A blocked sewer line is among one of the most common sewer problems that homeowners may encounter. While the blockage itself may be unseen, it can cause substantial damage inside the home such as raw sewage backup coming out of the drains. Such blockages can occur due to a number of reasons, but some causes are more common than others.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Sewer Line Blockage?
Clogged drains or toilets
Among common sewer problems, clogs may occur in the main sewer line or in one of the secondary lines. When the clog is located in the main sewer line, any water which is run in the house will cause problems. If a clog happens to be positioned in a secondary line, then the problem will be isolated to a specific area only.
For instance, if water from the bathroom sink refuses to go down or resurfaces up in the bathtub, but flushing the toilet creates no issues, then the clog is likely a located in a secondary line. However, if the toilet percolates every time water is run or every flush triggers a case of sewage backup at home, then unclogging the main sewer line may be required.
One of the other reasons why a main sewer line clog happens is because of tree roots. Even when there are no trees directly above the sewer line, roots from neighboring areas may cause the sewer line to become blocked.
The blockage may result from the tree roots growing into the pipeline or wrapping around the sewer line and crushing it. Red flags such as gurgling noises from the toilet bowl or slow flowing drains are often indicative of the sewer system being affected by tree roots.
Old sewer lines
Sewer lines in older homes may also be susceptible to aging and become cracked, broken or collapsed over time. Even though plastic sewer lines are now typically installed, their older counterparts were made from clay piping and cast iron, both of which which can potentially break down and cause sewer problems. Old pipes can also rust and break open, causing sewer problems.
Another common culprit for sewer line blockages is pouring of cooking grease and fat down the drain. Although liquid when poured down the drain, the grease and fat eventually hardens, solidifies and becomes lodged within the plumbing lines. The stubborn clog then starts to collect debris and cause problems within the sewer lines.
Clogs caused by grease buildup typically happen at about 25 feet into the sewage line where the hot water which runs down the drains is cooled off. In the absence of the hot water, grease tends to build up and harden. Any other organic waste coming down the same drain can coagulate with the grease and aggravate the problem.
Unauthorized plumbing connections
Occasionally drainage system such as DIY sump pumps or other backyard drains can also contribute to the problem of clogged sewer lines. When installed improperly, these systems can compromise the integrity of an otherwise functional sewer system and cause problems for home owners.
When a blockage is suspected, it is recommended that the sewer cleanout line – a short, round, white pipe with a rubber cap – is used to release the water pressure buildup so that the water is sent outside the home instead of inside. Blockage problems can also be avoided by not using chemical based drain cleaners.
Remember that most sewer clogs can be prevented with regular maintenance and preventive measures such as not flushing items like facial tissues, napkins, diapers, or sanitary products down the toilet. At the same time, practices like using the garbage disposal properly – avoiding dumping any large quantities of items down the disposal – can also prevent blockages from happening.
Tidal Wave Response
If you do find yourself faced with a sewer line blockage, get in touch with experts like Tidal Wave Response in Atlanta. We offer professional grade sewer line solutions that can include a video inspection of the sewer line to view the exact cause of the problem.
We offer timely and reasonably priced services to cut down the main sewer line clog costs for our clients.