College Station Plumbing and Drain Services
Dynamic Drains of TX – Plumber College Station
College Station, Texas was non-existent until 1860 when the Houston and Texas Central Railway was built. In 1876, what is now A&M University opened and the town began to grow. By the turn of the century, there were only 391 people who resided here. Between 1960 and 2015, College Station’s population grew from 11,396 inhabitants to over 100,000 by 2017. That means there is a lot of history here along with a lot of homes or businesses with antiquated plumbing and drain systems. So often the plumbing issues that arise in the older buildings, and newer ones, need more than just a simple unclogging of a drain line or minor repairs on a water pipe. Most people notice the aging or corrosion of plumbing fixtures and exposed piping in a home or business but there is a whole world plumbing underground and underneath the building that isn’t seen by the naked eye, be it a pier and beam or a slab-on-grade structure. Many of the homes and businesses in College Station still have the original sewer systems made of cast iron, clay, or Orangeburg … or often a combination of all three!
Ways to address drains in residential & commercial buildings in College Station
As these systems age, they will degrade and eventually need some attention. An issue we regularly come across in our work when determining how to go about addressing a drain issue is the task of finding the existing sewer line or where it exits a building. Blueprints for residential properties do not list the location of the underground sewer system and commercial building blueprints are not always accurate, especially if remodels have been done since the building was erected. Having the latest in technology to properly locate these hidden underground lines makes a difference. When it comes to drain cleaning and pipe restoration, Dynamic Drains of Texas has multiple pipe locating devices for various sized pipes, be it water lines or sewer pipes, sewer cameras of varying size and application, and an arsenal of drain cleaning equipment so that we can find out exactly what is going on and can pinpoint exactly where the issue is underground. This allows us to offer repairs along with full replacements. If a full replacement is needed, we do offer that and even have trenchless options for repair and replacement. In short, we have more options than most.
Clogged Sewer Lines in College Station
Many of the calls we get in College Station are for clogged sewer lines. In these situations, a common line we hear from the customer is, “This happens once or twice a year; we just need it snaked out.” Here is where we as a leader in the drain industry are different: we do not, “just snake out” a drain. We offer a proper cleaning with equipment that is much safer and more effective than traditional methods, plus we will video inspect the drain after cleaning it to determine what caused the clog and where. Sewer and drain cleaning technology and processes have come a long way in the last 20 years. We stay at the forefront of that technology that allows us to be cleaner, safer, and more effective than the traditional methods of drain cleaning. And our customers appreciate it, too.
Latest in drain cleaning technology = faster drain remediation
The traditional method and machines for drain cleaning are still used today and they have their place. We choose to use a different method: Hydro-jetting or High Speed Drain Cleaning. The use of a hydro-jetting machine or our high speed drilling machine to remove a clog, be it grease, soap, tree roots, grout, or whatever, is much safer, quicker and more efficient. We don’t waste our time or the customer’s valuable time guessing as to what and why it happened, we find out the actual reason.
Kitchen drain clogs
When a kitchen drain clogs up, even if it is not used often, typically it has been a long time coming. This is regularly evidenced here in College Station on the older homes with cast iron drains for their kitchen and washing machine. What we typically find when we use a hydro-jetter instead of a cable to unclog a cast iron kitchen drain is lots of black sludge has accumulated due to age and what goes down the drain. When a kitchen drain finally clogs up to the point of needing attention, many people call a plumber to simply run a sewer cable down the line, but with this method, it is typically not being cleaned as thoroughly as it should. The homeowner assumes that this is the only option, short of replacement because in the past that has been the only options they were given. We offer a cleaning option so thorough that we can give a one year warranty against the line clogging again, if we are able to unclog it. That is how much we believe in our service. We will remove the sludge and can even descale the pipe to remove naturally occurring scale that builds up on cast iron. But, if the line is damaged beyond what a cleaning can do, we offer that repair, too. More often than not, we can clean the line better than ever and provide a great warranty to back it up.
Trenchless pipe repair
We also offer better options than most when it comes to sewer main replacements or repairs. What if the sewer line runs directly underneath a tree or a large concrete patio or parking lot? What if there are major utility lines like city gas lines located very close in proximity to or on top of the existing sewer line? A tree or utility line in the path of a sewer line can create more difficulties and elements to contend with when replacing a sewer line. The traditional method for this type of project required having to dig a trench to expose the existing sewer. Aside from being a lot of physical labor and causing disruption to a large area, digging a traditional trench can create other hazards like exposing high pressure gas lines, cutting roots of large trees, or accidentally cutting a phone or electrical line. “Call-Before-You-Dig Utility Locating Service” is one of our required steps in order to provide an accurate estimate for a sewer line replacement but that does not eliminate the hazards; it only exposes them.
