Serving Albany, Schenectady, & Troy Since 1939

A Glossary of Sewer and Drain Terms You Need to Know

At Crisafulli Bros. we really believe in empowering our customers with plumbing knowledge. We like to make certain that everyone who calls on us for help knows at least the basics of the work we will perform and why. This is a huge part of how we keep our services honest, reliable, and fairly priced.

Oftentimes, sewer and drainage work is the most foreign to our customers. To help you get an idea of what can cause a problem, as well as how such issues can be fixed, we have compiled a quick glossary of sewer and drain terminology every property owner should know.

At Crisafulli Bros. we really believe in empowering our customers with plumbing knowledge. We like to make certain that everyone who calls on us for help knows at least the basics of the work we will perform and why. This is a huge part of how we keep our services honest, reliable, and fairly priced.

Oftentimes, sewer and drainage work is the most foreign to our customers. To help you get an idea of what can cause a problem, as well as how such issues can be fixed, we have compiled a quick glossary of sewer and drain terminology every property owner should know.

Commonplace drainage terms you may hear or recognize:

  • Backwater Valve: Prevents raw sewage from re-entering into your home if the city has a problem.
  • Clean Out: A sewer cleanout is a pipe with a cap that provides access to a sewer line so that a blockage can be removed.
  • House Trap: U shaped in design, this item is used to prevent sewer gases/odors from entering a home from the city sewer
  • Jetting: This is a method of cleaning a sewer line with high pressure water to remove roots, debris, and sewer blockages.
  • Scoping/Camera: A visual inspection of a sewer line to determine if the system is functioning properly.
  • Sewer Main: A principal pipe that carries/distributes sewage/sewage water from the home to the city sewer.
  • Snaking: When there is a bad clog in a drain or pipe, plumbing technicians can use a snaking system to remove it. The “snake” is not the animal, but instead a flexible auger that can be fed deeply down the drain to reach the source of the clog.
  • Storm drain: A typically-large drain to remove great amounts of water during strong storms and discharge it into the city’s main sewer line. Storm drains on your property are likely your responsibility to service and keep in good condition.
  • Sump pump: A pump system placed in basements, cellars, and low points in some yards where immediate drainage is not installed. The pump will siphon pooling water and send it down an attached hose, where it can discharge as needed at the other end. Sump pumps can be turned on manually or automatically, depending on the unit.
  • Swale: A small concrete tunnel that helps direct water away from areas where it can collect. Swales often run alongside driveways so discharge can easily reach the street’s gutter.

Have more questions about sewer and drainage terms and services? Please feel free to call (518) 868-0494 and speak with Crisafulli Bros. of the Capital Region. With more than 80 years of industry experience, you can trust that our knowledge is accurate.

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