Frequently Asked Questions

When you call Alligator Sewer and Heating, you can say goodbye to blocked or broken drains or sewer pipes.  Here are some answers to some of the questions we hear about the most.  

As always, if you do not see the answer to your question here, please call us at 206-337-2116

How can I be sure my sewer lines are in good condition and properly maintained?

You can start by calling Alligator Sewer and Heating. We can perform a video inspection of your sewer line to observe potential problems such as root intrusion, grease buildup, or failing pipe. If there is a blockage we can use cable rooting, hydro-jetting equipment to remove grease and roots from lines.

What happens when roots get inside lines?

Root intrusion in sewer pipes, if left unchecked, will eventually result in slow or clogged drains. Once they penetrate, they continue to grow and can completely fill the pipe with tangled root masses. These masses trap toilet tissue and other debris flowing to the main sewer. The roots also exert pressure on the pipe, often leading to breakage.

Clay pipe is the most susceptible to root intrusion, followed by concrete pipe. PVC pipe is more resistant to a certain degree due to having fewer, more tightly fitted joints.

How does trenchless piping work?

First, we dig a hole at each end of the line or section that is being replaced. Next, a cable is sent through the old line. The cable is then attached to the new pipe and pulled back through the old pipe by a powerful hydraulic piston. Another name for this process of trenchless pipe replacement is Pipe Bursting.

Why shouldn’t I pour grease down the drain?

Grease can quickly build up in your drain lines. One myth is that mixing hot water with the grease will keep it from clogging your lines. The truth is that by the time the grease gets to your lateral sewer line it will have cooled enough to build up. As a homeowner, you are responsible for your lateral line as well as the pipes in your house. Call Alligator at (206) 784-3552 if you think your pipes are clogged with grease or another obstruction.

There is a disgusting smell in our house. Is it from the sewer?

There is a curved pipe in some homes called a “dry p-trap.” It is filled with water in order to cover and reduced sewer gas. If the water in the dry p-trap evaporates, possibly due to unused showers or the like, you will get those sewer gases coming into your home. This is the most common cause. However, if there are no such drains in your home, it’s time to to give one of out experienced technicians a call.

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