Dynamic Drains of Texas offers an option that does not require digging a long trench. We offer a TRENCHLESS option that can replace a sewer line without digging up the entire line and utilizes a thicker, more heavy duty pipe than traditional schedule 40 PVC to replace the existing line. The new line is pulled through the existing sewer line while splitting/replacing the old one as it does this, thus replacing it completely, even if the old line is cast iron, concrete, or clay … or all three combined! If the old line has some areas of concern, such as a partial collapse or break, this does not mean all is lost and the line must be dug up. Depending on the severity, it can still be replaced with this method. We have videos demonstrating this technology on our YouTube channel. The type of material used in Trenchless sewer replacement is HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). The type of connection system for the ends of the pipe is fusing, not solvent welding like PVC pipe is, making it a much stronger and longer lasting bond because this method fuses it into one solid pipe instead of solvent welding sections. What this means to the property owner is less potential for issues in the future and a much stronger pipe that can handle ground shifting and will never allow roots to infiltrate if installed properly. Our warranty on sewer replacements is 5 years against breaks or sags and a 2 year warranty against clogs. We will also install a new cleanout access on the sewer line and all the work will be inspected afterward to confirm it is in good shape.
High water pressure can damage your College Station property
Another plumbing issue common to College Station is high water pressure at the city supplied water meter connection. The reason for the excessive pressure has to do with the hills and location of the water tower where the domestic water for homes and businesses is stored that feeds the water mains that in turn feed the water meters. Almost all homes and businesses in the city limits of College Station that are on city supplied water already have what is called a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV), typically installed near the city meter on the customer’s side of the meter. This device is the responsibility of the property owner. The reason this device is required is that the plumbing code states that any water pressure at or above 80 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) must be reduced to a pressure below 80 PSI. The reason for this is to help keep from issues that can occur due to excessive pressure. Did you know that all residential and most commercial plumbing fixtures are designed for freshwater plumbing systems that are at 40-60 Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) and not higher? This is because of the plumbing materials and fixtures used can be prematurely damaged due to high pressure and water hammer, which is exacerbated with high pressure.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s website on insurance damage claims due to plumbing failures, washing machine hoses are in the top ten as causes for water damage claims. Most of the homes where the damage occurred from a washing machine hose bursting were only 11 years old. In other words, it is not relegated only to older homes. Here is a link to the website where these statistics are from: https://disastersafety.org/ibhs/water-damage-studies/
So often this issue is due to old washing machine hoses that have not been replaced in many years or excessive pressure beyond what the manufacturer recommends and designs the product to handle. Replacing the washing machine hoses is a simple replacement that many homeowners can do themselves, if the shut off valves work. As you can see, excessive pressure can be a major issue if not addressed. A properly sized water system will work properly with no more than 60 PSI so there is no need for residential pressure over 60 PSI within the home.
So what issues and concerns can come from having a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) installed to lower and regulate the pressure? A common call we get in College Station is erratic pressure or major fluctuations when more than one fixture is turned on at the same time. Oftentimes this is caused by a defective PRV that needs to be changed. We can accurately diagnose if this is the case by using a gauge and testing procedures. If you do not have a PRV currently on your system, we can also test your current water pressure to see if it is above 80 PSI and needing a PRV installed.
College Station requires a pressure reducing valve
One thing to keep in mind is that within the city limits of College Station, the local plumbing code requires a Pressure Reducing Valve to be installed on the fresh water supply near the water meter. Because of this, it is also required to install a Thermal Expansion Tank on the piping at the water heater. But why? A thermal expansion tank is a small 1 gallon steel tank that is pressurized and has a rubber bladder inside of it that allows for the natural expansion of water when it is heated. The reason this is a requirement is because when the water pressure on the incoming side is reduced with a PRV, this causes a closed piping system where the water can only flow in one direction even if the user side pressure increases beyond the supply side pressure. When water heats, and because pressure equalizes within a piping system, it expands and increases the pressure beyond what the PRV is set at for the water system. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear on all the plumbing within a building, including the cold side. A thermal expansion tank will allow for this natural expansion to occur without applying undue stress on the piping and fixtures because the pressurized rubber bladder in the tank will expand and contract as necessary. A common problem with homes that have PRVs installed but with no thermal expansion tank is burst supply lines, washer hoses, blown fill valves for toilets, etc. These scenarios are not meant to scare but to educate people on the importance of using the proper devices and why they are needed.
A good choice for College Station rental property owners
Many homeowners live out of town and have rental properties in the area. We make it easy to handle dealing with plumbing issues for out-of-town property owners due to our convenient electronic invoices and payment options. Our plumbing experts will keep you aware of the progress of a project along the way and properly diagnose what the actual issue is that is causing the problem and provide more than one solution.
As you can tell, we offer many great options for plumbing and drain repairs for the residents and businesses of the growing Bryan / College Station area and as time goes on, more of our homes and businesses’ aging infrastructure will need more attention, and we offer more options.
Link for Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety