Finding sewage backing up into your home is about as stressful as it gets. There are many reasons for a sewer backup, none of them pretty.
At PlumbPRO Services, we work with families across Ambler on issues like this regularly. Here, we’ll shed some light on the most common reasons for sewage backup and what you can do to fix it.
Nature is unpredictable, and there are a lot of roots growing beneath the surface of your property, many of which you don’t even know about. If tree or plant roots find a way into your sewage line, problems will follow. There are several ways roots impact pipes, including:
- Growing around the pipe and slowly crushing it
- Pushing into a pipe and cracking it
- Entering a pipe through a hole or opening
Before planting any large shrubs or trees on your property, look at the plumbing plans for the pipes around your home. Plant trees accordingly, and plan for root growth to avoid these issues. If you think roots are at the “root” of your sewage issue, you’ll need to call an expert. A scope will be performed to find the affected pipe and the root removed.
Perhaps the most common reason for a sewer backup is a blockage in the main line. You can tell it’s a main line problem vs. an internal line because all the drains in your home will stop draining simultaneously. This means the clog is far out past the point where the pipes meet.
You may notice this problem begins after a big storm or rainfall. If your city sewers are experiencing problems or undergoing maintenance, it could be disrupting your main line. At this level, the only thing you can do is call a plumber. The good news is, if the clog is off your property at the city level, you may not be responsible for paying for repairs.
Unlike a main line blockage, a small clog usually impacts only one drain or connected drains in your home. If you flush the toilet and notice strange sounds or the toilet won’t drain, it’s a clog. Clogs happen for many reasons and can occur at any level within your pipe system.
When clogs get bad, sewage isn’t able to flow out of your home through its regular route. Instead, it’s forced back up through a side pipe. It could wind up in your tub, laundry sink, or another drain.
To avoid these severe blockages, keep fats and grease from your sink, install a hair trap in the shower and tub, and never flush:
- Baby wipes
- Cotton swabs
- Feminine hygiene products
- Paper towel
- Dental floss
Sewer pipes are a fair size. It takes a lot for them to jam up. If your sewer line is clogged, there’s a real problem down there. Try a plunger first. If the issue began in your kitchen sink, pour boiling water down the drain to loosen hardened grease. Try a baking soda and vinegar mixture to give it some power.
Never pour chemical drain cleaner into your sink, tub, or toilet. While it’s marketed to unclog drains, it’s made of corrosive ingredients that eat away at the pipes in your home. If your pipes are already under strain, this could cause further issues.
If a plunger, hot water, or baking soda and vinegar come up empty-handed, try releasing the pressure on your sewer cleanout line. Turn off the water to your home and locate the cleanout line. It’s usually a white pipe with a cap somewhere in your yard. Only a short piece will be sticking up from the earth.
To release pressure in the line, remove the cap. This internal change should automatically push any expended sewer water back into the line. As long as there’s no massive clog, the line could drain by itself this way.
Call PlumbPRO Services for Help
When all else fails, it’s time to call a professional for help. Experienced professionals are trained in the many causes and cures for backed-up sewer lines. We understand the delicate nature of your home’s internal plumbing system and work with families throughout Ambler.
If your sewer line is backing up and you don’t know why we can help. Call PlumbPRO Services today to talk to a professional, obtain an estimate, and have your sewer issue solved. We’ll diagnose and remedy the issue, so your life and pipes can get back to normal.