Essential Drain Repair FAQ’s

Drain issues are nothing to take lightly. They can lead to overflows, burst pipes, and costly water damage. There are even times when your health and safety can be put on the line. Here, we’ll answer common drain repair questions we receive from our clients in the Colorado Springs area.

What Are the Symptoms of a Clogged Drain?

Many don’t realize at what point their drain starts to clog. Blockages often begin as partial clogs, so your sink or tub may start to drain slowly. A total blockage will prevent it from draining at all. You might also notice odors. The deeper the clog, the more impact it will have. If it’s in the sewer line, your sink may back up when the toilet is flushed.

Can I Unclog a Drain on My Own?

That depends on the cause of the problem. Some home remedies include plunging or snaking a drain, or using baking soda and vinegar, but these don’t always address the root cause. Chemical drain cleaners can be irritating and even harm your plumbing system. Your best option is often professional drain repair to locate and permanently resolve the situation.

How Do the Professionals Do It?

A plumber can use a professional-grade auger to push debris through the drain or pull it out. Hydro jetting uses high pressure and water to force clogs through pipes and clean any buildup on interior pipe walls. If these methods still don’t resolve the matter, video cameras can be used to inspect your plumbing from the inside to determine the precise location of the issue, its scope and the best way to fix it.

What Can a Video Pipe Inspection Reveal?

Cameras don’t lie. As the technician draws the equipment through your plumbing via a flexible line, video is transmitted to a monitor. It can show cracks, leaky joints and fittings, corrosion, buildup, a collapsed pipe, and other problems. A plumber can also determine the exact location of a blockage or damage.

What Causes a Drain to Clog Up?

Drains are often clogged by hair, soap, toothpaste, skin lotions, and oils. Cooking grease can solidify in drains and pipes. Another common issue is mineral buildup from hard water. A broken water pipe can also trigger drainage issues in addition floods, higher water bills, and often the sound of running water from walls. 

Can I Stop a Drain Clog from Happening?

You can protect your drains with items like sink strainers, which stop materials from entering the drain and causing a clog in the first place. Don’t allow oil and grease to wash down the drain. Wait for them to harden in the pan and discard in the garbage. You can stop a toilet from clogging by flushing only toilet paper. If you have lots of debris in the kitchen, use the garbage disposal to break it up. But clogs still happen over time; just be aware of the signs and when to call a professional for drain repair.

Why Do I Have a Smelly Floor Drain?

Floor drains in the basement, garage, or other lowest part of the home remove water from the entire building. They’re also closest to the sewer line. In a floor drain is a trap. It’s typically filled with water to prevent sewer odors from backing up. If you smell sewage, or the drain is slow or backing up, hire a drain repair professional right away.

What If Outdoor Plumbing Issues Are Causing Drainage Problems?

Historically, outdoor plumbing problems have been more challenging to locate and fix. At One Source Home Service, we use the latest techniques to assess your outdoor drainage system and sewer lines. Our team can find blockages and damaged pipe quickly. Oftentimes, pipe bursting, trenchless sewer repair, and other non-invasive methods are used.

When Is It Time to Call a Professional?

Any drain clog, even a slow drain, should be addressed ASAP. Unless you can resolve a drain issue, contact your local plumber for help. Even small drain clogs can cause a water backup or sewage in your home, which is a hazardous situation that can lead to expensive cleanup and repairs.

Call One Source Home Service Today

We are drain and plumbing repair specialists in Colorado Springs. Available 24/7, we can address emergencies and resolve any issue fast. Drains are always in use and prone to problems, but we use repair methods and equipment that help reduce the chances of future clogs. To request drain repair or other emergency plumbing services, call 719-532-9000.

What Is a Drain Machine?

A drain machine is a mechanical tool that can remove clogs and unblock drains and pipes. It’s an alternative to using chemical drain cleaners that can harm plumbing. Depending on the type, the machine may be powered by hand, a gasoline engine, or electric motor. Most use a cable designed for cleaning out drains, so the size of the drain may determine the exact type of machine to use.

After World War II, pipes made of galvanized iron became more common. The zinc used to protect the steel was prone to corrosion, causing plaques and rust to form and clogging the drain or water line. At this point drain cleaners became prominent. But even as copper and plastic pipe started replacing iron in the 1960s, hair, oils, and grease among other culprits still caused trouble, and thus many types of drain cleaning machines came to be.

Types of Drain Machines

Plumbers use several different types of drain machines. Each has its own unique functions, although all are intended to achieve the same goal. They include:

  • Handheld Drain Augers: Require mechanical force to drive a cable into the drain. This cable can be up to 25 feet long. Some augers can be used for sink traps, while closet augers are more suited for toilets. Best-suited for small-diameter plumbing pipes, handheld augers are easily found in hardware stores.
  • Sectional Cable Machines: Sectional cables are rotated by the machine in the pipe, while the power auger unit is kept separate until the pipe is completely clean. These wound cables are typically 4 to 8 feet long but can be up to 15 feet. Separating the power unit from the cables makes the system easier to transport.
  • Continuous Cable Machines: A drum contains the cable and is contained within the power auger unit. The cable can be 25, 50, or 100 feet long or longer. Cables don’t have to be added while the machine is operated, saving time. If the unit has a fully enclosed drum, it won’t splatter sewer waste.
  • Air Burst Drain Cleaners: Use accelerated gas, usually carbon dioxide, that pushes standing water to break the clog free. The process works fast and can dislodge blockages located farther down the plumbing line than a plunger. However, this only applies to pipes with standing water inside.
  • Electric Drain Cleaners: Mechanical plumber’s snakes that use a motor to twist flexible cable and drive it into a pipe. Cable lengths can extend beyond 250 feet. This type of drain machine can therefore clean long sections of sewer lines and even remove tree roots and other solid objects. It can also work around 90-degree bends.
  • Hydro-Mechanical Drain Cleaners: Hydro jetting systems that break up clogs with high-pressure water. What’s left of the blockage is flushed through the line. Some units work with hot and cold water. High-pressure sewer jetting equipment can effectively clear pipe around curved or angular sections.

Key Specifications to Consider

In addition to drain size and cable length, important specifications for drain machines include line capacity. This is the diameter and length of cable used with the power supply. Drum capacity is how long a cable the unit’s drum can hold. Motor/engine power is also an important factor, and is generally expressed in horsepower (hp) and RPM, or the maximum speed of the motor or engine. Weight is important for most contractors, as it has a direct impact on portability.

Contact One Source Home Service

Our team uses the latest, most effective drain cleaning equipment. We use advanced drain machines to clear simple clogs and address more serious blockages deeper in drain and sewer lines. If you have a sudden overflow of water, a sewer backup, or just a stubborn clog, contact us for drain cleaning in Colorado Springs. For emergency drain cleaning and other plumbing services, call 719-532-9000 today.

The Importance of Air Quality Testing in Colorado

Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can affect your comfort, well-being, and health. It can impact homes, offices, hospitals, or any occupied structure or building. There are many types of pollutants that can concentrate in indoor air. We will explore the importance of air quality testing in Colorado and how it can help you take control of the quality of air in your home.

Elements of an Indoor Air Quality Problem

IAQ issues can be grouped into categories. Although these often overlap, knowing the definition and effects of each can help identify specific problems to look for and address. The general categories include:

  • Reduced Comfort: The indoor environment may feel too hot, too cold, stuffy, drafty, or smelly if indoor air quality is poor. It may also be too noisy or create an uncomfortable feeling of closeness.
  • Symptoms: Eye, mouth, and nose irritation, as well as issues such as upper respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea, lethargy, and reduced concentration, are symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome. They’re usually present after entering a building and go away when a person leaves.
  • Illnesses: Prolonged exposure to concentrated indoor pollutants can lead to illnesses such as asthma, legionnaire’s disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and others. Whether some or most occupants may be affected, the long-term consequences can be permanent and, in some cases, fatal.

