Q: What is Pipe Stent non-invasive pipe repair?

A: Pipe Stent is a non-invasive pipe repair system which can be used to repair any cracked, separated, or broken drain pipe, 2” or larger in diameter.  Much like an arterial stent used in modern medicine, the Pipe Stent is installed in the damaged section of the existing pipe, with no digging or demolition required.  The Pipe Stent procedure can be done for a fraction of the cost of traditional pipe repair and in a fraction of the time.  And, best of all, it’s guaranteed for 50 years.

Learn more about Pipe Stent here.

Q: What is a Smoke Test?

A: A special smoke machine forces smoke-filled air into your drain system.  The smoke fills the pipes and begins to escape through problem areas, such as a separated branch line or a broken sewer.  The escaping smoke allows for easy detection.  Smoke testing is so accurate, that it has become the world-wide standard for finding leaks in plumbing and drainage systems.

The smoke used in our smoke testing process is perfectly safe for use in your home.  It is odorless, non-staining, and non-toxic.  In fact, it has even been approved for use in schools.

Learn more about Smoke Test here.

Q: Is it bad to use a drain clearing liquid like Liquid Plumr®?

A: Chemical drain openers can sometimes temporarily open a slow drain, but are hazardous to use and are not recommended for every type of drain or pipe in your home’s system. For example, chemical drain openers instantly corrode rubber. Dishwashers have a lot of rubber components, so a chemical drain opener should never be used on a clogged dishwasher. The chemicals used in these products also damage chrome, and do not work on toilet clogs.

You should also never plunge a drain after pouring a chemical drain opener into the drain, because the chemicals can splash back at you: burning your skin, damaging clothing, or causing blindness. Always tell a drain cleaning technician if you have recently poured a chemical drain opener down the drain, so he can protect himself during the drain cleaning process. There is also a long list of many other household chemicals that chemical drain openers interact with, such as ammonia. If you have recently poured other products down the drain or used cleaning materials and rinsed them into a sink, a chemical drain opener can react with these chemicals and produce noxious fumes that can be released into your home. And of course, like any other household chemical, these drain openers are poisonous and can be dangerous to have around children and pets.

A safe alternative to chemicals is Bio-Clean, a natural bacteria and enzyme mix, which consumes organic waste in your drain pipes.  You can learn more about Bio-Clean here.

Q: What kind of equipment do you use to clean drains?

A: A Scottish Plumber technician will choose the proper equipment for drain cleaning based on the drain being cleared, the placement/location, and even the type of pipes within the home and the possible cause of the clog. All of our equipment is safe to use in homes with children and pets and do not use chemicals or fumes. Our drain cleaning tools are strong enough to cut through tree roots, without damaging the pipe.  Our special hydro-jetting service, which uses high-pressure water to scour the inside of the drain pipe, can eliminate soft blockages and deposits and restore the pipe to near-original diameter.

Q: What is it that makes my drain clogged?

A: Drains can become slow or clogged completely as a “stopped drain” or “stopped up drain” for many different reasons. The most common causes of a clogged drain include the buildup of soaps, dirt, oils, hair, grease, paper, foreign objects (such as toys, sanitary products, or diapers), and even the natural buildup of mineral deposits from hard water over time. A slow or clogged sewer line can also be a symptom of pipe damage or tree root infiltration. The Scottish Plumber has several options for determining the exact cause of your clogged drain to find the best way to clear it. We can also help you to maintain your drains with many free or low-cost preventative measures that keep your drains emptying quickly.

Q: What is a septic tank and do I have one?

A: A septic tank is part of a small, personal septic system, which differs from a home that connects to a city or municipality’s sewage system. About 25% of Americans have septic tanks, and they’re usually found in some suburbs and most rural areas where the homes are farther apart and it’s more difficult to connect them with a shared sewage system. A septic tank is typically installed underground and its placement can depend on the local regulations and the condition of the surrounding area. If you are purchasing a home in a suburb or rural area, find out from the owner or broker if there is a septic tank present and make sure its condition is fully inspected before buying the home.

Q: My drains are slow or clogged, but I would like an inspection first to see what my options are and what is causing it. How much does an inspection cost?

A: Every home is different and everyone’s plumbing and sewer system is unique to the area you live in and the way your house or apartment was constructed. The Scottish Plumber offers a free basic inspection to all customers to determine what could be causing the problem and what needs to be done about it.

Q: I know I have a problem with tree roots in my pipes. Is there anything I can pour down the drain that will kill the roots, such as RootX?

A: Some customers ask us about RootX, which is a root-killing chemical carried only by plumbers, and is poured into a sewer system to dissolve tree roots that have infiltrated a pipe. RootX is an herbicide that foams when it comes in contact with water and is generally safe to use and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Scottish Plumber does carry RootX and offers it as a lower-cost temporary solution to root problems. We also offer high-pressure water jetting to remove tree roots, which we have found lasts longer and is more environmentally friendly because it uses only water and no chemicals. Contact The Scottish Plumber to hear more about the tree root options for your pipes or for an inspection.

A great long-term solution to sewer root infiltration is Trenchless Sewer Repair.  By building a brand new, perfectly seamless pipe inside of the existing sewer, the pipe becomes completely sealed off and impervious to root penetration.  Learn more about Trenchless Sewer Repair here.

Q: What payment methods does The Scottish Plumber accept?

A: We accept cash, personal check, and most major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Q: My sump pump failed. Why? What do I do?

A: A high quality sump pump that has been installed correctly should be able to last for several years in a home. Two of the main causes of sump pump failure are power outages and switch problems. If the sump pump failed because of a power outage, there most likely isn’t anything wrong with the pump mechanically; it just wasn’t able to operate because there was no electricity to power the motor. Power outages in a home occur the most often during a heavy rainstorm – when you need your sump pump to be operational the most. The Scottish Plumber offers many different battery back-up systems for sump pumps, so it will continue to operate and pump excess water to prevent basement flooding, even if there is a power failure. If the pump is having a switching problem, it is most likely due to improper installation or the pump later shifting or settling into the pit. There is a float device that operates the switch of the pump, and sometimes it can get stuck on the side of the basin if the pump shifts, or even a piece of debris or other foreign object can interfere with the switch. Check to make sure the float is operating freely. Call The Scottish Plumber to schedule an inspection of your sump pump or to learn more about battery back-up systems and other options.

Q: My garbage disposal is jammed. What do I do?

A: If your disposal is jammed because of a foreign object, use caution when removing the object. First, either unplug the disposal under the sink, or turn off the circuit breaker to the kitchen. Make sure power isn’t going to the disposal by testing it- turn it on and see if you hear a hum or not. If the power has been successfully cut from the garbage disposal, start by using an Allen wrench- there should be a small indent on the bottom of the disposal (under the sink) where you can insert an Allen wrench and turn it. This turns the disposal mechanism manually, to wiggle it and hopefully dislodge the object that’s jamming the disposal. Then, with a pair of pliers or tongs, reach into the disposal and remove whatever is blocking it. If it’s smaller and harder to pick up, like coins, paperclips, etc., put a small piece of duct tape on the end of a pencil to grab the object by getting it to stick to the tape. Never place your hands inside the disposal unit- even if the power is off. The blades of a garbage disposal are very sharp and can cut your hands even when they’re not in motion. If removing the object doesn’t stop the jam, call The Scottish Plumber for more information on how to troubleshoot or repair the problem.

Q: Do your plumbers really wear kilts?

A: Yes, but only on special occasions.