Thorough indoor and outdoor house inspection is a critical piece of due diligence that you should do as a home buyer. However, very few home buyers ask for a sewer inspection before buying their dream home. In fact, most buyers do not think about sewer inspections since it is buried in the ground and it requires special equipment to inspect and with all the excitement surrounding buying a house. Most of the focus is usually on getting a home inspection, and sewer lines are almost an after-thought if buyers think about them at all. Unfortunately, the sewer inspections remain one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should conduct. Flatirons Plumbing is proud to announce that we now offer professional sewer inspection services using the most advanced tools available today.


The time to inspect if a sewer is faulty or needs replacement is before purchasing a home, not after payment. Prudent home buyers will always choose to invest in professional sewer line inspection, regardless of the age of the house. We recommend that you do a thorough sewer inspection for homes older than 20 years. This is because tree roots can still clog up a 20-year-old sewer line. As tree roots go in search for water, they often times grow into sewer lines and expand causing a blockade and potential backup. Roots crawl into tiny openings in the sewer line, growing around other debris such as grease or eggshell waste that typically causes backups. Sometimes chemicals can kill the tree’s roots, but if the roots reappear, the pipe may be damaged and require excavation to fix the problem.

Sewer backups are quite nasty and expensive, backup events are especially discouraging when they occur in a recently purchased home. Repairing a sewer line can also be extremely expensive, as it requires a bit of manpower for excavations and potentially street/sidewalk repairs. The cost of sewer line repair can cost about $5000, and if it gets to the street, costs can quickly reach two or three times that. Sewer repairs are considered the single most expensive repairs you could face as a homeowner. At Flatirons Plumbing, we provide expert sewer inspection analysis using multiple devices to ensure that you are protected from nasty sewer backups.


Your home’s side sewer contains the pipeline that exits the home and joins up with the community sewer main, usually located in the middle of the street. Some of the oldest homes were constructed with sewer pipes made of clay. This changed around the mid-20th century, to concrete. Clay and concrete pipes (builders switched to plastic in the late 70’s-early 80’s) are often susceptible to cracks and tree root infiltration at the joints between pipe sections. As plastic PVC pipes are glued together, they are impervious to roots. This doesn’t make them invincible as new plastic pipes may have issues too, including cracks, shifting pipes and low spots. We have encountered new houses with plastic lines that were crushed by trucks driving over them, or coming apart when contractors forgot to glue a joint.


Flatirons Plumbing offers top-notch sewer inspection services, you can simply place a call and ask for one of our professional plumbers. We work by using a camera to inspect your sewer line for obstructions and breaks. We will dispatch a professional to snake our video camera equipment into the clean-out and guide the camera through the sewer. By doing this, we will find out if the sewer line is clean or clogged and our on-site inspectors will disclose the condition of your sewer and what to do next. We also offer more in-depth information like what kind of material was used to construct the sewer line and whether that type of material is considered good construction today. The costs of an inspection when compared to that of replacing a sewer line, is money well spent.

If you have any questions or ready to schedule an appointment with Flatirons Plumbing, we will be ready to help you.

Plumbing Tip: How to prevent burst piping

Plumbing Tip: How can I prevent Burst Piping and Repair?

Burst pipes can cause devastating damage to your house and furniture. As with most systems, prevention is by far the best solution. In order to assist you with this prevention, we have highlighted several key things you can do to minimize the damage below.

  1. Ensure you know exactly where your stopcock is, as you may need this information in an emergency. Ask your landlord or building superintendent if you do not know where your stopcock is or how to operate it.
  2. Make sure that all outside taps and piping devices are insulated, including drain pipes for heating and overflow pipes. Make sure you do not leave any joints, bends or taps exposed. You can use insulating lagging or foam for this task.
  3. Pipes that are buried in the ground need to be buried deep enough to withstand the cold weather and/or lag. Examples are pipes the go to garages or sheds.
  4. Set the heating to a minimum of 12 degrees centigrade (or about 54 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times during the cold weather. This will ensure that your piping system is warm enough to keep the water flowing, which prevents pipes from bursting.
  5. Locate and fix all dripping taps or plumbing leaks before the cold season. The most common cause of burst pipes are due to leaks in the system.
  6. Service your Central Heating System regularly.
  7. If you happen to leave your home unoccupied for any length of time, ensure that you turn off the stopcock, drain any water from your pipes and close the taps. If possible, leave your heating on.

By chance, you notice any signs of a burst pipe, make sure you get in touch with a local emergency plumber who will carry out repairs and advise you further. Flatirons Plumbing is always available to help you with all your plumbing problems, give us a call today for excellent service.

4 steps to unclog sewer line

Solution to unclog sewer line in 4 steps with a plumbing snake tool

unclog sewer lineIf you take your handyman skills very seriously and are still looking for some easy solutions to unclogging sewer line, here is a step by step guide on how to fix this type of problem. For this type of problem, we really recommend calling the experts, as this is a big and important task to get done right the first time. Please be aware that as a result of differences in manufactures and country regulations, some components may have different names depending on where you’re living.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 1

Locate the problem by first looking for the main sewer line inside your house. Depending on your home’s drainage layout, it may be located in more than one place. If you don’t know what your main sewer line looks like, you can look for a pipe with a threaded plastic nut bulging from the wall or underground.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 2

Be ready to get your hands dirty and have a bucket ready for spill outs. Before opening the nut, suspend a bucket to the base of the sewer pipe or drip pan to avoid spillage. Be prepared as this will be a very messy job.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 3

With preparation done, you can now unscrew the sewer drain plug with a pair of channel lock pliers or a wrench. Do this by turning the plug screw counter-clockwise until it is loose enough to unscrew by hand. Unscrew the nut and allow wastes and water to flow into the bucket. It’s best to have a rug or mop ready in case of overflows.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 4

Now comes the tricky part of unclogging the drain with a snake tool. After connecting your snake tool, feed the cable into the gutter until it stops at an obstruction. Turn on the device and unclog the sewer line using the forward button. You have to keep a firm grip on the device while the snake tool works its way into the pipes. Whenever the machine stops, you can press the reverse button for a couple of seconds and then use the forward motion again. You may have to carry out this process over and over until you have free movement of the tool.

