewer draining that—left undisturbed under normal conditions—should last more than 100 years. However, if your home was built before the 1980s, chances are that your piping is made of steel, clay tile, or some other, less durable material. A crack is not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.

The natural wear on the sewer pipe is one thing. However, tree roots and weight on the ground can prematurely take out your pipes, as well. If you have trees around your sewer line, their roots could envelop around the pipe and eventually even break into it, blocking waste and water.

Signs of a cracked sewer line

A cracked sewer pipe is a slow-moving disaster that is not to be ignored. Look for the signs of a cracked sewer pipe:

  • If you have a rooted tree that is near or over where your sewer line runs, you’re at high-risk for problems.
  • Look for conspicuous wet spots on the ground around or over where your sewer line runs.
  • If you smell sewage outside or inside of your home, that’s a potential sign that something’s gone wrong.

If you see any of these signs, call Reimer for a sewer camera inspection immediately. We have a variety of cameras and tools for looking into sewers and seeing if roots and / or cracking is an issue that needs to be addressed.

A sewer backup could be an even bigger problem

So, intruding tree roots can block things from exiting the sewer line. But, so can grease, oils, trash, and a whole number of other things. Over time, grease and oils can accumulate into a physical mass (gross!) that clogs the sewer and reduces the outflow.

On a larger scale, this recently happened in a London municipal sewer, and the results weren’t pretty (you might not want to look on a full stomach!)

However, sewer backup can also be a problem that impacts residential homes right here in Buffalo and Western New York. We recently covered it in our blog on three situations in which you need drain cleaning, but here’s the basic idea:

What goes down must come up, if there’s no “down” to go to.

The telltale sign that your sewer line has completely seized up? Nothing goes down, and all your sinks, showers, toilets, and everything else clog at the same time. When this happens, turn off the water and immediately give Reimer a call.

How to avoid a sewer line blockage

A clogged sewer line is not something to be fixed “tomorrow” or “in the future”. We’ve seen too many homes that have been flooded, damaged, and destroyed by a clogged sewer line. It’s heartbreaking, and we recommend people take these steps to help avoid sewer blockage:

  • Don’t pour grease or oil down your sink. Instead, pour it into a disposable container (preferably, something biodegradable) and throw it away in the trash once it has solidified.
  • Watch what you flush in the toilet. Never flush anything plastic, metal, or really anything that counts as “trash” down the toilet. Too many people think their toilet is a magical portal that transports things “away” from their home. We’re plumbers: trust us, it’s not.

To learn more about our sewer cleaning services, be sure to check out our blog post.

Don’t buy a home without a sewer camera inspection

Great news! You’ve found your dream house here in Western New York—and at a great price! Sounds like a good deal. You hire a general home inspector to look at the furnace and air conditioner. Maybe you get a pest expert, too. But, what about the sewer?

Most experts agree: your general home inspector doesn’t have either the cameras needed to see into sewer lines nor the tools needed to clear blockages or fix problems. Shining a flashlight into your sink drain tells you nothing about the condition of the sewer lines.

Instead, you need to schedule a separate homebuyer’s sewer camera inspection from a professional plumbing company such as ours. We have the cameras and tools needed to see inside sewer lines and determine if cracks or blockages exist.

Knowledge is peace of mind

From there, as a prospective homebuyer, you can use that knowledge to either walk away from the purchase or to negotiate with the seller to get it taken care of by our team.

This goes for many things when you’re buying a home, but double for anything involving sewers: the price of an inspection and the peace of mind it provides is nothing next to the cost and headache of buying a home and then later discovering that you’ll need to sink money into major repairs.

Call Reimer for sewer camera inspections in Buffalo & Western New York

Reimer has been serving Buffalo and Western New York homeowners for more than 95 years. As the “Wizard of Comfort,” we’re known throughout the region for our outstanding heating, cooling, and plumbing services. From drain cleaning to sewer camera inspections, we are here for you.

Some reasons to trust us with your sewer line inspection and plumbing repairs:

  1. We’re an A+ rated business (Better Business Bureau)
  2. Our customers on Facebook love our work and team
  3. We back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

For 24/7 emergency plumbing repair service in Buffalo, call us at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.