Full Bore Trenchless, Inc. is Washington’s top residential and commercial underground contractor. Whether you’re in need of trenchless sewer repair, facing common plumbing issues, or have questions about underground construction, the professional and courteous team at Full Bore Trenchless is your trusted leader in Seattle and the surrounding areas. We understand that before you trust us to improve the sewer and plumbing lines of your home or business, you want to better understand what we do and how you can help your system run more efficiently.
The Full Bore Trenchless team is here to provide easy-to-understand answers to your plumbing questions and guide you through the basics of common repairs. We can help you solve the smallest residential plumbing challenge to large-scale needs like complete utility installation. No matter the scope of your work, we’re offering answers to the most common questions we receive about plumbing, sewer lines, and utilities.
Residential Plumbing Questions
What are the most common plumbing problems?
No matter the age of your home, you will eventually face common plumbing issues. From a small toy being flushed down the toilet to rattling pipes in an older home, problems with your system can strike when you least expect it. Whether you’re living through the repairs or an older home, or just purchasing a new home and want to be prepared, these are the most common plumbing problems:
- Clogged toilet
- Clogged bath or shower drain
- Jammed garbage disposal
- Leaky faucets
- Leaky pipes
- Low water pressure
- Running toilet
- Sewage smell in home
- Sewer system backup
- Slow draining sink
- Water heater repair
Will a home inspection reveal the type of pipe material in my home?
If you want to know what type of plumbing material is used in your current or prospective home, you’ll have to go beyond a traditional home inspection. A piping guide will help you determine where your system likely lies on the timeline, but a sewer camera inspection can determine with certainty your pipes material.
- Cast Iron: This pipe has a black finish and was used in homes through the mid-1960s.
- Copper: Plumbing in homes built from the 1970 into the early 2000s was likely built with copper pipes. These pipes are a bronze color when new and slowly fade to a deep rust or brown color over the years. Copper pipes last about 50+ years.
- Galvanized Steel: If your pipes are a gray metal color, they’re likely made of galvanized steel. This material is cheaper than copper and was often used in homes leading up to the 1970s. The material was used less when builders discovered it only lasted for about 40 years.
- PB (polybutylene): This piping is usually marked with “PB2110.” These flexible pipes are usually gray but can also be black or blue.
- PEX (cross-linked polyethylene): Plastic tubing that is usually white, red, or blue and used to indicate hot and cold lines. Plumbers use this type of material because of its flexibility.
- PVC (polyvinyl-chloride): The white plastic pipes are most commonly seen under your kitchen or bathroom sinks used as drain pipes.
Do I need a plumber to unclog a blocked drain?
While most property owners turn to a do-it-yourself method to solve their pipes problems, it is always necessary to call a pipe professional to solve the problem. At the first sign of a backup, it is important to immediately stop running water or flushing your toilet. If you want to be extra careful, you can shut off your main water supply to ensure that no water is getting in. DIY methods of drain cleaning are a dangerous, ineffective way to attempt to remove clogs.
Your drains are an essential part of your property that should be taken care of with precision and accuracy. DIY methods of drain cleaning like drain snaking your drain with a wire hanger and pouring harsh chemicals down your drain never come without consequence. Using at-home methods of drain cleaning involve unnecessary guesswork that only temporarily masks your plumbing problems instead of solving them all together. Snaking your drain on your own only reaches surface clogs and blockages and not deeper ones within your pipe that could be causing the actual problems. In addition, chemical drain cleaner uses toxic ingredients that create slime and sludge within your pipes that can stay within your pipe for long periods of time. Do not attempt to unclog a blocked drain or pipe yourself. Call the industry experts at Full Bore Trenchless to solve your Seattle pipe problems.
What is the best way to clean my pipes?
The best way to clean your home plumbing system is with a non-toxic Hydro Jetting treatment form your Seattle, WA plumber. Schedule a Hydro Jetting treatment for your home every two to three years.
What is Hydro Jetting?
Full Bore Trenchless used an environmentally-friendly way to clean your pipes. Hydro Jetting harnesses the power of extreme water pressure to clear years of debris and clogs from your system. By forcing water through your pipes at nearly 4000 PSI, our skilled team can remove buildup, debris, and tree roots. The water is sprayed at extremely high pressure and flushes away the debris, allowing water and waste to flow through your plumbing freely.
Can I stop clogs from forming?
Clogged pipes are one of the top reasons for plumbing emergencies. Whether it’s a surface clog that can be removed by the Full Bore Trenchless team with a plumbing snake procedure, or you’re sewer main line is blocked, a clog can quickly stop all plumbing use in your home or business. Addressing the problem immediately will help prevent further damage. The best way to prevent clogged pipes is to be mindful of what you put down your drains and toilet. Use these tips as a guide:
- A drain strainer should be used if there is no garbage disposal
- After washing dishes, run hot water to rinse away grease
- Avoid coffee grounds, bones, grease, fruit peels and other fibrous foods in the garbage disposal
- Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain
- Clear drain stoppers in shower and bathtub
- Only flush waste and toilet tissue down the toilet
- Pump septic tank every two to three years
- Run cold water when using the garbage disposal
Am I dealing with a plumbing emergency?
