Sewer line problems can be a big headache for any home owner. It can affect every water fixture in your home from the kitchen sink to the toilet. When your sewer line clogs, water will not drain, and it will even percolate. It will also smell and look bad and make your sinks, toilets and bathtubs unusable.
What causes a sewer line to back up?
Sewer line backups are usually caused by clogs. These clogs can start out small and, if left unattended, can grow to be a serious problem. The longer a clog or backup is ignored, the more serious and costly it can become. Clogs can be localized to only one pipeline and fixture, or the main sewer line can be clogged and affect the whole house. Chances are that if you are experiencing a clog in only one sink or in one toilet, then it is localized to that fixture. If all fixtures are clogged, then the clog may be further down the line. Clogs are most commonly caused by:
- Tree roots
- Broken pipes
How can sewer backups be fixed?
If the backup is localized to one or two fixtures, you should be able to solve the problem by clearing the pipes around those fixtures with a plunger or home drain cleaner. If you have access to the sewer clean-out line in the yard, it may be possible to remove the cap to relieve pressure on the system before calling a plumber to work on the system. Do not attempt to clear deep clogs or those in the sewer main without contacting a plumber. Plumbers have a variety of tools to find and clear clogs, possibly without having to take apart the plumbing or tear up the yard. Clogs that are severe and can't be cleared through other means, such as pipes clogged with tree roots, may have to have the pipes replaced.
How can sewer line backups be prevented?
The best way to prevent sewer line backups is to address the problems in your pipes before they get to the point where they back up. Have your drains inspected and cleaned as part of your regular home maintenance. Use traps to prevent small particles of food or hair from moving down the drain and accumulating into a clog. Do not pour grease or allow grease to flow down the drain. Keep sinks and drains clean of slime and mold. Prevention and being proactive are the keys to keeping small plumbing problems from becoming big ones.
For more information, contact Jim Dhamer Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. or a similar company.