IAQ Testing Helps Determine What Is Polluting Your Home

There are numerous contributors to poor IAQ and oftentimes a home or structure is affected by more than one of them. Both natural and man-made pollutants can contaminate the air. These include emissions and chemicals released by household appliances. Common pollutants, like nitrogen dioxide, also come from burning fossil fuels. Carbon monoxide is another harmful pollutant found in homes that is deadly in high concentrations.

Other pollutants that air quality testing can help identify include:

  • Mold is found in warm, moist environments can trigger allergies and lead to asthma.
  • Allergens are released by domestic pets as well as dust mites, cockroaches, and mice.
  • Radon, a radioactive gas that can be present in the soil and atmosphere.
  • Asbestos, a fibrous silicate material that can damage the lungs and cause cancer.
  • Secondhand smoke from tobacco products, contains thousands of harmful substances.
  • Smoke from wildfires, which contains gases and particulates that pose various health risks.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints, adhesives, cleaners, and varnishes.
  • Formaldehyde, a colorless, flammable gas with a strong smell and used in home furnishings, building materials, and as a preservative in some cosmetics, dishwashing liquids, and medicines.

In addition, humidity that’s too high or too low, or indoor temperature that’s too high or too low, can be unhealthy and is considered an air quality problem.

Short-term symptoms of indoor pollutants can be bothersome. Many can also have long-term effects such as cancer, respiratory illness, and heart disease. You can therefore see how air quality testing can have an impact on your overall quality of life.

How Can Testing Help Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air quality testing in Colorado can identify specific pathogens and improvements that can be made. For example, if harmful gases and VOCs are present, you can increase ventilation and use air conditioners and fans more effectively. Testing can determine whether you need to change HVAC filters more frequently. Taking steps to adjust humidity levels can also make a big difference. 

At One Source Home Service, we provide air quality testing in Colorado and solutions that can address a wide range of environmental pollutants.

Contact Us Today

We’re here to help if you have an indoor air quality problem. In addition to air conditioning, heating, plumbing, ductwork, and electrical services, our company offers a complete set of Indoor Air Quality Services. You can reach us 24/7 by filling out our online contact form or calling 719-532-9000.

Does Plumber’s Putty Harden?

Plumber’s putty, used to create watertight seals around faucets, drains, and sink fixtures, does in fact harden. It’s an easier solution than caulk that can be difficult remove if necessary. Plumber’s putty is therefore convenient. Here, we’ll explain how to properly use it and what to do if it hardens.

Inexpensive and widely available, the putty usually comes in a little plastic tub. It’s soft and pliable allowing you to apply it by:

  • Forming Putty Rope: Remove some putty from the container and roll it back and forth in the palms of your hands. The longer the gap to fill, the longer the rope should be.
  • Placing It Around the Part: Lay one end of the putty rope and work in a loop until both ends meet. Start over and make a longer rope if it’s too short; if you have too much, you can always tear off the excess.
  • Press It into Place: Press gently and don’t deform the putty. Apply just enough pressure so the putty holds when you turn the part over. When you place the part, it will flatten and create a seal.
  • Install the Part: If you’ve used enough putty, some will squeeze out from the edges of the part. Tighten it all the way and wipe away any excess putty that appears. If clean, it can be reused later.

Can I Still Use Hardened Plumber’s Putty?

Even in a tightly sealed container, plumber’s putty can harden after several months or years. Your first instinct may be to purchase a new tub. If it’s dried out or cracks when being shaped, it might be best to buy more putty.

However, there are options when your plumber’s putty hardens. Instead of buying more, you can:

Soak It in Water

Keep the putty in its container or place it in a jar. Pour lukewarm water over it and let it soak overnight. In the morning, fill a large bowl with hot water and place the container inside. Try to fold and squeeze the putty until it softens.

