What Homeowners Can Do About Backed-Up Sewer Lines

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What Is a Sewer Line Backup? 

Sewer line backups are exactly what they sound like. It’s when wastewater and sewage back up into the home’s drains rather than exiting through the sewer lines. The signs of a backed-up sewer line include foul odors, water in the sink that drains slowly, overflowing toilets, and standing water or wet spots in the yard. 

However, a sewer line backup is both fixable and preventable. Here, homeowners can learn some basic information about backups in sewer lines, including their common causes, how they can be prevented, and how a professional can help. 

How Does a Sewer Line Backup Happen? 

tree roots There are many reasons why a sewer line backup may occur in a household. Some common causes include: 

  • Obstructions: Clogs and blockages, especially those made of food residue, hair, and soap scum, can cause a sewage backup. Why? Imagine a pipe with a tough clog. The water has nowhere to go if it can’t get past the clog. So, it’ll reverse, usually into a drain or toilet. 
  • Tree root intrusion: Sometimes, plant matter like tree roots can get inside underground piping, causing cracks, damage, or an obstruction that impedes water flow, which can lead to a backed-up sewer line.
  • Broken and damaged pipes: Over time, pipes can break down, crack, and become damaged from all sorts of things like age, wear and tear, and shifting soil, leading to a sewage backup. 

How a Professional Can Fix a Backed-Up Sewer Line 

camera inspection Before a plumber can fix a backed-up sewer line, they must identify its cause and the extent of the damage. They may do this by employing sewer video inspection, where they insert a small camera into the piping to identify damage or blockages. If an obstruction is causing the backup, a plumber may use hydro jet drain cleaning or a drain snake to break down the clog. 

If the pipe is broken or damaged and needs repair, they may use trenchless repair methods to fix it. This is where a plumber uses a non-invasive approach like epoxy pipe lining to fix the line. One thing’s for sure. It’s very difficult for homeowners to fix a backed-up sewer line by themselves. DIY fixes could make the problem worse and further damage the plumbing system. So, homeowners should consult a professional instead. 

How Homeowners Can Help Prevent Backed-Up Sewer Lines 

Homeowners can help prevent sewer line backups and the damage they cause by: 

  • Be mindful of what is flushed: Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Cotton swabs, paper towels, and so-called “flushable” wipes can cause clogs (and, by extension, sewer backups). 
  • Be careful what goes down drains: Many clogs in the sewer line are caused by cooking grease, oil, and food waste that gets put down the drain in the kitchen sink. Avoid using drains, even ones with garbage disposals, as a trash bin and instead throw food scraps, grease, and oil in the garbage. 
  • Use drain mesh screens: Food residue, hair, and soap scum that accidentally go down the home’s drains can cause nasty obstructions. Drain screens are a cheap and easy way to catch things and prevent them from entering drain and sewer lines.
  • Schedule annual plumbing maintenance visits: When it comes to preventing plumbing problems, nothing beats scheduling yearly maintenance with a professional. A plumber can check for issues like clogs, pipe damage, and worn-out valves and advise homeowners on additional preventative measures. 

About JD Precision Plumbing Services 

JD Precision Plumbing Services is a family-owned and operated company serving Spring and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, hassle-free service, and financing. Call them today for sewer line services in Spring, TX