Main Sewer Line Camera Inspection

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Main Sewer Line Camera Inspection

When plumbing problems arise, you’ll have to find a 24/7 emergency plumber to save the day. If it’s not apparent what the problem is, your plumber may suggest a sewer line camera inspection. In this article, our Twin Cities plumbers answer some questions regarding this technique.

What Does a Sewer Line Inspection Camera Do? 

Specially designed waterproof video camera snakes are forced through pipelines to perform visual inspections of sewage lines and other difficult-to-reach pipes. This is a non-invasive technique that is used for pipes that are underground, encased in concrete, hidden behind walls, and under the base of your house. Video pipe inspections eliminate the guesswork associated with issues hidden inside pipes.

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How Does a Sewer Line Camera Inspection Work?

A flexible rod is inserted into the pipe by your McQuillan Bros sewer solutions expert. At the tip of the rod is a high-definition video camera. The flexible rod allows the camera to move through the pipe when transmitting video to an HDTV display. One of our plumbers will inspect the entire length of a pipeline and record the inspection digitally for future reference.

Camera snakes from McQuillan Bros are outfitted with bright LED lights that illuminate the inside of the tubing, revealing any holes, clog sources, or structural issues. Inside the camera, a radio transmitter records the underground depth as well as the exact physical position of any faults or obstructions in the pipe. This enables the technician to reliably identify any plumbing issues and provide our customers with cost-effective care or repair options. Our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing, a plumbing company in Sacramento, highly recommend a sewer line camera inspection so that you can identify any potential problems.

What Problems Can a Sewer Line Camera Inspection Catch?

The service technician will see any issues with the pipe using a sewer inspection video camera. Root interference, cracks, punctures, corrosion, or misaligned pipe parts are examples of this. The camera can also detect grease accumulation, leaks, and obstructions. Following the operation, a follow-up video inspection may be performed to ensure that the pipeline has been properly cleaned or repaired.

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When Should I Get a Sewer Line Camera Inspection?

This form of plumbing inspection is suggested if you have frequent sewer and drain line backups, sluggish drains, or clogs. Furthermore, realtors and prospective homeowners frequently recognize the cost savings of performing a professional video inspection of sewer pipes prior to purchasing a house. The sewer inspection will decide whether or not the sewer line is free of issues that may result in costly future repairs.

If you are experiencing plumbing problems in the Twin Cities area or beyond, McQuillan Bros is more than happy to help. We’re Minnesota’s Orignal Home Service company since 1883. Contact us today for a free plumbing estimate.


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No Hot Water: What You Need to Know

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No Hot Water: What You Need to Know

It doesn’t matter if you rent or own. Your household needs hot water. Although we don’t really think about it, we use hot water daily. Thank you, hot water heaters! However, if you ever experience water heater problems, such as no hot water, you’ll need to know what to do next. In this blog, our Twin City plumbers discuss everything you need to know about your water heater that has no hot water.

A Leaking Tank

There must be water in the tank for a water heater to work. If there is no hot water, the tank is most likely leaking. An empty tank is a serious issue and wastes a lot of resources. Examine the links between the appliance and its valves, as well as the pipework. Check the tank’s compartment if those are safe. If there is water in the compartment, the appliance should be replaced.

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Gas Leak

A natural gas leak from your water heater is both inconvenient and risky. If you suspect a gas leak, contact the utility provider as soon as possible. The gas company technician is knowledgeable, but his primary goal is not to fix your hot water heater. His evaluation of the appliance determines the next steps. If there is a natural gas leak, the gas provider will work on options under their jurisdiction. If there is no gas leak, you’ll need to hire a local plumber for water heater repair.

Faulty Electric Water Heater

When it comes to your water heater, energy conservation is important. Both an electric and a gas water heater will keep you from waking up with no hot water in the house. But do you understand the distinction between a gas and an electric water heater? Obviously, the hybrid version is powered by electricity. If you don’t have hot water in your building, turn off the heater first. The circuit breaker should then be reset. If the circuit breaker tripped, your home would have hot water again in around an hour. A circuit breaker that keeps tripping is a bad sign, so press the reset button. If the problem persists, consult a trained electrician.

