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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

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

Photo: Oak Plumbing Inc. (2017)

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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James Burton is general manager of Oak Plumbing Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 652-9121 or by email.

James Burton

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

James Burton: True Survivor

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BENICIA — Before he was general manager of Oak Plumbing Inc., James Burton handled logistics for major corporate accounts—no small responsibility, to be sure. “In my prior career, I ran massive warehouses on huge accounts for clients like Honeywell and Hewlett-Packard,” he details. “One of the biggest accounts I managed was a billion-dollar vaccine program. It wasn’t unusual for me to be managing up to 400 employees at one time.”

So, how did someone accustomed to handling such large-scale operations end up working at a small plumbing company? As James relates, it resulted from the combination of a lifelong friendship and a life-altering event. “I’ve been friends with Matt Harris, the owner of Oak Plumbing, for about 30 years. What’s more, he saved my life. When I was 30, I found out I had stage 4 cancer and, if I didn’t get to a specialist immediately, I might be dead within a couple of days. When my insurance company declined to cover an airlift or ambulance transport, Matt rushed me from Nevada to San Francisco in his car to get me the care I needed. He was there for me throughout my recuperation as well. Incredibly, I made a complete recovery, and now I’m totally cancer-free.”

Following his recovery, James took the opportunity to reboot his professional livelihood. “Matt and I always wanted to work together, but it just never worked out,” he explains. “When Matt started Oak Plumbing in 2016, I helped out as a consultant, assisting him with things like corporate structure and process. Eventually, it made sense for us to work together on a permanent basis, so I joined the company and have been working here ever since.”

Today, as general manager of Oak Plumbing, James says his favorite part of his job is having a positive impact. “One thing I like about working in the service industry is the opportunity to help people and be a positive presence in their lives, if only for a short while. When you have a chance to interact with someone and improve their day, it feels very validating.”

A resident of Rocklin (where he lives with his wife, Maricar, and their two children, Camille and James), James spends his free time on a variety of active pastimes. “I’m not the type of person who likes to sit still, so if I’m not working or having family time, I’m usually busy with one of my hobbies,” he affirms. “My main hobby is creating independent comic books for a company called Scattered Comics. I make appearances at comic conventions and have won a few awards for the books I’ve done.” James’ other pastimes include restoring vintage vehicles (“I have a 1976 Harley that I’ve been rebuilding forever.”) and teaching kung fu.

In regard to a personal philosophy, James espouses the power of a positive mindset. “When I began cancer treatment, the doctor explained that if I didn’t maintain a positive mindset, the stress would cause a chemical reaction that would destroy my immune system and I wouldn’t survive. Afterward, I was sitting there with Matt and I said, ‘What did I do wrong to make this happen to me?’ He replied, ‘You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re a good person, and bad things are always trying to bring good people down. It’s up to you to decide how you’re going to respond to this bad thing.’ That had a big impact on me, and it helped me change my mindset. I’d never been a very positive person, but I now saw that it was up to me whether I was going to be a victim or a survivor. That was the second time Matt saved my life.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, James says he’d devote more time to the people and pastimes he loves. “As a cancer survivor, I feel that I’m living on borrowed time, so I try to make the most of it. On that note, if I retired from my job, I would spend more time on my two favorite pastimes: being with my family and creating comics.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite book?

A: “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman.

Q: Music or talk radio?

A: I love music, but these days I mostly listen to podcasts. I have a really long commute, and listening to podcasts gives me a chance to learn something new and make the most of that time in the car.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: Both.

Q: Do you have a favorite movie?

A: My all-time favorite movie is “Army of Darkness.” However, a more recent favorite is “Logan,” which I appreciated in a way I never thought I would. A superhero infected with cancer, watching his surrogate father die—it hit pretty close to home.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of food?

A: I really love Asian food and Mexican food. I married into a Filipino family, so Asian food is a staple. On the other hand, you can’t beat a good taco!

