Why do my pipes keep backing up?

Aztec Plumbers performing drain work

“Why do my pipes keep backing up?”

Here at Aztec Plumbing & Drains, we are often asked this question by our new drain cleaning customers. Fortunately our expert drain clearing technicians know what the most common answer is. Scaling.

Drainage systems in homes that were generally built from the 1950s to 1980s were commonly installed using cast iron pipe and fittings. Over time cast iron begins to flake, leaving “scales” on the pipe. As you flush, toilet paper, wipes, and other products begin to travel down the pipe. In older cast iron systems these products become stuck to the scales on the sides or blocked by the accumulation of fallen scales at the bottom of the pipe which create a dam. Typically a plumber would come out and use a snake to temporarily clear the items blocking the line. Your pipes would start flowing again as if the problem was solved. Unfortunately, this did nothing to resolve the real issue which is the cast iron scaling. Ultimately, your pipes need to be “descaled” to be fully cleaned and operate without issue. Descaling involves using water under pressure to remove the debris. A drain clearing expert would be able to identify and correct this issue properly. At Aztec Plumbing & Drains, our Drain Clearing Specialists are trained to fix the problem from A to Z. We believe in fixing you problem permanently.

Here at Aztec Plumbing & Drains, we like to communicate our process to our customers so that everyone understands what is happening in their home. After first clearing the drain line we use our video inspection equipment to determine what caused the issue. When we find scale we are able to open the pipe with our jetting system to descale your cast iron pipes. Our trained experts know the correct pressure to use so no further damage is caused to your pipes. Using too much pressure on the drain line can put holes in them causing more issues then you had to start with. This is the last thing you want to happen when hiring someone to resolve the issue.

Once our technicians have descaled the drain line, we will video inspect the line again to make sure the pipe is clean. We will then show the homeowner the results of the descaling. Since most older homes do not have an existing clean out a clean out is often installed to provide easy access into the pipe in the future should the need arise As always, will make sure everything is working properly before we leave.

When it comes to the issues that are cause by the scaling of cast iron drain lines the descaling process is a cost effective and damage-free way for a homeowner to take care of the problem. The removal and replacement of old cast iron pipes in a home can include removing the flooring, removing certain plumbing fixtures, opening the concrete slab and excavating a trench through out the home. It is a large and costly project and a tremendous inconvenience to the homeowner. Descaling the pipes with trained professionals, like we have at Aztec, will eliminate scaling and the problems it can cause for many years to come.

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