Your Spring Plumbing Checklist

Your Plumbing Checklist

Your springtime plumbing checklist in Portland OR & Vancouver WA - D&F Plumbing, Heating and CoolingSpring has sprung, but hopefully a leak hasn’t! With the warmer weather rolling in, it’s time to tackle that to-do list that’s been piling up all winter – and that includes taking a look at your plumbing system. To make sure your system is in great shape for the new season, go through this spring plumbing checklist:

Check for Leaks & Clogs

Winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing system – particularly on the pipes or fixtures that are located outdoors or near external walls. To make sure nothing is leaking and causing damage throughout your home, it’s a good idea to check around your property for any leaks or clogs. If you notice any issues, a professional plumber can help identify and fix the root cause of the problem while preventing any further damage to your home.

Change Your Hoses

While you’re checking your pipes and fixtures for leaks or damage, you can also take a look at the condition of your hoses. Check the hoses to your dishwasher, washing machine, fridge, and other appliances. Keep an eye out for any bulging or discoloration in addition to leaking and cracks. You or a professional can replace any damaged or worn out hoses to keep your appliances functioning flawlessly.

Clean Your Storm Drains

If your storm drains are clogged, you could face some serious flooding during springtime rain. Taking the time to remove any leaves, sticks, or other debris from your storm drains will keep things flowing properly, which will protect your property while preventing other issues like soil erosion. If you run into serious blockages or drainage issues, then it may be useful to invest in an outdoor drain cleaning service to keep everything in good working order.

Test Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump plays a big role in preventing basement flooding, particularly during times of heavy rain. That’s why spring is the perfect time of year to check in on your sump pump and make sure it’s functioning properly. To test your sump pump, first look to make sure that it’s plugged in correctly. Then, pour a bucket of water into the basin to see if the pump is able to clear it. If your sump pump is unable to clear the water, or you notice any signs of moisture issues in your basement, then it may be time to contact a professional.

Adjust Your Water Heater

Water heaters get a lot of use in the cold winter months, which is why spring is the perfect time of year to perform any maintenance and check in on your system. An expert can flush your tank while also screening for any potential issues to make sure yours is working wonderfully for the new season. Now is also a good time to turn down the temperature, which will save you money during the spring and summer.

What’s the Difference Between Main Line vs Drain Line?

Main Line

Unless you’re a plumber, it’s easy to confuse main lines and drain lines. Plumbers get these questions all of the time so we thought we’d finally settle this. Keep reading to finally learn the difference of a main line and drain line, including the roles they play in your home.

Main line vs drain line infographic explained by D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Vancouver WA and Portland OR.

What is a Main Line?

To put it simply, your main line is your sewer line. It’s a line located underground that carries all wastewater from your home to a municipal connection or septic tank, not just toilet water.

Here is some additional information about your main line.

  • In addition to drain line clogs, another big threat to your main line is tree roots. If you know where your main line is located, you can strategically plant trees in areas that won’t damage your main line.
  • You’ll want to know where your cleanout is located in case it suffers a clog.
  • If you’re experiencing drain clogs at the lowest point in your home, you likely have a main line clog.
  • If there’s sewage coming out, there’s most likely a main line clog.
  • If you hear gurgling noises in another part of the home when using water, you could have a main line issue.

What is a Drain Line?

Drain lines are lines located inside of your home that are connected to your plumbing fixtures such as your toilets, sinks, and showers. They don’t lead directly to your sewer system or septic tank, but they dump into the main line. When you’re having an issue with one drain line, you can generally still use the plumbing everywhere else in the home because they aren’t connected.

Understanding your Main Line and Your Drain Line

Knowing the difference between your main line and your drain line is important because they’re two entirely different things with different fixes and costs. Generally, a main line clog is going to require a professional plumber and involves more steps.

Why is Main Line and Drain Line Maintenance Important?

Every homeowner in the Portland and Vancouver areas knows the importance of maintaining their homes, but often, the hidden systems like main line plumbing and drain lines are overlooked. These systems are the unsung heroes of your home, quietly and efficiently removing wastewater and ensuring a hygienic environment. But why is their maintenance so crucial?

Prevention is Cheaper than Cure

When it comes to main plumbing line and drain line plumbing, a stitch in time truly does save nine. Regular checks and maintenance by a main line plumber can spot potential issues before they escalate. Neglecting this can lead to main line drain clogs or even damage to the sewer main line. The cost of addressing these issues after they’ve become severe is significantly higher than regular upkeep. Think of it as an investment in your home’s future and your peace of mind.