Add Water and Hand Lotion

Place some putty on a clean flat surface. While wearing gloves, mix about 2 tablespoons of water into the putty and kneed it by hand. It should start to become pliable. Then squirt some hand lotion into the plumber’s putty to soften it up even more.

Cover It in Linseed Oil

Let the oil soak the putty for a day or two. Then try to knead the mixture into a desired texture, while wearing gloves. This should make the putty pliable once again. As an alternative, you can use cooking oil.

Microwave It

Place the hardened plumber’s putty into a microwaveable bowl and add some hair gel. Start kneading it to soften the compound. Then microwave it for 2 minutes and let it cool; then check its consistency. The process can be repeated until you get the softness you want. 

Can I Prevent Plumber’s Putty from Hardening?

It’s conceivable that replacing the lid will keep the putty soft. But it can still harden after a few months if not used. Hardening can be prevented by pouring water on the plumber’s putty before securing the lid. The air-tight seal can keep the putty malleable. 

The material should stay soft for significantly longer. To use the putty again, open the lid, pour out the water, and absorb the rest with a cloth or paper towel. You can then reuse the putty as needed. It never fully dries and is not an adhesive. It’s therefore not strong enough or suited for use on pipes. 

How Long Does Plumber’s Putty Take to Set?

It takes a few hours for plumber’s putty to set. You can use a drain or tap immediately after installing the putty, although waiting a few hours may yield the best results. The putty will expand so might create a tighter seal.

Contact One Source Home Service for Plumbing Help

We provide all types of plumbing repairs and installation in Colorado Springs. From drain cleaning to kitchen and bathroom remodeling, to 24/7 emergency plumbing services, our licensed technicians are prepared for anything. To request service, reach out to us online or call 719-532-9000.

Get the Most Out of Your Air Conditioner This Summer!

If you have air conditioning, you’re probably enjoying it a lot these days. However, if you’re like most homeowners, you hate paying for the energy that your A/C unit uses. Here are some ways to make the most out of the money you spend on cooling costs. 

Choose a Venting Strategy

Depending on how your home is laid out and where your vents are, you may choose to close some of them at different times of day. You can cool the downstairs when you’re there, then cool the upstairs at night. You may also want to close vents that lead to bathrooms or laundry rooms where you don’t really need cold air.

Unblock Your Vents

Make sure the vents you want to use aren’t covered or blocked in any way. This can keep your cold air from circulating as designed. Remove furniture, drapes, baskets, and more to clear the way!

Use Fans Wisely

Both ceiling fans and portable fans can help you stay cooler. Fans are designed to cool people, not air. If you’re in a room with a fan, it can help you stay cooler by moving the air against your skin, but it won’t help you lower the temperature of the room. Turn on fans when you’re in a room, then turn them off when you leave. Make sure your fans are spinning the proper direction for summer!

If you need help getting the most out of your air conditioning this summer, call us at One Source Home Service today!

The Benefits of A/C Maintenance

At One Source Home Service, we can help you with all of your air conditioning needs. We’ll keep your A/C unit in top shape so you and your family can stay cool this summer.

Not sure if A/C maintenance is the best way to invest your money right now? We know you want to invest every dollar you spend wisely. Here’s what you might gain if you choose air conditioning maintenance today. 

Save Energy

Part of our maintenance process involves cleaning dust and debris out of your air conditioner and air conditioning system. When we remove this, the unit doesn’t have to work as hard to suck in the air that it needs. Since it’s not working as hard, it won’t use as much energy. This may seem insignificant but many of our customers see energy usage go down quite a bit.

Save Money

If you’re using less energy to keep your A/C running, you’ll save money on energy costs, too. While we can’t tell you exactly how A/C maintenance will affect your energy usage, we can look at your unit and tell you if we think you might save significantly. 

Stay Cooler 

When your air conditioner is working efficiently, it may be able to keep your house cooler and to make sure every room gets as cool as you need it to. You can stay more comfortable at home when you invest in A/C maintenance today.

Call us at One Source Home Service and we’ll get your air conditioning maintenance completed ASAP!


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