Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a sewer line contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified sewer line company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated sewer line specialist and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Faren Reyes is owner of Discover Plumbing & Rooter, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 898-7933 or by email.

Faren Reyes

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Faren Reyes: Discovering a New Livelihood

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Faren Reyes never planned on becoming a plumber, but after taking an opportunity to work in the field, he discovered a whole new livelihood. “About a year after moving from L.A. to San Francisco, my cousin got his plumbing license and invited me to come work for him. After a year of working as a laborer, I became a plumber. I worked for my cousin for seven years, after which I partnered with another plumber for about five years. Finally, in 2018, I went out on my own and founded Discover Plumbing & Rooter.”

Despite being the company owner, Faren says he’s happiest when he’s working in the field. “I like to be on the jobsites working with my guys. I don’t care much for being in the office—after too much time in there, I get sleepy. I would rather be onsite and doing the hard work.”

A resident of San Bruno, Faren spends most of his time outside of work with his wife, Maria, and their six children. “I’m busy all week long, so when the weekend comes, I just want to be with my family,” he says. “We like getting out and going to the beach in Pacifica or to dinner in San Francisco. Every three or four months, we’ll take a trip to somewhere like Lake Tahoe.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Faren says he aims for long-term customer relationships. “I don’t want to just do one job for someone—my goal is to make them a customer for life. To do this, I have to provide quality work, honest communication and a fair price, with no surprises. I’ve found that if I can provide these things to the customer, I’m more likely to get another call from them in the future.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Faren says he’d take an extended vacation. “I’d take my family on a trip to another country for a month or two. I work a lot, so an entire month together with the family would be a great thing.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first job?
A: I worked in a bakery. The hours were rough—sometimes I’d have to be there at 2am!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Límon Rotisserie in Burlingame. I love Peruvian food.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Paris, France.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Chocolate cake à la mode.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas.

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How to Maintain Outdated Sewer and Drain Pipes


SAN FRANCISCO — If you live in an older home or building, you may have an outdated plumbing system. Ideally, you should replace the outdated components of your system with new ones. These may include sewer and drain pipes, water… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Maintaining Old Plumbing Pipes

Complete Video Transcription:

SAN FRANCISCO — Faren Reyes: If you live in an older home or building, you may have an old plumbing system. Ideally, you should replace… Read more

Myles O’Dwyer is president of Pipe Spy Marin, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 890-6856 or by email.

Myles O'Dwyer

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Myles O’Dwyer: Pipe Guru

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

LARKSPUR – It might come as a surprise to learn that Myles O’Dwyer’s turn as president of a plumbing service company was preceded by an extensive career in commercial finance. On the other hand, it explains a lot about the thriving success of his business. As Myles tells it, his newfound venture came as the result of a failed business merger. “I was in the process of negotiating a merger between a plumbing parts supplier and a service company, with a plan to combine them into a national franchise. When the parts supplier backed out, I went to work for the service company with an aim to improve its financial performance.” Benefitting from his business acumen, Pipe Spy expanded its operations to Marin in 2007, where Myles continues to run things today.

Originally from the Bay Area, Myles’ career in finance took him all over the United States, from Chicago to Connecticut to Los Angeles, before an opportunity arose for him to return to his native environment. Having spent several winters on the East Coast, Myles attests to a renewed appreciation for the temperate North Bay climate. “We still have our seasons, but it’s nothing like back east,” he affirms. “When I lived in Connecticut, the trees would lose all their leaves and just look like dead sticks for five months. It was depressing.”

While his career keeps him busy, Myles finds time to enjoy a variety of hobbies outside of work, from weekly basketball games to renovating classic cars and motorcycles, including his father’s 1934 Ford pickup. He also likes to keep up with his four daughters, all of whom are variously situated along the West Coast. “My oldest daughter is a kindergarten teacher in Seattle, Washington, my second-oldest is a chef in San Francisco, and I have a set of twins who are in college,” he proudly says. Myles also enjoys going out to support the football team of his Berkeley alma mater, the Cal Bears.

