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What causes a clogged drain?

A clogged drain is typically caused by the gradual buildup of organic matter like hair and grease on the inside walls of drain pipes. Over time, this buildup slows down the normal flow of water through the pipe. Think of cholesterol in the blood stream when trying to understand a clogged drain. When a clump of debris or a wad of hair tries to pass through the pipe, it can become stuck and completely block the flow. The result is a clogged bathtub or sink drain.

How Should I Treat Clogged Pipes?

If water backs up quickly each time the drain is used, the problem is most likely close to the drain opening in the tub or sink.

How do I unclog my drain?

While a plunger can sometimes unclog minor obstructions, a stubborn or tenacious clog will require a visit from one of our experienced technicians, who will use a tool called an auger (also known as a "snake").

This tool works in the opposite way that a plunger does. The plumber will push the snake into the clog and crank it to drive the snake deeper into the obstruction. While parts of the clog break up and flush through the drain, the snake helps a plumber gain access to the clog in order to successfully remove it.

Empire handles all problems from small toilet clogs to big sewer problems.

A lot of customers ask us “Well how do I know if my clog is related to my sewer line?”

There are a lot of questions our trained personnel will ask you on the phone when booking your appointment. Such as the following:

  • “Are you experiencing the backup on ground level, such as a basement, laundry room or garage?”
  • “Is the water that’s flooding out clean water or dirty water?”
  • “Are there multiple fixtures backing up at the same time?”

These are just a few questions that you may hear while trying to book an appointment when a plumbing problem arises.

You may think to yourself, what is causing my sewer to back-up?

There are many causes of a main sewer backup. The main three are clogging, tree roots and broken and/or collapsed sewer lines.

Clogging is most caused by root intrusion and grease buildup.

Tree roots penetrating sewer lines are a common problem experienced by city residents. Over the years the sewer lines develop cracks and fractures due to old age. Roots thrive most in warm, moist and nutrient dense environments.

The tree roots tend to grow inside of the pipes causing obstruction and headaches for home owners. Left untreated tree roots over time can cause cracks which can lead to a collapsed line. This is why it is very important to have your line cleaned out regularly.

Call Empire Sewer and Water For All Of Your Drainage Needs

The dedicated technicians at Empire Sewer & Water have been servicing the boroughs and Nassau County & Westchester for over 25 years.

Make an Appointment
Call (718)715-4763 or use the form to get a free estimate.

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Customer Reviews

Empire Sewer and Water

Called Empire Sewer and water for a clogged pipe under my bathroom sink. Received quick and easy service and was even left impressed by how punctual and efficient they worked. Would definitely call them again, as they work around the clock. My only complaint would be a small mess left behind... But who's perfect? HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

by Sara C. in West Bronx, NY on 3-14-2016

Empire Sewer and Water

I recently Had water flooding my basement with sewer water plus my basement toilet was overflowing anytime anyone flushed the upstairs toilet. Called Empire and they had someone come over right away which was a Saturday at 5 pm. The guy came down my steep steps with all his machines to the basement and told me he would get the job done right away. Within the hour he was able to fix the problem as well as gave me feedback on how to fix it. He also gave me pointers on keeping the drains clean and changing one of the caps of the drains. Pricing was a few dollars less than the competitors.
I was very happy that they were able to come right away and get the job done at that time in such short notice. The worker even helped me clean up once he was done!

by Damaris L. in Bronx, NY on 1-26-2016

Empire Sewer and Water

After calling several drain companies to come figure out why my first floor flooded I was able to get ahold of empire. Thankfully their technicians were able to diagnose the problem over the phone and they sent out someone to my home shortly. Once the tech's arrived they helped me resolve the issue after providing a fair estimate for their work. They did such a good job i doubt i'll need their service anytime soon but I'll be sure to call them if i do.

by Joel O. in Bronx, NY on 3-14-2016

Empire Sewer and Water

I had an emergency with my sewer main line in my basement and it was causing a flood on Sunday afternoon, after trying other companies, empire sewer and water were the only ones who answered my phone call. They inform me they could have someone out in a hour. They explained to me that there would be a $85 charge for coming out, which would be applied toward the work cost if agreed upon doing the work with them. Moments later I get a call from Wattz saying he will be in my home within half an hour. Wattz gets here and he's very professional. I take him to the basement where the issue was and he explains to me that my line is extremely clogged and most likely need a high velocity water jet to clear it but he would try to run the line with an electronic snake first to see if that resolves the issue. He tried to snake it twice and nothing worked. The line was still backing up. He gave me a complimentary video inspection and I saw how badly that clog was. He also told me I had root intrusion. I went ahead and told him to go ahead and do the water jet. He water jet the line and the line finally open and flowing properly! He gave me another free video inspection to show me the line and it was completely working. I was so happy! They were able to fix my issue within 2 hours! I was very happy with the work and how reliable they were. I was given a 1 year guarantee on any backups. They also have a new promotion which started this year for 10 percent off the next visit! I would recommend this company to anyone who is having issues with sewer lines. 5 stars!

by Nick T. in Bronx, NY on 2-9-2016

Empire Sewer and Water

Empire Sewer and Water has provided me with solid, responsive service at a fair price. I own a townhouse in Brooklyn and last month the sewer started to back up into the downstairs basement (ahh!). I called several companies, including Empire. I spoke directly to one of the receptionists and explained my problem. They went over all of my options over the phone. They seemed very knowledgeable. They were able to give me a prompt appointment for within an hour of calling. Forty five minutes later a technician by the name of Pedro arrived at my door with him came a helper. I showed them where the problem was and they went over all of my options. Now i only know about traditional rooter removal with a traditional snake, but Pedro explained a different method called hydrojetting. Although a more costly option it came with a 1 year guarantee with reassurance that if anything were to happen they would come back free of charge and re clean the line. This was a great solution for me considering my townhouse has had many backups this past year alone. For peace of mind for another year and their appointment punctuality and ease of scheduling i give them 5 stars.

by Stephanie M. in Manhattan, NY on 2-9-2016

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