Defective Gas Valve

Those who have a gas water heater and are experiencing a lack of hot water should inspect the appliance’s supply line. If there are no leaks, inspect the gas valve. It must be secure and in the proper location. After that, double-check that the gas is turned on. If the gas valve is working properly, look into the pilot light. It’s possible that you’ll have to re-light the pilot many times. It must remain lit. If it doesn’t, the gas line may be to blame because it is impeding the flow of gas.

If none of these measures produce hot water within an hour, you may need to hire a plumber for water heater replacement. When upgrading your water heater, keep in mind that there are additional costs to remember, and most homeowners choose between a conventional or tankless water heater.

Inadequate Thermostat

The thermostat on a water heater must be set between 122 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for it to produce hot water while remaining energy efficient. Check the upper thermostat if there is no hot water, if the supply is insufficient, or if the water is too hot. If the thermostat fails, it must be replaced. Because of sediment buildup, even though the thermostat is working, a lack of routine maintenance may cause problems. Flushing your water heater will solve the problem.

Water Heater Tank Size

If your water heater tank is too small, your household will be inefficient and will run out of hot water faster. Our friends at Tureks Plumbing, Fox Valley plumbers, point out that this problem is commonly noticed when the number of people living in your home increases. For example, if your family expands or if you have guests staying over. If you’re unsure if your water heater is the right size, contact a professional plumbing company.

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Contact McQuillan Bros

When problems arise, contact McQuillan Bros. Our heating, cooling, and plumbing company has proudly been serving the Twin Cities area since 1883. We can tackle all of your home service needs, whether it’s HVAC, plumbing, sewer, and drain, or electrical services. Call today for a free estimate!

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How to Protect Your Bathroom Drains

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How to Protect Your Bathroom Drains

Most of us take our bathroom drains for granted. We use them every day and never think twice about it. If you want to avoid a clogged drain, you should be more mindful of what you’re putting in your drains. Otherwise, soap, grease, and oil can cause major plumbing problems. Read the article below to learn how to protect your bathroom drains from Twin Cities’s best plumbing company.

Protecting Your Bathroom Drains

If you’ve had a clogged drain, you know how unsettling it can be to have a water pool around your feet during a shower or when you’re running water in the sink. Here are a few ways you can avoid clogged drains in the bathroom. 

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Purchase a Shower Drain Screen

A simple screen from Amazon will help catch drain, grease, soap. Therefore, you will have less trouble with your drains and essentially prevent a plumbing emergency. Drain screens are quite common and come in all sorts of sizes, styles, and colors. Choose a shower screen that best suits your needs. 

Pro tip: Our friends at Maid for Muddy Paws, a cleaning service in The Woodlands, TX, recommend emptying out the screen daily to ensure debris doesn’t clog your drain.  

Watch What You Put Down The Drain

This might seem simple, but be cautious about what’s going down the drain in your bathroom. Screens are not working for such dangerous liquids. Hair, soap, dirt, grease, and harsh chemicals can cause a plumbing nightmare. Being mindful of what you use in the shower is a great solution. For instance, a bar of soap will likely stick to the pipe walls, whereas liquid body wash is a better choice for your shower and sink.

Elsewhere in your house, the oils, the coffee grounds, the eggshells, the meats, and the grains do not go down the drain. Rather, dispose of them in a coffee cup or in a milk carton. Composting these materials will give you natural fertilizer that will enrich your backyard soil and promote good bacterial and fungal growth.

Throw Out Excess Hair When Showering

Women tend to have more hair than men; therefore, more hair comes out when washing their hair. Ultimately, loose hair ends up in the drains. Instead of rinsing the extra hair into the drain, throw it in the trash. 

Bathe Your Pets Outside

Pet fur is thicker than a human hair. So, if you can wash your pets outside with the hose, if you need to wash them in the bathtub, make sure that you have a drain screen to catch all the extra debris. You can also cover your drain with a cloth or a towel. You should dispose of your pet hair outside.

Skip the Harsh Drain Chemicals 

While we all purchase liquid plumbing items once in a while to clean up a particularly difficult clog, using it too frequently will potentially lead to the full erosion of your pipes. The acid from some cleaners can be eaten away by your pipes, causing the metal to flicker off and form debris balls. It’s easier to look at the natural ways to unclog your drain.