When asked what his future retirement might look like, the ever-ambitious Myles intimates that it’ll likely be the start of another enterprise altogether. “One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is get my PhD, so I’ll probably do that after I retire,” he says. “I haven’t decided whether to focus on business ethics or political science—I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: I remember the best double feature I ever went to: “Patton” and “MASH.”

Q: What kind of books do you like to read?
A: I like mysteries that have some kind of historical element to them, like The Da Vinci Code.

Q: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
A: Beatles—but actually, the Beach Boys are the best!

Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Robin Williams.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Oatmeal cookies.

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: Every year I wore the same costume: the classic bed sheet ghost. It was very effective.

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How to Prevent a Sewer Line Backup


LARKSPUR — Homeowners often don’t know they have an issue with their sewer line until it backs up inside their home. Fortunately, there are a couple of proactive measures you can take to prevent this from happening. One way to avoid… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Solutions to Sewer Line Backup

Complete Video Transcription:

LARKSPUR — Host, Sarah Rutan: Preventing sewer line backup in your home is important. So today we’re in Larkspur with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Myles O’Dwyer… Read more

Joel Ledesma is owner of Atlas Plumbing & Rooter, a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (650) 469-3933 or by email.

Joel Ledesma

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Joel Ledesma: A Fitting Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Whereas many people discover their life’s calling early on, for Joel Ledesma, finding his niche as a plumbing professional came at the end of a lengthy pursuit. “I used to have a lot of dead end jobs—at various points, I was a bartender, a soccer referee and a massage therapist, but none felt like it suited me,” he says. “When I started plumbing, I could immediately sense something was different. It came easy to me, and it didn’t even feel like work. I enjoyed the problem-solving aspect, and it felt good to stand back and look at my accomplishments.”

Not long after starting a job with a local plumbing company, Joel felt the entrepreneurial urge and opened his own business in 2005. “By doing my own thing, I figured I could create an environment where I’d be comfortable and have greater control of things like pricing and customer care.” While he’d intended it to be a small, one-man operation, Joel soon found his business growing at a rapid rate. “At first, it was just me and a helper, but we started getting busier and busier. I never thought we’d get to be as big as we are now.”

Today, as owner of Atlas Plumbing & Rooter, Joel says he enjoys being on the cutting edge of industry innovation. “I like the challenge of learning new things and keeping up with the latest plumbing technology. Not only is it neat to see all the innovation, it’s also becoming easier to do what we do, thanks to advancements like trenchless sewer line replacement.”

As a resident of San Bruno (where he lives with his wife, Sarah; daughter, Julia; and son, Joely), Joel appreciates the perks of living and working in the San Francisco vicinity. “In such a large and old city, there’s no shortage of strange things for a plumber to come across. Every so often, I’ll see something I’ve never seen before, like a 50-year-old copper-lined water heater.” Joel says he also enjoys the close-knit character of his San Bruno community. “It’s a small neighborhood, so everyone knows each other, which I really like.”

Outside of work, Joel enjoys spending time with family and attending local sporting events. “I’m a sports guy, so I like going to Giants and 49ers games, but I also enjoy taking my kids to places like the zoo,” he says. Regardless of the destination, Joel’s outings also give him an opportunity to practice his hobby of photography. “I enjoy photography, whether I’m taking pictures of my kids, animals at the zoo or athletes at sporting events.”

In regard to his career, Joel espouses the importance of professional integrity. “If someone is unhappy with my service, I don’t dodge their phone calls; rather, I get to the bottom of it, even if it means refunding their money,” he explains. “I just want to be as fair as possible, which is something I think my customers appreciate.”

When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Joel says he’d transition into a full-time career as a stay-at-home dad. “I’d stay home with my kids, take them to school and pick them up afterward. I currently coach my daughter’s soccer team, so I’d probably be more involved with that as well.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Trapeze Restaurant in Burlingame.

