Municipal Drain Cleaning

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Municipal Drain Cleaning Portland

Clogged drains are incredibly frustrating when discovered. They prevent municipal facilities from performing adequate waste removal when it is most needed. This is especially important in restaurants and school systems, where sanitation is held under extreme scrutiny for the safety of the public. If blockages are causing problems in such areas, this could point to a bigger issue in the underground systems as a whole.

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Should such problems arise, professionals are needed to ensure the safety and sanitation of the buildings the problem is residing within. This is where Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning service steps in. Having serviced Portland’s drain and sewer pipe needs since 1984, our experienced and fully licensed technicians are able to professionally and efficiently deliver expert care when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your pipes. Our guarantee ensures that we always show up on time and quickly perform the work required to get your drains running free and clear once again.

Drains become clogged when grease, hair, dirt and soap scum build up within the pipes, restricting the water flow and reducing the capacity for you to use your utilities. When this debris builds up too much, complete blockages can occur, increasing your risk of flooding in your building. It is important that your employees or students are educated on the proper material that is allowed to be flushed down the toilet in order to reduce the risk of clogs, as well as the importance of using a catchment system for disposing of grease rather than using the kitchen sink.

Getting rid of a small clog may be easy, but if it is occurring too often you will increase the chance of severe damage occurring in the sewer pipe walls. Without paying due care to the health of your pipes, you will eventually have to pay thousands of dollars for a complete repair. With routine maintenance and immediate action when clogs occur, you can reduce your costs and prevent your system from requiring more extreme repair.

Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning are committed to delivering the preventative maintenance and due care that your pipes need in order to function perfectly. We start by inspecting the length of your pipes using a camera, identifying problem areas in order to accurately diagnose the point of restriction and what is causing it. We then develop the most optimal strategy to solve the issue for good.

There are a number of methods that we use in order to remove the clog from your system. The easiest and most common way is to use an industrial drain snake. This flexible device is pushed through your pipes until it reaches the clog, at which point it becomes rigid enough to push and loosen the clog with the help of steel brushes. While snaking can remove hair, grease and other small debris, more difficult blockages may require the use of hydro jetting devices. A hydro-jetting machine forcibly breaks down blockages using high-pressure water and can tackle extreme blockages caused by tree roots. This is the ideal solution for pipes that require a more direct approach. Our team will be able to accurately diagnose your issue to determine exactly which method is the most appropriate for the problem you are experiencing.

Clogged drains are an unavoidable part of life and can pose a problem for even the most experienced janitor. In these times, turn to Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. To discuss your options call us today.

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    We provide upfront pricing before work gets started. We never have any hidden fees or charges.

    Convenient 24-7 Service

    Apollo’s 24-hour service quickly responds to after-hours plumbing emergencies. Our technicians are on call 24-7.

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    Apollo employees are your neighbors and part of Oregon’s community. Apollo thanks you for your business.

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Drain FAQs

My drain is clogged again even though I’m careful. Why does this keep happening?

Unfortunately, it’s easy to accidentally put grease down your drains no matter how hard you try not to. When you rinse dishes in your sink, they often have a thin layer of grease on them. Your hot rinsing water dissolves this and helps it run down your drains. When the grease cools later, it hardens against the pipe wall. Over time, this can cause significant grease buildup that can also catch other debris in its trap, causing a major sink clog. 

Some of my drains smell terrible! How can I stop this odor?

If the drains are ones you use a lot, try rinsing them with a 1:1 combination of vinegar and baking soda. Put the baking soda in the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then pour the vinegar down and leave it for 15 more minutes. Finally, wash it all down the drain with hot water and see if things smell better.

If the drains are ones you don’t use much, you may need to simply add water to them. Many drains keep out odors because they place a water trap between you and the smells. If this water leaks out, which it often does over time, there won’t be a barrier between you and the bad smells. Pour a bucket of water down the drains and see if that helps. If your water trap keeps disappearing, call one of our plumbers to find out why.

What can I put down my garbage disposal? I don’t want it to clog!

The key to making most garbage disposals work is to use enough water with them. You’ll want to allow the water to run for at least 10 seconds after the scraps you put down them are gone, and maybe up to 30 seconds. When you do this, you can put almost any non-fibrous items down the disposal, including coffee grounds, eggs and egg shells, potato peelings, bones up to ½” in diameter, apples, and citrus peels. 

How can I prevent clogs throughout my home?

There are a lot of things that you can do to prevent clogs at home. Make sure each drain opening is covered by a trap of some kind. These will collect hair (in the shower) or food scraps so they don’t accidentally go down the drain and cause a clog. You should also make sure that only products intended for your toilets get flushed. In the kitchen, do your best to remove grease before you rinse your dishes in the sink and make sure larger debris either goes into the trash can or gets put down the garbage disposal correctly, with plenty of water. 

Can I try to unclog my own drains?

Whether you try to unclog your own drains is up to you. We don’t recommend using chemical drain cleaners, like Drano. These won’t actually solve your problem but will, instead, simply dissolve a hole through the middle of your clog. If you use them too often, they may dissolve holes in your pipes, too! You can try leaving a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and baking soda in a clogged drain for up to 30 minutes and see if that helps, instead.


A plunger may also help with your clogged drain, even if it’s not in the toilet. If it doesn’t work, there are a variety of products that you can rent or buy that may help you unclog your drain. These hooks and short snakes can be useful, though they can also further damage your plumbing. If you choose to use them, make sure you understand how to do so before you start your project.

When should I call a plumber about my drain problems?

We are always happy to look at your drains, whether it’s for maintenance or to solve an acute problem. However, we definitely recommend bringing in a professional when:


  • You can’t get rid of a clog using your normal method of drain cleaning
  • Your clog is causing a major backup and water or waste are damaging your home
  • You have a clog that keeps coming back, no matter what you do
  • You have clogs all over the house, all at the same time
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See Why Your Neighbors Choose Us

4.8 Stars | 800+ Google Reviews
4.8 Stars | 800+ Google Reviews

    Apollo jetted the basement drain line in our old 1927 Portland house. The line has been backing up thru the floor drain for a while. The technician cleared out the line with the hydro-jet, and it’s running great now. On-time and professional!


    - Tim T., Google Review


    Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning was on time, professional, and very knowledgeable. He took the time to inspect our rain drain to our dry well and do everything he could to alleviate the issue. I would highly recommend Apollo, they were informative and straight forward. Honesty is obviously a value they uphold for their customers.


    - Forrest W., Google Review


    I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we were with the service we received today from Anthony. He was incredibly personable and friendly. He went above and beyond and made the service call painless. Anthony took care of our clogged train in no time. Apollo and Anthony are the best! We highly recommend them.


    - Jennifer T., Google Review

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