Protecting Your Home from Water Damage

The main drain line in a house and the drain lines in a house play a pivotal role in directing wastewater away from your home. A clogged plumbing main drain or a backed-up main sewage line can lead to water pooling in unwanted areas. This doesn’t just mean a mess to clean up; it can lead to structural damage, mold growth, and other health hazards. For those who’ve experienced the aftermath of a burst main sewer pipe or an overflowing sewer mainline, they can attest to the importance of preemptive maintenance.

Ensuring a Healthy Living Environment

Ask yourself, “What is the main drain in a house for?” or “What is a sewer main’s purpose?” The answer is simple: to ensure that wastewater, which includes everything from used bathwater to sewage, is efficiently and safely removed from your home. A malfunctioning mainline sewer or water drain line can lead to stagnant water, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and pests. This not only poses a health risk but can also lead to unpleasant odors permeating your home.

While the intricacies of main plumbing and drain lines might seem confusing, understanding their importance and ensuring their regular maintenance is crucial. It’s not just about avoiding costly repairs; it’s about ensuring the longevity of your home and the health and safety of its inhabitants. While we know you’re probably not always thinking about “What is a sewer line, and why should I care?”, remember that it’s the silent guardian of your home’s hygiene and comfort. So give it some consideration once in a while!

residential main line and definition of main line

Common Signs of Main Line and Drain Line Issues

For homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver regions, understanding the health of your main line plumbing and drain lines is as essential as knowing where the best local coffee shop is. While these systems often work as smoothly as your morning brew, when issues arise, they can cause significant disruptions, turning your day as sour as a bad espresso shot… Recognizing the early signs of problems can save you from costly repairs and ensure a hygienic living environment. So, what are the telltale signs that your main plumbing line or drain line plumbing might be in distress?

Unpleasant Odors

One of the first and most noticeable signs of a problem with your main sewage line or drain lines in a house is an unpleasant odor. If you start to detect a sewage-like smell, especially around drains or in your basement, it’s a clear indication that there’s a blockage or issue with your main line sewer or plumbing main drain. This smell is not just a nuisance; it’s a warning sign that should not be ignored.

Slow Draining Water

  • Sinks and Bathtubs: If water is taking longer than usual to drain in your sinks or bathtubs, it could be a sign of a blockage in your drain lines.
  • Toilets: A toilet that doesn’t flush efficiently or seems to be struggling might indicate a problem with the main line drain or main plumbing.
  • Multiple Fixtures: If multiple fixtures in your home are draining slowly, it’s a strong indication of a mainline sewer issue.

Unusual Noises and Backups

  • Gurgling Sounds: If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your drains, especially after flushing the toilet or using the sink, it’s a sign of a potential main sewer pipe problem.
  • Water Backups: Water backing up in odd places, like water appearing in the bathtub when you flush the toilet, is a clear sign of a main drain line in house issue.
  • Frequent Clogs: If you’re frequently dealing with clogs, especially in the lowest points of your home, it could be a sewer mainline problem.

Your home’s main plumbing and drain lines are vital systems that ensure wastewater is efficiently removed. Being aware of the common signs of issues can help you address problems early, saving you time, money, and potential health hazards. So, always remember to keep an ear out for those gurgling sounds, and if you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to consult with a main line plumber like the Plaid Pros at D&F Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling. And you can also take preventative measures to avoid clogged sewer lines.

Plumber doing a video scope of main sewer line and a description of common main line and drain line problems

Solutions for Main Line and Drain Line Issues

Encountering problems with your main line plumbing or drain lines can be daunting, especially when you’re unsure how to address them. While some minor issues can be resolved with DIY methods, the complexities of main plumbing line and drain line plumbing often require professional intervention. Here’s why hiring a main line plumber, like D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, is essential and the advanced techniques we employ to restore your home’s plumbing health.

Expertise and Experience

A professional main line plumber brings years of experience and knowledge to the table. We can quickly diagnose the root cause of the issue, whether it’s a main sewage line blockage or a mainline sewer malfunction, ensuring that the problem is addressed efficiently and effectively so you can get back to life’s usual routine.