Q: What kind of movies do you like?
A: I like goofy comedies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played baseball and basketball, but I particularly excelled at soccer.

Q: What was your favorite video game as a child?
A: Super Mario Bros.

Q: If you could talk to anyone living or dead, who would it be?
A: Freddie Mercury, just because I’m a big Queen fan.

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Testing for High Water Pressure


SAN FRANCISCO — Low water pressure is a common complaint among homeowners, but did you know high water pressure can be a problem as well? When the water pressure in a home is too high, it can cause your faucets,… Read more

Getting to the Root of Sewer Pipe Damage


SAN FRANCISCO — When it comes to preventing sewer problems, most people assume it’s a matter of not putting the wrong things down the toilet or sink drain. However, few realize that the primary cause of damage to a home’s… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Prevent a Broken Sewer Pipe

Complete Video Transcription:

SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Avoiding costly sewer line repairs in the future often means taking proactive steps today. We’re in San Francisco with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor,… Read more




INDUSTRY INFORMATION - San Francisco – Sewer Line Contractor
Know What You Want
Wondering About Calling for a San Francisco Sewer Line Contractor?

You may not want to bring in a sewer line contractor right away. You may be hoping that you’ve just got a one-time block. But if the problem won’t go away or gets worse, you will want to call in someone who can diagnose the problem. As you prepare to call in a sewer line contractor in San Francisco, there are some things to ask yourself. No plumbing crisis is fun, but you might be able to face it better if you have a list of questions prepared. That way, you know what you have to focus on at the time of the crisis. The following list of questions might be helpful.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. Are there external signs of a problem, such as toilet paper in the yard?
  3. Do I use the city sewer system or do I have a septic tank?
  4. Are my sewer lines isolated or are they close to gas lines or clean water lines?
  5. Is the problem based around a single fixture, or are multiple fixtures involved? For example, is the toilet backing up into the tub?
  6. Is there a pattern of recurring behavior with the problem, or is this the first time?
  7. Do I know whether my house has cleanouts or not? And where they are located?
  8. How long has the problem been happening?
  9. Are there trees or bushes that are growing along where the sewer line runs?
  10. Is it important to me to save a tree that is affecting my sewer line?
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What To Ask In Person
Ask the San Francisco Sewer Line Contractor Some Questions in Person

You will, typically, meet your San Francisco sewer line contractor in person when a representative visits you to give you an estimate. The contractor will need to see your property and any landscaping to get a good idea of potential causes of the problem. Your contractor will have to get a good idea of the sewer pipe layout and where the city sewer hook-up is. It makes sense to expect a good sewer line contractor in San Francisco to take a look before offering an estimate.

When the sewer line contractor comes, you may want to ask some questions so that you get a good idea of how the contractor came to the recommendations he or she made. Having questions prepared in advance can be helpful in the midst of a stressful situation. Some questions like the following might make sense.

  1. How long do you think the job will take?
  2. Why are you recommending a replacement – can you just repair the portion of the sewer line that is damaged?
  3. Do you see any problems with the current landscaping and the run of the sewer line? Do I need to consider removing brush or trees?
  4. Do you think you can perform trenchless replacement here? Or will a trench be required?
  5. If we cannot find a cleanout, or I know I don’t have one, what fixture or other option will you use to access the sewer line?
  6. How close is my property to the city sewer hook-up? Will there be extra costs to connect to it?
  7. Can you help me locate a cleanout?
  8. Can you access the site with whatever equipment you need to perform the repair?
  9. How quickly can you start the job?
  10. If you are making a repair, not a replacement, will that area of the pipe be more vulnerable to future damage?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for SF Sewer Line Company Customers