Monthly Drain Clearing

Flushing your drain out once a month with a hot water tea kettle will help eliminate any buildup. You can try using a half-cup of baking powder down your drain every 3 to 4 months. Every time you brush your teeth, run some hot water to avoid the toothpaste flowing down the pipes.

When you experience slow drains, pour a cup of vinegar over your drain and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing with hot water. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a better alternative to Drain-O. Our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing, a Sacramento plumbing company, say that if clogging continues to be a concern, make a mixture of 1/2 cup of each salt and baking soda. Then, add half a cup of vinegar and let the foam solution in your drain before pouring hot water down to pass it into your pipes.

Vinegar will also eliminate any odors in your drains. If you’re irritated by the scent of vinegar, a little lemon juice will help keep your nose clean.

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Hire a Plumber 

If all else fails, then it’s time to hire a heating and plumbing repair company in St. Paul. Our plumbing contractors are happy to assist you with drain clearing or other plumbing services. Contact McQuillan Bros today for a free estimate. As a way to say thank you to all of our loyal customers, we’re offering discounts on our home services. Visit our website to learn more about our special offers.

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Common Plumbing Mistakes

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Common Plumbing Mistakes

You’re not the first homeowner who’s thought of pulling up their sleeves and getting some plumbing repairs done. If you have the right tools and a little plumbing knowledge, you can may be able to fix the problem without the help of a Maple Grove plumber. However, your home’s plumbing is easily the most complex system in your home. It’s relatively easy to make mistakes both while making repairs and in day to day use. In the article below, we share how you can avoid these common plumbing mistakes.

Plumbing Mistakes

Such mistakes, simple as they may seem, may end up costing you dearly down the road. We’ve been serving homeowners since 1883. So, our McQuillan Bros team has seen just how costly these mistakes can be to homeowners. You may be forced to repipe entire sections of your plumbing, or worse, you may be looking at extensive water and structural damage. 

To keep your plumbing working effectively, avoid these common plumbing mistakes:

Common Plumbing Mistakes - Willernie, MN

Using a Chemical Drain Cleaner

Clogged drains are usually a matter of when not if. As a homeowner, you will undoubtedly run into a clogged drain or two. The best thing to do is to break out your trusty plunger or, if you have it, a drain snake. However, more and more people have been using chemical drain cleaners to clear clogs from their drains. These drain cleaners are usually very strong acids that are designed to eat away at the clog and allow it to be washed away. 

In reality, the acid eats through the clog as gravity pulls it down, creating a hole that’s usually just big enough for water to pass. It’s not a permanent fix, though, and you’ll probably have to use it again in a few days when the small hole clogs up again. The strong acid also eats away at the piping, and constant use of corrosive chemical drain cleaners can corrode the pipes and cause leaks, forcing you to regularly seek plumbing maintenance in Maple Grove, MN.

If you cannot or do not want to use a plunger or a drain snake, you can soak the drain in baking soda and vinegar then flush the solution away after several hours. In the event all your efforts don’t pan out, contact McQuillan Bros for the best drain cleaning in Minnesota.

Forgetting to Turn Off the Water

Our friends at Tureks Plumbing, a Fox Valley plumbing company, says plenty of homeowners forget to turn off the water before starting a plumbing repair or improvement project. This is usually accompanied by gushing pipes and, in many cases, a small household flood. That’s the last thing any homeowner needs. 

To avoid this, make sure you turn off the water at the local shutoff valve. If you’re having some trouble finding it, you can also shut off the water at the water main. Every plumbing company in Maple Grove, MN, should make sure the water is turned off for even routine repairs like fixing a faulty faucet. You wouldn’t start tinkering with the garbage disposal before making sure it’s switched off, would you?

Connecting Galvanized and Copper Pipes

Remember when we said you would need proper tools and a little know-how to successfully undertake plumbing repairs? Well, here’s where that knowledge comes in. When copper and galvanized pipes get in contact, it leads to corrosion. Plenty of older homes have galvanized pipes, which after years of use, are very likely to corrode and rust. 

While repairing these steel galvanized pipes, plenty of homeowners tend to use modern copper pipes, making the problem even worse. This is a mistake our professional plumbers would never make. 

