Barron’s Plumbing Division Offers Drain Maintenance Advice for Happy Homeowners

After 50 years of providing
services like heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing, the Barron team is dedicated to
keeping the most important home systems working at their best. But accidents
happen, and Barron’s experts often meet customers for the first time in the
middle of an emergency — whether it’s from a broken part, leaking pipe, or
backed up drain. Fortunately, the team has helpful ideas for avoiding these
emergencies in the first place, allowing them to meet their neighbors before
these problems arise.

Most of these tips express the
importance of making sure that drains — all the pipes inside the home, and
sewers, everything outside — are being kept clean and clear.

It’s important to admit when a problem is too big for an easy repair — and that’s when you can call Barron for assistance. Photo courtesy Barron Heating

“Most people don’t do routine
maintenance — it’s either working or it’s not,” says Jordan F., service and operations
manager for Barron’s plumbing division. “A lot of people take it for granted:
you turn on the water, and then it goes away. But when it does back up, that’s
when the frantic phone calls come in, and we’re scrambling to get somebody out
there.”

While it might be easy to
start with fix-it-yourself methods, it’s also important to admit when a problem
is too big for an easy repair. “One thing we like to say is, don’t just sit
there and dump chemicals down the drain thinking it’s going to help,” Jordan
says. “In fact, it can make it much, much worse on older drains; you could wind
up looking at a large repair, instead of just a cleaning.”

Jordan also advises home
buyers perform a camera inspection of drains and sewers to help them avoid
expensive surprises. “We come run the camera down the drain, then send a video
of what that looks like and talk them through what’s going on,” he says. “Many
times, I’ve had to show up to a house the day people are moving in and the next
thing they know, they’re putting $15,000 or $20,000 into a new sewer system.”

An inspection is an equally
powerful tool for anyone selling a home since it can give potential buyers a
sense of confidence. “I recently sold my house and sent a camera down the drain
before I put it on the market,” Jordan says. “When people came to look at my
house, they could see they didn’t have to worry about the sewer, which is a
huge expense. When it comes to homes, sewers and roofs are the biggest expenses.”

A borescope inspection camera is used to check a drain. Photo courtesy Barron Heating

In addition to tree roots,
blockages, and broken pipes, camera inspections also tend to turn up things you
might not expect. “We’ve seen all sorts of foreign objects,” says Nick S., service
superintendent for Barron Plumbing.
“There have been animals, watches, cell phones — you never really know what you’ll
run into.”

And Jordan agrees; “The
funniest thing I ever found in a drain was a whole unpeeled banana,” he says. “I
have no idea how it got down there.”

Nick also shares this practical
tip with potential customers: “Garbage disposals are not ‘dispose-of-alls.’
There are a lot of things that you shouldn’t be putting down there, like
eggshells and coffee grounds, or pasta and rice, because they like to expand; any
fibrous material,” he says. “A lot of people put lemon peels down there because
it gets rid of the garbage smell. But lemon juice will do the same thing, and
it won’t ruin your garbage disposal.”

When it comes to keeping
plumbing healthy, Barron carries a number of products a homeowner can use with
confidence, knowing they won’t inadvertently cause harm further down the road. “For
branch drains, like a kitchen sink, we have products that are environmentally
safe and won’t damage the drain,” says Jordan. “After we come out and clear a drain,
there are enzymes you can use as a weekly thing for the first month, and then
just once a month.”

And because maintenance can’t
prevent or avoid every problem, Barron is also prepared to fix or
replace any piece of plumbing in the home and on the property, all the way out
to the city-owned utilities. They can excavate old lines and replace them with
new ones, and also use newer solutions that can repair some problems without
tearing up the front yard.

To build a partnership with customers and help them stay on top of their plumbing situation, Barron offers a Silver Shield Membership. “That gets you 20% off of drain or sewer cleaning,” says Jordan. “And if you need us, getting to you is going to be our priority — you get a discounted rate, and you get some peace of mind as well.”

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