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Thinking Proactively About Your Plumbing System


BENICIA — When it comes to maintaining your home, one of the best things you can do is think proactively. The health of your home is just like the health of your body. Most of us tend to think proactively about our… Read more

Understanding Supply Valves


BENICIA — Supply valves facilitate the distribution of water from the pipes in your walls to your home’s various plumbing fixtures. One common type of supply valve is called an angle stop, which is used to deliver water to sinks and toilets.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Understanding Supply Valves

Complete Video Transcription:

BENICIA — Host, Sarah Rutan: Supply valves may be a minor part of your plumbing system, but ignoring them can lead to costly consequences. Today we’re in Benicia… Read more

Rod Tehrani is owner of Absolute Plumbing and Drain, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 267-8561 or by email.

Rod Tehrani

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Rod Tehrani: A Technical Advancement

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — After eight years of working construction, Rod Tehrani felt it was time to advance to something a little more technical. “I decided to look into plumbing,” he relates. “At first, it was a lot more grunt work than technical, but that changed with time. The more I learned about the intricate aspects of the profession, the more I enjoyed it. Eventually, I got hired by the county as a crew leader for underground pipe replacement projects. In 2002, I started my own plumbing business, and it has been growing ever since.”

Today, as owner of Absolute Plumbing and Drain, Rod says his favorite part of his job is the daily challenges. “Every day brings new situations and new problems to solve. Even if the job is basically the same, the unique situation can differ significantly. I enjoy troubleshooting and finding solutions to challenging problems.”

Originally from Iran, Rod came to the United States in 1995 and currently resides in the East Bay Area. “Transitioning from life in Iran to life in the U.S. wasn’t exactly smooth,” he says. “I had a business degree, but back then it wasn’t recognized in the U.S., so I basically had to start over from scratch. What I appreciated most was the fact that I was accepted here, despite being from a totally different culture. I will always be appreciative of the people who accepted me for who I am and helped me get on my feet.”

In regard to his professional career, Rod espouses the importance of going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. “I’m not worried about being the biggest or most profitable plumbing company; I’m more concerned about making our customers happy,” he affirms. “Sometimes that means going the extra mile. For example, I recently did a job where I was at the customers’ home until 9:30pm, just so I could make sure they had running water before I left. They couldn’t believe I was willing to stay that long, but they were very appreciative. Driving home, I was tired but happy. That’s the kind of feeling that’s more rewarding than money.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Rod says he’d take a cruise. “I work six days a week, so if I retired, I’d definitely take some time to relax. Maybe I’d go on a cruise to Costa Rica. Of course, I’d want to keep the business running with my guys, so I probably wouldn’t retire completely. Maybe I’d just transition into a less hands-on role.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: The Cheesecake Factory in Walnut Creek.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Watches.

Q: If could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would go to the past, when life was more slow-paced. These days, it feels like we’re chasing our lives to get to the end. I miss the simpler, slower times.

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An Important Pre-Purchase Property Inspection


CONCORD — An important part of buying a new home is performing pre-purchase property inspections. These inspections verify that the home is in good condition and help rule out any unwanted (and expensive) surprises. One pre-purchase inspection I highly recommend is a… Read more

The Advantages of an Earthquake Safety Valve


CONCORD — Due to high levels of seismic activity, earthquake safety is no small matter in the Bay Area. If you’re a homeowner, this means ensuring your home is structurally reinforced with supplementary measures like bolting and bracing. It’s also a good… Read more

Two Often-Overlooked Plumbing Components


CONCORD — Even minor plumbing system components can cause major problems if ignored. Here are two often-overlooked plumbing components you should be aware of: Washing machine hoses Few people think about the rubber hoses that deliver water to their washing… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Sewer Lateral Inspection

Complete Video Transcription:

CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: Before purchasing a new home, there’s an important inspection you’ll want to have performed. To learn more, we’re in Concord with Lindsay Guay… Read more




  • Kohler

  • Lennox

  • Moen

  • TOTO

  • Daiken

  • Mitsubishi

  • Noritz

  • QuietCool

Birds Landing
Green Valley
Liberty Farms
Maine Prairie
Mare Island
Nut Tree
Rio Vista
Suisun City
Travis Air Force Base


American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) (www.abpa.org/)
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) (www.aspe.org/)
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) (www.asse-plumbing.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)…

American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) (www.abpa.org/)
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) (www.aspe.org/)
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) (www.asse-plumbing.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO) (www.iapmo.org/)
NSF International (NSF) (www.nsf.org/)
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California (PHCC) (www.caphcc.org/)
Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) (www.pmihome.org/)
South Bay Piping Industry (www.sbaypipe.org/)
United Association (UA) (www.ua.org/)

Know What You Want
When Do You Need a Solano County Sewer Line Contractor?