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a sewer line contractor in San Francisco, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your sewer line contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the sewer line contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. For any trenches or openings made on your property – were they properly filled after the job was finished? Were you satisfied with the state your property was left in?
    2. Were you satisfied with the sewer line contractor’s work? Why or why not?
    3. Did you have problems with tree or brush roots? Did you remove the tree or brush as part of the solution, or are they still in place? If they are in place, are they likely to cause further problems?
    4. How long has the sewer line repair or sewer line replacement been installed? Have you noticed any problems after the service visit?
    5. Did your contractor clearly explain why a replacement was required instead of a repair?
    6. What was the issue? How could you tell you needed a sewer line repair or replacement as opposed to removing a one-time block?
    7. Did you have an open trench repair? Or did you use trenchless repair methods?
    8. I don’t have a cleanout. Do you? If not, how was your sewer line accessed?
    9. Did the sewer line contractor work with the proper authorities to help you get any required permits?
    10. Did the sewer line contractor explain the materials being used, how long they should last, their environmental impact?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Good Sewer Line Contractor in San Francisco

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Before deciding on the best sewer line contractor in San Francisco for you, consider the following questions.

    1. Does the sewer line contractor find it important to work within code, using the proper materials?
    2. Is the sewer line contractor familiar with the city sewer system hook-up and how my line will connect to the city system?
    3. Is the sewer line contractor licensed by the state of California?
    4. Does the sewer line contractor provide a written estimate of the work to be performed?
    5. Can the sewer line contractor offer alternatives to open trenches in my yard? Or make a sound case for why the trench method is required?
    6. Is the sewer line contractor concerned with first correctly identifying the source of the problem before making recommendations?
    7. Does the sewer line contractor assess the problem professionally, using cameras and other tools to identify the exactly problem?
    8. Does the sewer line contractor work with the city or other entity to get a permit as required?
    9. Is the sewer line contractor as committed to saving my landscaping, where possible, as I am?
    10. Is the sewer line contractor committed to restoring my property to a decent condition that we agree upon?
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  • How To Work With
    Before Hiring Your San Francisco Sewer Line Contractors

    Before you decide which San Francisco sewer line contractor you want to hire, do a little due diligence. Request written estimates from at least two or more contractors. Never work with a contractor who won’t give you a written estimate. Look for contractors who show expertise and experience in working with sewer lines. Be sure the contractor has a current license. You can check that the license is current and that there are no complaints against it by going to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) Web site.

    See if the company has a physical address and verify that it is real. It’s always good to have several ways to contact a firm, and a brick and mortar presence can always be your last resort. If a contractor is only available by mobile phone, carefully consider how legitimate the company may or may not be.

    Once You’ve Decided on Your San Francisco Sewer Line Contractor
    Your San Francisco sewer line contractor and you need to come to an agreement about the expectations that are being formed. Be sure you know how the problem was diagnosed. The best case is for a camera to be used to pinpoint the exact problem. Don’t accept “guesstimates.” A proper contractor will take the time to locate the specific problem. If the sewer line contractor suggests that the pipes be jet cleaned before the camera is used, ask whether there are additional charges.

    Ask your San Francisco sewer line contractor what options are open to you. If you want trenchless techniques, ask about them. If a trench is required by your circumstances, be sure your sewer line contractor clearly explains why the trench is the only method that will work. Be sure to agree with your sewer line contractor about how your property should look after the repair. Do you want holes and trenches filled and leveled? Make sure you understand whether the sewer line contractor will replace any removed landscaping. Most likely, they will only be responsible for filling the trenches, but make sure you understand what they will and won’t do.

    You might find it worthwhile to specifically address the topic of trees or shrubs that are causing problems with your sewer line. Do you want to save the trees or shrubs? Can the sewer line contractor remove roots that are causing the problem, for example, without killing the tree? Do the trees or brush have to be removed completely to prevent further recurrences of the problem? Be clear about whether you want to save a tree or whether you have no qualms about its being removed. In some cases, you may have no option but to remove the tree. Above all, it’s important to discuss your expectations with your San Francisco sewer line contractor.

