Frequently Asked Questions

What's The Difference Between Drain Cleaning and Sewer Cleaning?

Drain cleaning involves removing clogs from the individual drains in your home which typically includes the kitchen and bathroom sinks, washing machines, showers, and toilets. These drains typically get clogged when you have stuff going down them that you shouldn’t allow down the drain. All these drains flow downhill from your house until they reach the lateral line, which is the path out to the public sewer. Sewer cleaning involves unclogging sewer lines, which is where all drains join to dispose of waste into the public sewer system. If you have a clogged sewer line, it affects all your drains.

Is Sewer Line Damage Covered by Insurance?

Unfortunately, your homeowners' insurance won’t cover most of the common reasons that a sewer line would break. Most sewer line failures arise from neglect, age of the pipes, and poor maintenance. Any of these causes mean your homeowners' insurance won’t cover the cost of repairs. Anything considered a “preventable error” or maintenance issue won’t be covered. In rare cases, your insurance may cover the damage caused to a sewer line. Your basic policy may cover the portion of the sewer line that is on your property, depending on what caused the damage. Damage caused by an “Act of God” or something out of your control, would be covered as long as it’s not specifically excluded from your policy such as floods or earthquakes which require separate insurance.

Can My Water Heater Blow Up?

Water heaters are generally very safe and predictable, especially when properly maintained. Your water heating unit has plenty of monitoring sensors and alarms that help prevent things like carbon monoxide leaks and fires. Generally, your water heater can blow up when the T&P (temperature and pressure relief) valve is damaged, blocked, or plugged. When your water heater is running, the T&P relief valve allows your water heater to release steam, managing rising temperatures, and relieving pressure. If the valve stops functioning properly, pressure can build up in the tank, causing it to explode.

Should My Hot Water Heater Smell Like Gas?

If your water heater smells like gas, you should have it checked out by a professional right away. Gas companies add a chemical to natural gas that makes it smell like rotten eggs. It’s an unmistakable smell and if you notice the smell coming from your water heater, immediately shut off the gas valve and contact your natural gas company. This is one of those problems that requires a professional to solve. Your water heater may also smell like gas when bacteria multiply inside your water heater after turning it off for some time or running it at low temperatures.

How to Keep My Sewer Line from Freezing?

To avoid having to deal with frozen lines this winter, here are a few preventative measures to keep in mind:
  • Insulate your pipes: Poorly insulated sewer pipes are more likely to freeze, especially in areas with harsh winter temperatures.
  • Seal outside vents: Sealing the vents in your basement and crawl space will limit the flow of cold air around the pipes, lowering the chances of freezing.
  • Check out your water heater: If your water heater is unable to maintain the proper water temperature, the water flowing through your pipes may end up freezing.
  • Keep your thermostat consistent: Keeping your thermostat at a consistent temperature provides a constant circulation of warm air that may prevent costly plumbing issues.

Our plumbing FAQs provide answers to common plumbing problems. Don’t hesitate to call A River City Plumbing today at 208-659-6565 for top-notch advice and plumbing services.