There are a number of components in your plumbing system that play an important role in general and long-term operations, and one of the single most prominent here is your main sewer line. This line is connected to many of the specific drains and pipes within your home's system, serving as a conduit between your home and municipal water lines -- and if it becomes clogged, this can be a significant problem.
At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we're happy to provide quality sewer line repair services to clients in Millcreek and surrounding areas, ensuring this vital component stays in good shape at all times. What are the common causes and signs of a clogged sewer line, and what will your options be for remedying it? Here's a general primer.
Top Causes of Clogged Sewer Lines
There are several common causes of clogs in a main sewer line, including:
- Sagging issues: Especially if the sewer line is older, it may have begun to sag in places due to the gradual loss of integrity. This can cause blockages as debris gets caught in the sagging sections.
- Tree root infiltration: Tree roots are attracted to moisture, and they can grow into sewer lines if given enough time. Once they've infiltrated a line, they'll continue to grow and cause blockages.
- Structural damage: If there has been any sort of damage to the sewer line itself, this can cause clogs as debris gets caught in the damaged sections.
- Flushing non-approved items down the toilet: One of the sewer line clog causes that you have the most control over as a resident is what you flush down your toilet. Only human waste and toilet paper should go down, as other items (like paper towels, diapers, feminine hygiene products, etc.) can cause clogs.
- Grease down the drain: Other drains in the home may also lead to clogs in the sewer line if you're not careful. For instance, pouring grease down a kitchen drain can cause it to solidify further down the line and lead to a clog.
As you can see, some of the causes of sewer line issues can't really be helped -- but others can. The right attention to your drains and your toilet can make a big difference in preventing clogs.
Signs of a Clogged Sewer Line
Now that you know the common causes of sewer line problems, what are some of the specific signs that you have one? Here are a few things to look out for:
- Multiple drains backing up: If you notice that several different drains in your home are starting to back up or drain slowly, this is a sign that there may be a clog further down the line affecting them all. Just a single drain backing up, on the other hand, could sometimes just be due to an issue in that particular drain.
- A gurgling sound coming from the toilet: If you flush your toilet and hear a gurgling noise, it may mean that there's a blockage in the sewer line.
- Unusual odors: If you start to notice sewage smells coming from your drains, that's another sign that there may be a clog in the sewer line.
- Water pooling around the foundation: In some cases, you may see water pooling around the foundation of your home or in your yard. This could be due to a clog in your sewer line, as the water is unable to drain properly.
If you notice any of these signs, it's important to call a professional right away. A plumber will be able to determine if there is indeed a clog in the sewer line and, if so, take steps to clear it out.
How Our Team Will Help
When you call on our team at Neighborly Plumbing & Services for help with what you believe may be a sewer line clog, here are some of the ways we'll go about assisting you:
- Identifying the clog: First and foremost, we'll need to identify exactly where the clog is located. To do this, we may use a method that involves a video camera attached to a flexible rod. This will allow us to see into the sewer line and pinpoint the exact location of the clog.
- Clearing the clog: Once we know where the clog is, we can take steps to clear it out. We may use a hydro jetting system, which uses high-pressure water to break up and remove debris. Or, in some cases, we may need to dig up the sewer line to access it and clear the clog manually.
- Backhoe digging: One such method of digging that we often utilize is backhoe digging. This involves using a machine with a large bucket on the front to dig up the earth around the sewer line. Once we have access to the line, we can clear out any blockages.
- Trenchless pipe repair: In some cases, a clogged sewer line may be due to damage to the pipe itself. If this is the case, we may need to perform a trenchless pipe repair. This involves using a small access hole to insert a new pipe into the old one, essentially creating a new sewer line without having to dig up your yard.
If you're dealing with a clogged sewer line, don't hesitate to call on our team at Neighborly Plumbing & Services for help. We'll be able to quickly identify the issue and take steps to fix it, getting your plumbing system back up and running in no time.