    Making the Job Run Smoothly for a San Francisco Sewer Line Contractor
    It’s up to you to help smooth the path for your San Francisco sewer line contractor so that the job runs as smoothly as possible. When possible, locate your cleanout or cleanouts. If you can, determine where the gas pipes and clean water lines are so that you can be sure they are not placed near your sewer line. If the sewer line contractor will be working from a cleanout in the house, make it as easy as possible to access the cleanout. If there are weeds obstructing an outdoor cleanout, try to remove them before the job begins.

    All phases of the project should be captured in your written estimate and contract. For example, if you expect trees to be saved, get it in writing. Get as much as you can in writing before the job starts – don’t come up with new issues in the middle of the project. You’ll find enough unexpected issues will pop up, so be sure to resolve the known issues before you start. Be available to answer your sewer line contractor’s questions. If unexpected things crop up, the sewer line contractor will need to be able to get in touch with you to make decisions.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Sewer Line Contractor Customer?

    It’s the sewer line contractor’s responsibility put in quality sewer lines using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your sewer line contractor, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a San Francisco sewer line contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the SF sewer line contractors. Let them know what you want from your sewer line contractor, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a sewer line contractor in San Francisco, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the sewer line contractor’s representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local sewer line contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your sewer line contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re working on the sewer line. The work will move along more smoothly if your sewer line contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the sewer line contractor on schedule.
    • Pay for the sewer line contractor’s work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Sewer line contractors in San Francisco appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Checking the San Francisco Sewer Line Contractor’s Performance Against the Estimate and Invoice

Your sewer line repair or replacement should be clearly detailed in a written contract and estimate. Get the estimate and contract written in as much significant detail as possible. For example: “open two holes, insert PVC liner, steam liner into place, remove bladder after liner is cured,” is better than:” install trenchless replacement.” The additional detail ensures you know what is covered and what is not. You are then in a better position to mark off what has been completed and what has not been. Don’t hesitate to examine the work, if you want to.

Sewer line inspection cameras should allow you to see into the pipes to be sure that they aren’t blocked, or that the new liner runs the complete length of the pipe. Always make sure the written contract covers how your property is to be restored after the repair – for example, all holes refilled and leveled. Make sure that your property is in the state you expected it to left in.

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Written Warranties
Asking the San Francisco Sewer Line Contractor for a Warranty

A warranty from your plumber or sewer line contractor is typically offered for the repairs completed. Examine the warranty closely to see what it covers and what it excludes. For example, if the ground freezes and the sewer line is damaged as a result of that freezing, will repairing the pipe be covered or is that circumstance considered outside the contractor’s control? Such conditions are often spelled out in the warranty – sometimes in blanket language. Be sure you understand what the blanket language is covering and what it is not.

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Top 10 Requests
Common San Francisco Sewer Line Repair Service Requests

Your sewer line contractor is used to being called when there’s a crisis in the home. The best sewer line contractors in San Francisco, respond promptly and with expertise. They even offer services designed to help prevent emergencies.

Tree Root Removal
Trees seek out water and are attracted to your sewer pipe. On occasion, tree roots can penetrate the pipes. The root balls can create blockages that must be removed. The pipes must then be repaired or replaced.

Video Inspection Services
Cameras exist that allow your plumber or contractor to look down your sewer line for breaks obstructions. If other measures are failing, you might want to have someone examine your pipes with a camera so that you can identify the problem.

Toilet Flush Properly
When the toilet will not flush properly, it can be a sign of greater problems. Of course, sometimes a simple plunger can remove a temporary blockage. But if your toilet continues to backup frequently or you cannot plunge the matter away, you may need a sewer line repair or replacement.

Waste in Bathtub
Sometimes, attempting to clear a toilet drain results in waste backing up into the bathtub. This is a sign that you need to have your sewer lines checked.

Hydro-Jetting Services in San Francisco
Hydro-jetting is a technique used to clear pipelines of grease or other debris that can build up over time. Some contractors recommend that hydro-jetting be an annual process so that the pipes remain clear, especially on rentals and commercial properties.