If your plumbing problem won’t go away or gets worse, you will want to call in someone who can figure the problem for you. As you prepare to call in a sewer line contractor in Solano County, whether in Suisun City, Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, Vacaville, Allendale, Rio Vista, Dixon, Green Valley, Collinsville, or Green Valley, there are some things you can ask yourself to get a better understanding of the situation. No plumbing crisis is fun, but you might be able to face it better if you have a list of questions already ready. 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. Is there a pattern of recurring behavior with the problem, or is this the first time?
  3. Do I know whether my house has cleanouts or not? And where they are located?
  4. Is it important to me to save a tree that is affecting my sewer line?
  5. How long has the problem been happening?
  6. Are there external signs of a problem, such as toilet paper in the yard?
  7. Do I use the city sewer system or do I have a septic tank?
  8. Are my sewer lines isolated or are they close to gas lines or clean water lines?
  9. Is the problem based around a single fixture, or are multiple fixtures involved? For example, is the toilet backing up into the tub?
  10. Are there trees or bushes that are growing along where the sewer line runs?
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What To Ask In Person
When You Ask a Solano County Sewer Line Contractor Questions in Person

An in-person meeting between you and your Solano County sewer line contractor will probably happen when a representative come to the house 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 Solano County, whether in Suisun City, Vallejo, Benicia, Vacaville, Fairfield, Green Valley, or Allendale, to take a good before offering an estimate. When the sewer line contractor arrives, 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 written down in advance can be helpful in the midst of a stressful situation. Some questions like the following might make sense.

  1. Can you help me locate a cleanout?
  2. How close is my property to the city sewer hook-up? Will there be extra costs to connect to it?
  3. If you are making a repair, not a replacement, will that area of the pipe be more vulnerable to future damage?
  4. Can you access the site with whatever equipment you need to perform the repair?
  5. How long do you think the job will take?
  6. Why are you recommending a replacement – can you just repair the portion of the sewer line that is damaged?
  7. 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?
  8. Do you think you can perform trenchless replacement here? Or will a trench be required?
  9. 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?
  10. How quickly can you start the job?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for References

    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 Solano County and the greater Bay Area, 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. How long has the sewer line repair or sewer line replacement been installed? Have you noticed any problems after the service visit?
    2. Did you have an open trench repair? Or did you use trenchless repair methods?
    3. Did the sewer line contractor explain the materials being used, how long they should last, their environmental impact?
    4. I don’t have a cleanout. Do you? If not, how was your sewer line accessed?
    5. 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?
    6. Were you satisfied with the sewer line contractor’s work? Why or why not?
    7. 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?
    8. Did your contractor clearly explain why a replacement was required instead of a repair?
    9. What was the issue? How could you tell you needed a sewer line repair or replacement as opposed to removing a one-time block?
    10. Did the sewer line contractor work with the proper authorities to help you get any required permits?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Good Sewer Line Contractor in Solano County

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

    Your choice of sewer line contractor … So before deciding on the best sewer line contractor in Solano County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

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

    A little preparation will make your choice of contractors that much easier. Begin by requesting written estimates from two or more contractors. Never work with a contractor who won’t provide a written estimate. Look for contractors who show expertise and have some years of experience in working with sewer lines. Be sure the contractor has an up-to-date license. You can verify the status of the license, including whether there are any complaints against it, by going to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) Web site. See if the company has a physical address and make sure that it is real. It’s always good to have more than one way 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.

