A clogged sewer line can completely bog down your home’s plumbing system, affecting the entire household. If you’ve ever experienced the backup of multiple drains in your home, you know what a frustrating and messy experience it is to have a clogged sewer line. Although we can’t always prevent plumbing systems problems, we can take many preventative measures to maintain these systems and reduce the risk of a clog in the sewer line. Here, we’ll outline common sewer line problems, what you can do to prevent them, and what you should do if they occur.
What Is a Clogged Sewer Line?
The sewer line is your home’s main wastewater line. All the wastewater from your home enters this line on its route to your town or city’s wastewater system. Because the line leads from your house across your property to the public sewer system, you are responsible for the sections that are on your property. If you’ve ever experienced a clogged sink or toilet, you know how annoying that problem can be. A clogged sewer line, however, can stop up all of your sinks and toilets, preventing you from doing laundry, washing dishes, using the bathroom, or showering without the wastewater backing up in your drains and, unfortunately, into your home.
What Causes a Sewer Line Clog?
Sewer line clogs can be caused by debris that’s introduced to the line, such as a buildup of grease, hair, or food. Sometimes a section of the pipe can become damaged and cause a partial blockage that results in slow drainage. As this partial blockage becomes filled with debris, a complete backup can occur. Often, older homes in older communities experience more sewer line problems than new homes and new subdivisions.
Tree roots are a leading cause of sewer line clogs. Always prowling the earth for water, tree roots can enter the sewer line through seams in the pipe. Aging pipes are more vulnerable to leaky seams. Tree roots can enter very tiny cracks and crevices to access the water in the pipe. As the root grows and other roots enter, the line can become clogged with them. If left unaddressed, the roots can bust the pipe and cause it to collapse, often necessitating major repair work.
How Can I Prevent Sewer Line Clogs?
As a homeowner, you can take several steps to protect your sewer line and ensure its reliable functionality. Although clogs and pipe damage can still occur, these measures can substantially reduce the risks for a problem.
Use Drain Filters
Over time, food particles, hair, and other debris can find their way into your plumbing system. As these materials accumulate, they will begin to form clogs. The first indication of a growing clog is a slow drain. You can prevent slow drains and clogs by installing drain filters designed to catch all debris before it’s washed into your pipes.
Never Dump Grease Down Your Drains
It’s crucial to keep grease, oils, and fats from entering your drains. There are typically numerous bends and curves in your plumbing system. Instead of washing away clean to the main sewer system, grease, oils, and fats tend to settle in the bends of the system. Heavier than water, they don’t wash clean away. When other items such as food particles or hair pass through the system, they get caught in the grease and form a sticky mess that can turn into a solid mass over time. When this happens, a stubborn clog can develop in any of your affected pipes, including your sewer line.
Hot Water Cleaning
Most plumbers will encourage homeowners to avoid using chemical cleaners to clean their drains. These cleaners often contain harsh chemicals that can erode various types of pipes. Instead, you can routinely keep your drains and sewer line cleaned by running hot water. As the hot water runs for a few minutes, it can melt any grease trapped in the line, as well as thick hair conditioners or other product residues that may be present.
You can occasionally use enzyme cleaners to clean out your drain and sewer line for deep drain cleaning. Because these cleaners do not contain harmful chemicals, they’re safe for pipes. Unlike most commercial drain cleaners, these products are also safe for the environment.
Remove Shrubs and Trees
It’s a good idea to avoid planting any shrubs or trees near your sewer line. When purchasing a home, you should find out from blueprints where this line is to not accidentally plant anything near it. On the other hand, if trees and other foliage plants are already planted, you may wish to remove them, so they don’t pose a threat to your sewer line.
Many homeowners invite their local plumbing service to root out their sewer line annually. Your plumber, such as Lee Home Service, has the equipment needed to quickly clean your drain, removing any debris that could lead to a clog. This maintenance is essential if you’ve ever experienced a tree root clog in your sewer line because the roots will grow back. Annual cleaning can sever and push the tree roots through your line and into the sewer before they can lead to a clog and messy drain backup.
Plumbers have various techniques for cleaning sewer lines. For example, they might perform sewer jetting or sewer rotting with a mechanical auger to clean the line. However, with home sewer cleaning by professionals, you can significantly reduce your risk for a sewer line clog.
Select Lee Home Service
Lee Home Service features a wide range of plumbing and HVAC solutions for homes in and near Kenosha, WI. Using their experience, knowledge, and cameras, our team of expert plumbers can assess your home’s situation and provide immediate options from cleaning, sewer jetting, or sewer rodding.
If you are experiencing a slow drain or notice that multiple drains in your home are draining slowly, contact Lee Home Service right away to provide our pipe and sewer cleaning methods. We have a reputation for outstanding service and affordable rates. Use these tips to keep your sewer line flowing optimally, but if you notice a problem, remember that we can help.