Sewer Cleaning & Drain Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning FAQ provides answers to your frequently asked drain cleaning and sewer cleaning questions. For questions not answered here or more information, call (718) 641-1222. One of our sewer and drain cleaning representatives is standing by to answer your questions and provide you with industry leading sewer and drain cleaning. Our parent company, Balkan Plumbing has been maintaining the subsurface utilities in New York City for over 60 years.

How quickly should I expect drain cleaning service for a clog?
Some drain cleaning companies make promises they cannot fulfill, such as service in one hour or less. The timeliness of the sewer cleaning service provided depends on a number of factors. The size of the sewer cleaning company, the area they service, and their in-house infrastructure, are just some factors that determine the response time.

A reputable drain cleaning company should be able to provide an accurate response time to within a half an hour. If delays occur, advanced notice provided to the client is the industry norm. Most service should be able to be provided in one to two hours. This accounts for travel time as well. You would always verify that you are in the drain company’s service area.

What should I expect to pay for sewer and water main cleaning?
Often an exact price is only determined once the nature, and the extent of the problem is diagnosed. However, be forewarned that many firms are reluctant to give a price, and have various contingencies in place in order to change the price after it is quoted.

You should expect to pay what you were quoted with any changes mutually approved. Unless some obvious and unforeseen condition exists, the price should remain intact. If addition equipment is needed, or the reported condition changes, it may be reasonable to expect a change in the quoted price. If you hear the technician saying things such as “I need the big machine”, or “It is further out than what I thought”, it may be one of those times.

How do I deal with tree roots in a drain line?
If tree roots are present in a drain line, it is imperative to take action prior to having a complete blockage. Once the water stops flowing in a pipe, many products can no longer be used. Copper sulfate and the product Root-X are commonly used to kill roots inside a drain pipe. However, they only work if there is a flow of water.

Once completely blocked by roots a drain cleaning machine can frequently open the pipe up on a temporary basis. Future cleanings will be needed, and a possible sewer repair or replacement may be inevitable. Once roots are present, it is almost impossible for a sewer cleaning machine to cut them all out, or for the roots to not grow in again.

Can I prevent clogged drain lines?
There are various ways to help prevent clogged drain lines. They range from common-sense steps like not putting grease, excessive soap, or food down the drain. To placing a strainer on the end of a washing machine drain hose to catch lint and other objects.

Placing a strainer on bathtub and shower drains is also a good idea. Catching hair and other objects before they go down your drain will prevent the need for frequent drain cleaning.

What is water jetting?
A water jet sends highly pressurized water through a nozzle at the end of a hose, which is inserted into the drain line. Water jetting is a relatively recent addition to the array of tools available for drain cleaning service.

Water jetting is ideal for removing grease stoppages from inside a drain pipe. Using a traditional drain cleaning machine typically serves no purpose in dealing with a grease stoppage. A sewer cleaning machine blade will spin around inside the grease stoppage but have no effect in removing it. This is also the case when sediment or debris is inside a drain pipe. In these two particular cases, a water jet can be advisable. In many other cases, it is an added drain cleaning expense that provides no additional benefit.

When should I repair or replace a drain or sewer line?
There are obvious times when a drain or sewer line should be repaired or replaced. One instance, of course, is when the line cannot be cleaned. If heavy and extensive root infiltration exists if should be replaced. Extensive root growth is indicative of the failure of the entire line. If a backpitch of the line exists, an extensive section of the run of pipe typically has to be replaced to have the correct pitch.

Other conditions make the decision to repair or replace a sewer pipe much more difficult. One of the factors is strictly personal. Some people only have to live through one or two clogs to decide to replace the sewer line. Other people will suffer through years of stoppages, and thousands of dollars in drain cleaning bills, before they agree to do repair work.

It is fair to say that if a skilled drain technician needs to spend many hours to clear out a stoppage, that means something is structurally wrong with the drain line. In those cases, a video camera inspection can go a long way in determining your next appropriate step.

What brands of sewer and drain cleaning solutions do you use?
With years of experience comes a knowledge of the tools of the trade. What works, what doesn’t, and how to select the best equipment for a particular task. The sewer and drain cleaning professionals at Balkan Drain Cleaning use a combination of tools and technologies to accomplish the task of restoring proper flow to your sewers and drains. Depending on the type and progress of the blockage, we can employ mechanical or chemical means. For drain clog removal via power snake, video pipeline inspection and locating, and sewer water jetting, we exclusively use Spartan equipment. For over 70 years, Spartan Tool has been providing quality sewer and drain cleaning equipment to professionals.

Spartan Drain Cleaning

Spartan Tool prides itself on producing innovative products that solve the problems of the drain cleaning market, with a focus on safe operation, customer service, and equipment that pays back tremendous dividends over years–even decades–of operation. Assembled at our manufacturing plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, Spartan’s USA-built products are engineered for extraordinary durability, reliability, and ease of use.

For chemical drain cleaning, we often employ the Root-X family of products. Balkan uses the RootX system due to its proven ability to kill pipeline roots. This is a non-systemic, so RootX will only kill the roots it comes in contact with and not harm your above-ground landscaping or vegetation. The RootX system is non-caustic and non-fumigating, and it has no adverse effects on the sewer pipes it is used on.

Root-X Sewer Cleaning

The patented RootX formula uses the aquatic herbicide Dichlobenil. It’s non-caustic, non-fumigating and non-systemic, and it contains no diquat bromide, copper sulfate or metam sodium. RootX is only sold to professional drain cleaners, municipal contractors and municipal maintenance departments.