If you want to connect a galvanized and a copper pipe, make sure you use a piece called a dielectric union. This is a special joint that uses a rubber washer and a plastic sleeve to prevent the copper and galvanized piping from touching one another and corroding. Ideally, the best long term fix would be to replace the galvanized pipes with modern pipes. 

Over Tightening Plumbing Connections

It’s understandable to want everything to be nice and snug after you’ve made your repairs, but many homeowners go overboard. Over tightening black or galvanized pipes, tees, elbows, or couplings can crack the fitting. Weaker due to the cracks and under immense pressure from the tightened nuts and bolts, the fitting may break days or weeks later, leading to leaks and flooding. 

Plastic fittings in the toilet, as well as supply tubes connecting faucets, need only a little pressure to be sealed. Any more than that, and they may break and start leaking. Additionally, over-tightening the toilet’s bolts may crack the porcelain and damage your toilet, forcing you to seek toilet repair services in Maple Grove, MN. To avoid this, make sure you are gentle while tightening any nuts, bolts, and fittings.

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Undertaking Repairs Without any Training

Plumbing is a complex system of fixtures that span the entirety of your home. While some plumbing repairs can be done by the homeowners, some problems require a trained, experienced hand. Even the most minor mistake can cost you a lot in the long run. So, only take matters into your hands if you are confident in your abilities. Consult with a Maple Grove, MN plumber

Ultimately, these common plumbing mistakes can be avoided. If you aren’t confident in your skills, you should seek professional plumbing services in Minnesota. They will get the job done on time. You can count on us to save you time and money in extensive repairs down the road. 

Are you in need of plumbing services in Maple Grove, MN? Contact McQuillan Bros today for a free plumbing estimate! Don’t forget to check out our coupons and special offers to save big! Right now, save $75 on plumbing repairs with McQuillan Bros!

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Frozen Pipe Repair

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Frozen Pipe Repair in Minnesota

The cold season comes with its share of problems. One of the problems you might be too familiar with as a homeowner are frozen pipes. There is little preventing you can do for a pipe that is already frozen. However, you still need to identify the pipe and repair it before you encounter more problems. Below are some of the steps you need to take if you find out that any of your pipes are frozen.

Identify the Frozen Pipe(s)

If you suspect a frozen pipe inside your home, the first thing you need to do is to identify it. Sometimes, this is usually easy to spot on visible plumbing because the pipe will be covered in frost or bulging from the expanded water. Remember, though, that not aloof, your plumbing is visible. 

Also, if the water in faucets or your toilet won’t flow during the winter seasons, there is a high chance that a pipe is frozen somewhere, and you might need a plumbing repair contractor in ST. Paul, MN.

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Start by Thawing Your Pipes 

Your pipes will need thawing to get rid of the ice first. Do not under any circumstances let it thaw out on itself because it will burst your pipe. Remember, water expands when freezing. Therefore, if it finds an unyielding pipe, it will add enough pressure to break it. Depending on where the crack happens, this can lead to flooding inside your house. 

  • Shut off the water supply from the main. This prevents flooding in the event the damage on the pipe is expansive. The ice within the pipe could have been acting as a plug preventing water from leaking. 
  • Stay ready to clean up. Sometimes, the pipe’s damage can be extensive enough to cause water damage to your property if not handled properly. Keep a bucket and mop handy for when the thawing is done, and water starts leaking. 
  • Only open the faucets leading to the frozen pipes. This helps relieve the pressure of the water as you are thawing it. 
  • Start thawing near the faucets and work your way outside. This way, whatever water is in the pipes will find its way into the faucet and leave the pipe clear. Gilmore Heating & Air, a Sacramento plumbing company, agrees that you should start from the other end because it only creates more pressure. After all, the ice will start blocking the melted water. 
  • Use a heat source such as a space heater, hairdryer, or heat lamps to heat. You can also use towels soaked in hot water, electric heat pads, or thermal tape to thaw down the pipe. 

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Minneapolis plumbing experts recommend avoiding the use of anything that produces a direct flame on the pipe, such as a blow torch, to prevent the risk of starting a fire and, or damaging the pipe. Also, take all the necessary precautions when dealing with electrical products and water to prevent an electric shock. If you’re having any plumbing problems, contact McQuillan Bros! Our plumbing company in Twin Cities offers 24/7 emergency plumbing services. 

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