    Now That You’ve Selected a Solano County Sewer Line Contractor
    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 sign a contract based on “guesstimates.” A proper contractor will take the time to locate the exact problem. If the sewer line contractor suggests that the pipes be jet cleaned before the camera is used, ask whether there are additional charges.

    Your Solano County sewer line contractor should be able to explain what choices you have when it comes to resolving the plumbing problems. If you want to use a trenchless technique, ask about it. If a trench is required by your circumstances, ask your sewer line contractor to clearly explain why the trench is the only method that will work. Be sure to agree with your sewer line contractor about the state your property should be left in after the repair. Should the holes and trenches be filled and leveled? Make sure you understand whether the sewer line contractor will replace any uprooted landscaping or not. Most often, the sewer line contractor will only be responsible for filling the trenches, but make sure you understand what the contractor will and won’t do.

    Trees and bushes are tricky enough that you might want a separate conversation about them. Do you want to keep the trees or shrubs that are growing on your property? Is it possible for the sewer line contractor to remove roots that are causing the problem for your sewer line without killing the tree? Does the contractor have to recommend that the trees or shrubs be removed completely to prevent further recurrences of the problem? Be clear about whether you want to keep the tree or whether you have no qualms about its being torn out. In some cases, you may have no alternative but to remove the tree. Above all, it’s important to discuss your expectations with your Solano County sewer line contractor, whether you live in Suisun City, Vallejo, Fairfield, Benicia, Vacaville, Dixon, or Allendale.

    Making a Job Easier for Your Solano County Sewer Line Contractor
    You can make contributions so that your Solano County sewer line contractor finds that the job is running smoothly. Look around for your cleanout or cleanouts. If you can, find out where the gas pipes and clean water lines are so that you can be sure they are not placed near or on top of your sewer line. If the sewer line contractor will be working from a cleanout situated in the house, make it as easy as possible to access that cleanout. If there are weeds obstructing an outdoor cleanout, try to remove them before the job begins.

    Use the written estimate and contract to capture all the project’s phases. 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. Try to avoid coming up with new issues in the middle of the project. You’ll find enough unexpected issues will occur, so be sure to resolve the known issues before you run into new ones. 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 Solano County sewer line contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the sewer line contractor. 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 Solano County, 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 Solano County 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
Use the Estimate and Contract to Check the Solano County Sewer Line Contractor’s Work

You should work with your Solano County sewer line contractor to create detailed estimates and contracts. Get the estimate and contract written in as much significant detail as possible. For example a specification like: “open two holes, insert PVC liner, steam liner into place, remove bladder after liner is cured,” is better than one that simply reads: “install trenchless replacement.” The detail puts you in a better position to evaluate what has been completed and what has yet to be completed. Don’t hesitate to examine the completed work, if you want to. Cameras should allow you to see into the pipe to be sure that it isn’t blocked, or that pipe is completely lined with the new liner. Make sure the written contract covers how your property should appear after the repair – for example, should all holes be refilled and leveled? Make sure that your property is in the state you expected it to left in.

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Written Warranties
Getting the Warranty from a Solano County Sewer Line Contractor

Ask for about a warranty if you do not get one automatically – most plumbers and sewer line contractors provide them. Examine the warranty for both coverage and exclusions. For example, the ground may freeze and the sewer line may be damaged as a result of that freezing. Will repairing the pipe be covered or is that circumstance considered to be outside the contractor’s control? Such conditions are often spelled out in the warranty – sometimes in general language. Be sure you understand what the blanket language is covering and what it is not.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests

Don’t let a sewer line problem become an overwhelming problem. The best sewer line contractors in Solano County, whether in Suisun City, Vallejo, Vacaville, Fairfield, Benicia, Allendale, Collinsville, or Green Valley, respond promptly and with expertise. They even offer services designed to help prevent emergencies.

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.

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.

Tree Roots
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
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.

Proper Toilet Flush
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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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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 sewer line contractor should use the camera to determine exactly where the problem is before starting to dig or repair the issue.

Q: Do I need a licensed contractor?
A: Yes, in California, you should get a licensed sewer line 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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