Alternatively, sewer repair can be a complicated and dirty job. In a lot of cases, your pipes may be damaged and not just clogged. Flatirons Plumbing has many ways of fixing various plumbing situations and is always ready for emergency plumbing services to help unclog your sewer line anytime.

Let Flatirons Plumbing help you with a clogged sewer line.

unclog sewer line

Let Flatirons Plumbing help you with a clogged sewer line.

When you get a clogged sewer line, you will notice issues with waste water draining from the house. This is an issue that requires an instant solution. Any delay in contacting professional service can result in disaster. A clogged main sewer line may cause waste water to back up from sinks, showers, toilets and every other water openings in your house. Clogs may also cause a gurgling sound and occasional shaking from your drains. Call Flatirons Plumbing if you ever see signs like your toilet water bubbling, water backing up from your tub or shower when you flush, or water bubbling from your faucets. We are available to provide assistance whenever you experience indoor or outdoor plumbing-related problems.

What causes sewer line clogging?

Your home’s plumbing system is designed so that water from sinks, showers, toilets and every other water drain in your house is eventually directed through a sewer line to a bigger sewer which you share with your neighborhood. Drains are dirty places and from time to time, due to clogs in these lines, a blockage develops. Water may begin draining from sinks in the house or the gutter openings around your building because of such clogs.

Other reasons for a clogged sewer line include broken pipes, debris and tree roots. These can all hinder proper drainage flow throughout the sewer system. One common cause is tree and shrub roots growing into old sewer pipes in search for water, these may end up causing a ruptured or clogged sewer line. Debris, such as strands of hair, food particles, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products, can catch on small obstructions in the pipes, causing major clog buildups. It really doesn’t matter how it happened, if you have a clogged sewer line then you need professional help. Luckily, Flatirons Plumbing is here to help. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today.

Do you need help with a leaking pipe?

Do you need help with a leaking pipe?

leaking pipe repairIf you notice brown or discolored water in your sink/tub, warm spots in the floor, soaked carpeting, ceilings or walls and abnormally high water bills, you may be experiencing signs of failing and leaking pipes. Some leaks like water fixture or faucet leaks are fairly harmless, but when that leaking pipe or faucet is ignored for months, it can potentially cause you thousands of dollars in water and mold damage repairs for your home or business.

When used as recommended, the copper pipes that are commonly used by contractors in most homes are durable and long-lasting. They are however, not invincible and sometimes develop leaks that can cause damage to your home and businesses. When it comes to a leaking pipe a stitch in time can truly save you a lot. Early pipe leak repair is critical. These leaks can cause significant damage to your home, if not caught and repaired early enough.

Flatirons Plumbing offers inspection, repairs and installation services for all of you home’s pipes and water connections. Just give us a call and we will put you in direct contact with an expert who will listen to your problems and schedule and inspection if needed. In our professional experience the most common places where pipe leaks can occur around the house include bathtubs and showers, drains, sinks, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets. Pipe leaks such as leaking water heaters and dripping faucets are easily obvious. However many leaks often go undetected for years because they are not visible.

It is very important that you call in the experts as soon as possible, when you detect a water leak in your home due to a leaky pipe. We are always available to deliver professional plumbing services and skilled pipe repair.

What can I do?

There are several temporary repairs you can perform to keep your water pipes in working order until permanent repairs can be carried out by an expert. With a temporary fix toilets, sinks and other plumbing fixtures can still remain in use. However, you need to be careful as these temporary fixes are just not meant for long-term use and should never be depended on as a long-term repair.

Simple Leaky Pipe Fixes

  • If you notice a leak in the pipe joint, tighten the joint.
  • If you notice a leak in the pipe itself, you can attempt to remove the damaged section of pipe yourself and replace it.
  • In cases of a minor leak, like a hole in a pipe, you can wrap waterproof tape over the bad spot. Do not depend on this fix for long as it is only a quick, temporary fix.

What causes leaking pipes?

Several factors can cause you to have a leaking pipe. These factors may work alone or act in a combination to affect your piping system. These include:


Corrosion is a major cause of leaking pipes in the house. They are usually caused by chemical reactions, water quality or age. Depending on the level of corrosion, it may affect every aspect of your plumbing fixtures and steps should be taken to repair immediately.


This is the most easily found form of corrosion. Rust is usually found on older galvanized steel pipes. Modern plastic PVC and copper pipes are not vulnerable to rust, but other metal parts of the plumbing fixtures in your home are.


Cracks are rare in modern plumbing, but still possible. The bad side is that they can occur in most any plumbing fixture, and discovering where the crack is can be a chore. If you notice a crack, you should replace the fixture.


Most leaks are as a result of natural wear and tear, as your pipe system can degrade and develop leaks over time. Unfortunately, as placement of pipes are designed to be invisible, and most leaky pipe joints are hidden behind walls and the foundation of your home. This is why you may not notice one until it is too late.

Be assured if you come across a leaking pipe and need a professional plumber, Flatirons Plumbing is just a phone call away for advice or schedule an emergency plumber right away.