A cracked or damaged drain pipe in any community can be a huge problem; maybe even more-so in NYC. Unfortunately, many homeowners ignore this problem until it’s too late. Initially, the cracked or damaged drain pipe may not seem like a big deal. However, over time, the damage can become much worse. If you ignore the problem, it will only get worse and may eventually lead to a complete collapse of the pipe.

When you see a crack or damage in your drain pipe, it’s essential to take action immediately. However, things will be even easier if you are able to avoid the problem altogether. Sometimes, you can avoid a cracked or damaged drain pipe with simple preventive measures. Many times a sewer camera inspection is helpful. In other cases, the good tips listed below can come in handy.

What is a Drain Pipe and Where is it Located?

The drain pipe is any pipe that helps to remove wastewater from your home. It is typically located under your plumbing fixtures, and then ties into larger trunk drains. A drain trap, or P-trap, is a curved portion of the drain pipe that holds water in order to create a seal against sewer gases. The drain trap under a sink can be thin and made of metal or plastic. Read more about sink traps below.

What Can Cause Damage to the Drain Pipe?

As the years go by, your drain pipe may become damaged due to corrosion, leaks, separations, or other factors. This can be caused by the drain trap no longer being able to hold water, or the drain pipe itself may be cracked or otherwise damaged. While many homeowners believe that using an electric power snake is the best way to clear a blocked drain, this can actually cause further damage to the pipe. An alternative in some cases is to clean the clogs by removing them via a water jet, drain bladder, or pressure. Naturally, once a drain pipe is completely damaged it will need to have a replacement as soon as possible.

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Sewer camera inspections reveal the condition of older pipes

Tree root intrusion is another common cause of damage to drain pipes. Tree roots can grow into your sewer pipe and crack or block the pipe. This can lead to sewage back up in your home and significant damage to your pipe. To avoid this, it is important to have your pipe regularly inspected for tree roots. You may feel tempted to cut, rip, or blow out root blockages, however, this can actually cause more damage to your pipe. An alternative is to use chemical treatments, which will kill the roots without damaging your pipe. However, it is best to use these treatments before the roots have a chance to cause significant damage and blockage.

Signs to Watch Out for

If you notice that your drain trap looks worn out, or if you can see water seeping from it, you should have it replaced as soon as possible. A cracked drain pipe can lead to serious problems, such as sewage leaking into your home. Sewage leakages can cause health hazards and lead to a very unpleasant odor in your home. In addition, it can also damage your home’s foundation and lead to mold growth.

It is important to have a professional plumber inspect and repair any damage to your drain pipe as soon as possible. If you believe that you have a damaged drain pipe, it is important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid any further damage to your home.

A damaged drain pipe caused by ingress of tree roots.

4 Steps On Avoiding a Cracked or Damaged Drain Pipe

Your home has many pipes and fixtures. Some of these are visible, such as the ones in your kitchen and bathroom, but many are hidden behind your walls. When there are issues with your drain pipes, your first thought is to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible. However, sometimes quick actions can result in more damage than good. So what should you avoid doing when you think you have a cracked or damaged drain pipe?

1. Avoiding Damage to Your Sink Traps

In many cases your sink trap is made of a thin walled metal material. As it ages and corrodes, an electric snake can easily pierce the wall and cause the trap to be replaced. In other cases your sink trap may be made from PVC. When an electric snake comes into contact with the PVC plastic is can eat into it, or damage the sink trap. The solution in both of the above cases may be to physically remove the sink trap to clean it. That will frequently remove any chance of damaging the sink trap, and is not time consuming at all.

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Removing a sink trap can avoid drain pipe damage

2. PVC Drain Piping

There are several things that you can do in order to avoid damage to your PVC drain pipes, such as avoiding using electric power snakes, cable augers, or other devices that can cause physical damage. PVC drain piping can be damaged by constant scraping from these devices. If you do use electric power snakes, cable augers, or other such devices, it is important to make sure that the tip is not in direct contact with the pipe as this can cause significant damage.

3. Older Sewer Pipes and Orangeburg Pipes

If you have an older home, it is likely that your sewer pipes are made of materials that are no longer used in today’s construction. These materials, such as Orangeburg pipes, are especially susceptible to damage. As these pipes age, they become brittle and can easily crack or collapse. It is important to take care when using them so as not to cause any damage. A high-pressure water jet can easily cause damage to these pipes. This is why it is important to have a professional plumber inspect your pipe regularly to ensure that there is no damage. Have your drain pipes inspected with a sewer camera instead of using a high-pressure water jet.

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Orangeburg sewer pipe

4. Porcelain Plumbing Fixtures

Porcelain plumbing fixtures can also be damaged if you are not careful. Electric sewer cleaning blades can cause chips and cracks in your porcelain fixtures. There are methods to insert the blades into a sink, tub, or toilet without causing damage. In some cases, it is still possible to cause chips and cracks, but the risk can of doing so can be lowered. Being careful when using these devices near porcelain fixtures is a basic 1st step.

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Electric sewer snakes can damage porcelain fixtures

How to Avoid Dealing With a Cracked or Damaged Drain Pipe Issue

One of the primary ways to avoid a cracked or damaged drain pipe is to not ignore the warning signs. If you notice any water pooling around your home, damp spots on your walls or floors, or an increase in your water bill, these could all be signs that there is a problem with your drain pipe. Don’t wait until the issue becomes serious – have a professional come out and take a look as soon as possible.

Another way to avoid a cracked or damaged drain pipe is to have your pipe regularly inspected. A professional will be able to identify any potential problems and fix them before they cause serious damage. This is especially important if you have an older home, as the pipes are more likely to be made of materials that are no longer used in modern construction. Finally, be careful when using any devices that could potentially damage your drain pipe. This includes high-pressure water jets and electric sewer cleaning blades. If you are not careful, you could cause serious damage that will require extensive repairs.

By following these tips, you can help avoid a cracked or damaged drain pipe in your home. However, if you do experience a problem, don’t hesitate to contact Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning. We will be able to quickly identify the issue and make the necessary repairs to get your home back to normal.