Sewage Smell Abatement
Unfortunately, one of the indicators of a broken sewer line can be a smell of sewage. Sewer line contractors and plumbers should come and assess the smell and the pipes before drawing up a contract to address the problem.

Sewer Line Repair in San Francisco
Not every problem is going to require a replacement of the entire sewer line. Sometimes a pipe is cracked or broken in such a way that only a small portion of the pipe needs to be replaced. A sewer line repair is warranted in such cases.

Sewer Line Replacement
Sometimes the damage to the sewer line is so comprehensive that the whole line must be replaced. If you have old, clay-based piping, it will be replaced, not repaired, since the clay piping does not meet the current standards. When evaluating repair vs. replacement, keep in mind that having to place multiple patches on the pipe over time can add up.

Replace Septic System
If you have a septic tank, you are responsible for emptying it. Some prefer to not have that burden. In cases where the municipal system is available, you can have your septic tank replaced with a sewer line that connects you to the municipal sewer system and frees you from one burden.

Slow Draining Toilet or Tub
If the water drains slowly from your toilet or tub, there may be a blockage or damage to the sewer line. Of course, the first step is to try to remove any blockage. If that does not solve the problem, check for breaks and breaches in the sewer line.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Used By Local Sewer Line Contractors

You may not know that much about your sewer line – except that it works. But when it comes to speaking with your sewer line repair company, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of what needs to be fixed or replaced. Use the glossary terms to help you better understand the proposed work on your sewer line repair or sewer line replacement.

A type of pipe. Black and rigid, this plastic should only be used for a drain line.

Also known as: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

access panel
An opening near a plumbing or electrical fixture that allows the contractor service the fixture.

A device that allows different kinds of pipes to be connected.

A cleanout is a capped pipe that is designed to allow access to the sewer lines. Homes may have one or more cleanouts, and some homes have none.

Also known as: clean-out

An easement allows someone who does not own the property in question to use that property in a limited way. For example, an easement may serve as a passage to a property.

A device that unites two pieces of pipe.

Drain, waste, and vent.

Refers to a piece of pipe that has two openings and changes the direction of the line.

Also known as: ell

Refers to the pipe’s slope, which would be required for drainage to occur adequately.

Also known as: flow

Refers to appliances that supply and/or dispose of water.

Also known as: sink, toilet, tub

In plumbing, refers to a paste that is applied when metal joints are soldered. The paste helps the joint resist rusting.

force main
A sewer line where sewage moves as a result of pressure, instead of gravity.

gravity sewer
A sewer where wastewater flows downstream – as a result of gravity.

Refers the inside diameter of a pipe. The inside diameter is the measurement used to size pipes.

Infiltration and inflow occurs when groundwater gets into the sewer system.

Also known as: infiltration and inflow

pipe bursting
A technique used for sewer line replacement. A bursting head breaks up the old pipe and drags the new pipe into place behind the bursting head. It is an alternative to trenching.

pipe replacement
Usually refers to digging up an old pipe and replacing the entire length of the pipe.

point repair
A point repair addresses a specific point of failure in a pipe. The damaged piece of the pipe is replaced with a piece of pipe of the same diameter.

pump station
Pump stations accept sewage from a specified part of the sewer system, then pump the water on to the next section of sewer or to the next pump station.

A type of plastic, white or cream, that forms rigid pipes used where pressure is not applied, for example in waste or venting systems.

Also known as: polyvinyl chloride

A riser is a  set of pipes and fittings that is vertically assembled and sends water upwards.

In plumbing, the rough-in consists of putting the water supply lines and drain, as well as the waste and vent lines, in position so that they reach the fixture they are servicing.

service basin
The areas into which a city’s sewer system may be divided. Each service basin typically has its own pump station.