Many home and business owners don’t think twice about their Seattle plumbing until something goes wrong. When problems arise, it’s easy to categorize them as an emergency, but that’s not necessarily the case. When leaks and clogs present themselves on the weekend or the middle of the night, you must determine if it constitutes a call to your Seattle emergency plumber. Use our emergency plumbing checklist to see if your situation falls into one of these categories:
- Can you shut off a water valve to make the problem stop? If you can pause the problem temporarily, wait until normal business hours to call the plumber.
- Does the problem only affect one faucet, drain, or shower? If the problem is secluded to only one pipe, it can likely wait until Monday morning.
- Does water work? If your water is completely shut off (and it’s not a municipality problem) call the emergency plumber.
- Is the problem causing a flood? If a burst pipe or water main break is causing flooding in or outside of your home, you’re dealing with an emergency.
How do I know if I have a water leak?
It can be difficult to immediately detect a water leak, especially if it runs underground or beneath a slab. Look for these water leak warning signs:
- Damp or spongy flooring
- The grass is greener in one part of the yard
- Loss in water pressure
- Sound of running water coming from walls
- Unexpected Increase in the monthly water bill
If you experience any of these issues, contact your Seattle WA plumber to schedule a sewer camera inspection and pipe repair.
How do I unclog a toilet?
A clogged toilet is problematic for your home and can quickly turn into a health risk if waste is not disposed of properly. If your toilet isn’t flushing, try removing the clog with one of these methods:
- Plunger: Seal the plunger around the toilet drain and plunge rapidly several times. If the plunger doesn’t release the clog, try a plumbing snake.
- Plumbing auger: A plumbing snake can be pushed through the toilet drain to grab a clog.
- If neither of these methods work and the water from the toilet is not releasing, call a Seattle plumber immediately.
When should I replace my toilet?
If you continuously have problems with your toilet, it may be time to replace it. A few signs that it’s time to replace your toilet include:
- Age (toilets 10 years or older aren’t energy efficient)
- Continuous clogs
- Multiple flushes after each use
- Ongoing leaks
Does homeowners insurance cover burst pipe damage?
Most insurance companies will cover damage caused by leaking or burst pipes if the damage wasn’t preventable. There are steps you can take to avoid broken pipes or leaking appliances:
- Ensure tubs and showers are caulked and sealed properly
- Inspect for leaking faucets indoors and outside
- Insulate pipes if you live in a cold climate
- Routinely inspect appliance hoses on your dishwasher or washing machine and replace as needed
How do I prevent pipes from freezing?
Prevent frozen pipes by following these pipe insulation steps:
- Run heating cable along the pipes before covering with insulation. The cable will keep the pipes at a constant temperature.
- Inspect the outside of your home looking for visible cracks near the foundation or basement. Use spray foam or caulking to fill cracks.
- Shut off the water valves to your outdoor faucets. Allow excess water to drain then cover the faucets with an insulated dome to prevent freezing.
- Allow the warm air in your home to reach the pipes beneath your sinks by opening the cabinet doors.
- Have your HVAC system checked annually to prevent your heating system from crashing during the winter months. The freezing temperatures can quickly affect your pipes.
- Allow a small, slow drip to come from your faucets. Running the water even a minimal amount will help prevent frozen pipes.
Seattle Sewer Repair Questions
What are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?
A failed sewer pipe will leave signs like unexpected pools of water, foul odors, clogged or blocked drains, growth of mold or mildew, low water pressure, and slow-releasing drains. It is important to have your pipelines inspected by a professional technician instead of trying to repair the problem. Having it fixed as soon as possible is key to preventing future emergencies.
Will you have to tear up my yard to repair the sewer line?
Full Bore Trenchless is dedicated to finding a solution to your sewer line repair needs without destroying your lawn, driveway, or sidewalk. With trenchless sewer repair techniques, we can complete most sewer line repair work without excavating. Traditional sewer repair creates a double cost to property owners – the sewer line repair and then repairing yard work, driveway, or flooring. With trenchless sewer line repair, our technicians solve your plumbing problems with minimal invasion to your property. By using pipe bursting or pipe lining methods, we can make the repair without making a trench.
How do I stop tree roots from invading my sewer line?
Invasive tree roots can cause major damage to your entire plumbing system if they are not quickly eliminated. Tree roots can break through underground plumbing, blocking the flow of water and waste to and from your home. To avoid tree root invasion, try one of these methods:
- Tree Removal: If the tree continues to be a problem, have it professionally removed. The cost of tree removal will be minimal compared to constantly repairing your plumbing.
- Root Barrier: Install a root barrier around any new trees by digging an 18 to 24-inch trench around the root zone. The barrier will keep the roots from invading your pipes.
- Routine Plumbing Maintenance: Have a sewer camera inspection performed every two to three years to detect invasive roots. You can spot small plumbing concerns before they become expensive repairs.
- Sewer Line Cleaning: Hydro Jetting is an environmentally friendly way to clean your pipes. The intense water pressure can cut through clogs, debris and tree roots.
Is the city responsible for my sewer lines?
Residential and commercial property owners are responsible for the sewer and utility lines that come from their lot, including the laterals that start from the structure and lead to the water main.
Full Bore Trenchless is available to help you through the maintenance of home ownership. We’ll evaluate the problems, explain the situation, and provide you with straight forward solutions that will quickly get your home back to normal. Our team is trained and equipped to handle jobs of all sizes.