Advanced Equipment and Techniques

  • Camera Inspections: Using specialized cameras, professional plumbers can get a real-time view inside your main sewer pipe and drain lines in a house, pinpointing the exact location and nature of the problem.
  • Hydro Jetting: This technique uses high-pressure water to clear blockages in your main line drain and sewer main line, ensuring a thorough cleaning without damaging the pipes. Here at D&F, we invest in the latest hydro jetting solutions for the most effective results possible.
  • Trenchless Repairs: For more severe issues, modern plumbers employ trenchless repair techniques, which allow us to fix main plumbing issues without digging up your yard.

Long-term Solutions

While DIY methods might offer a temporary fix, a professional ensures that the solution is long-lasting. We address the root cause, preventing future issues with your main line sewer or plumbing main drain.

So while the temptation to address main plumbing issues on your own might be strong, the benefits of hiring a professional far outweigh the risks. With our expertise, advanced equipment, and commitment to providing long-term solutions, you can rest assured that your home’s plumbing is in good hands. So, the next time you find yourself wondering, “What is the main drain in a house, and how do I fix it?”, remember to call the experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling.

Sewer Line Cleaning Experts

Great, now you’re just a bit more educated on your plumbing terminology than you were before reading this article! Ever consider a plumbing career? 😉

Anyway, if you’re experiencing any issues with your drains or main line, let D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling help! We have the experience and knowledge to help with main line and sewer line repairs quickly. Plus we’re available for plumbing emergencies! Contact our friendly team today!

Plumbing Inspection Guide for New Homeowners

D and F Plumbing Inspection Guide for New Homeowners

Man inspecting underneath sink. D and F Plumbing serving Portland OR and Vancouver WA talks about the importance of a plumbing inspection for new homeowners.Are you in the market for a new home in the Portland metro area? You may want to consider having a plumbing inspection performed. Plumbing inspections aren’t required in most cases, but they are very useful and can potentially save you money and headaches in the future. The last thing you want is to purchase a home only to learn that you now need to invest in new plumbing.

What a Plumbing Inspection Involves

Most plumbing contractors have a checklist they use when performing an inspection, but feel free to give them additional tasks if you have a concern they aren’t aware of. The following are some common plumbing fixtures and parts your plumber should take a look at when performing an inspection.


If you are purchasing an older home, the piping may have not been replaced in a while. Find out how old your pipes are and the material they are made of. If your inspection discovers that you have galvanized pipes, lead pipes or older bronze or brass fittings, you’ll want to have your water tested.

Main Sewer Line

Most plumbing companies offer a video sewer inspection service. With this small camera, your plumber will be able to identify any serious blockages in your sewer line or if you have tree roots invading your sewer line.

Septic System

Is the home not connected to a municipal sewer system? Have your plumber check the entire septic system including the drainfield. A non-functioning septic system will lead to seepage and pose health hazards.


Your plumber should make sure all the toilets in the home are securely in place and ensure there aren’t any leakage or drainage issues. A leaky toilet could cause damage to your flooring. The flappers on the toilets should be checked to make sure they aren’t leaking as well.

Water Pressure and Water Discoloration

During the inspection, your plumber should run the water in the home. This not only helps determine if the pressure fits your needs but it may also be a sign of an underlying problem in the waterline. In addition to checking the water pressure, the drainage should also be examined. Slow drainage may be a sign of a serious blockage further down in your plumbing.

Discolored water should not be used for cooking or drinking. Discolored water may come from a variety of sources. Your plumbing contractor will have to inspect the plumbing throughout the home to identify the root cause before making the necessary repairs.

Water Meter

Checking the water meter is another step your plumber may inspect. If all of the faucets and shut off and the water meter is still turning, this shows there may be a leak somewhere.

Water Heater

It’s important not to forget the water heater when purchasing a home. Water heaters supply the home with hot water. These appliances can be complicated so be sure to hire a plumber who is certified to install and service water heaters.

An inspection will identify signs of corrosion and ensure there are no leaks. Find out how old the water heater is and verify the last time it was serviced. If the water is older than 10 years, you may need a replacement.

Learn More From Your Local Plumber

Don’t get lost in the excitement of buying a home. Take precautions now to ensure you are purchasing a good investment.

Many plumbing companies offer plumbing inspections on homes. They’ll let you know what should be inspected and when it’s done, they’ll tell you what needs to be repaired or replaced.