A setback is an area behind, or set back from, the property line.

soil stack
The soil stack takes wastewater to the sewer line. The soil stack is the biggest vertical drain line that all branch waste lines connect to.

stop valve
A stop-valve is a device that works with a single fixture, allowing the water to that fixture to be turned on and off without affecting the water supply to any other fixture.

In the drain line of a fixture, such as a toilet or tub, the trap is a curved section. It holds water to prevent sewer gases from going up the pipe and into the home.

A device with three pieces that joins two sections of pipe. The pipes can be disconnected without severing the pipe.

vent stack
The vent stack is the upper part of the soil stack and allows gases and odors to escape. It is located above the highest fixture in place.

A device, or fitting, that has three openings. It is used to make branch lines.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ For Sewer Line Repair and Replacement Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a sewer line contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only sewer line contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor.

Q: Do I have to dig up my entire yard to fix my sewer line?
A: There are techniques available today that will help you get a sewer line replacement or sewer line repair without digging up your yard. You can get your pipes relined, which creates a new pipe within the existing pipe. The new pipe lining is pulled through the existing pipe, then heated so that it creates a solid, resistant pipe. Another option is to use pipe bursting in which a bursting head breaks up the existing pipe in the ground and pulls a new pipe along behind itself.

Q: How much of the sewer line am I responsible for?
A: The homeowner is generally responsible for the sewer line that runs from the house to the edge of the sidewalk closest to house. Once the line reaches city property, like the sidewalk, it becomes the city’s responsibility, in most cases. You should check with your locality about the specifics of where the municipal responsibility picks up. Anytime your sewer line repair or replacement looks like it is hitting the sidewalk, you should call the municipal government to be sure where your responsibility stops.

Q: What makes a sewer line need repair?
A: Sewer lines get blocked and broken because of many reasons. If you drop things down the drain, they can form the basis of a clog that will not allow water and waste to pass. In addition, pipes can crack, especially old fashioned clay pipes, so clay pipes are no longer allowed. Tree or brush roots may get into the pipe and form the basis of the blockage. Or settlement of the land over time, or swelling or contracting of the pipes due to freezing or thawing may weaken the pipes and cause them to sag or crack.

Q: Should I trust someone who says he or she has “a good idea” of where a problem is occurring?
A: Plumbers and sewer line contractors today have very sophisticated technology, including cameras that can be used to view the inside of the pipes. Your contractor should use the camera to determine exactly where the problem is.

Q: Do I need a licensed contractor?
A: Yes, in California, you should get a licensed contractor to perform work on your sewer line. When you look for your contractor, you will see firms advertising as either sewer line contractors or as plumbers. Just make sure the firm has experience in working with sewer lines, and that they are licensed by the state of California – the license number should appear in their advertising – and that they are bonded and have worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.

Q: Do I need a permit for my sewer line repair or sewer line replacement?
A: In most cases, yes, you will need a permit for your sewer line repair or replacement. Your contractor should be able to help you get this permit. Be sure to ask about whether or not the firm helps with obtaining the permit.

Q: When do I need to do more than clear a block?
A: You can start to resolve wastewater problems by trying to clear a drain. Often, homeowners or plumbers will begin by trying to snake a pipe, or use other methods to clear it. If you cannot clear the blockage and get the fixture running again, or if the blockage recurs frequently, it may be time to check the sewer line. If you have sewage showing up outside, a bad sewage smell, or other obvious signs, it may be time to replace the sewer line.

Q: What’s the different between a sewage line and a septic tank?
A: A sewage line connects the individual house to a municipal wastewater system. The wastewater is carried through pipes to facilities that can process the wastewater. With a septic tank, the waste is piped from the house into a tank on the property and stored. Once the tank is full, it must be pumped dry before more can be added. If the municipality’s sewage system reaches the house with a septic tank, the house can be converted from a septic tank to the sewage system. Some sewer line contractors and plumbers specialize in these conversions.

Q: What is the environmental impact of using pipe relining?
A: The material used to reline pipes is epoxy-based and safe for the environment.

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