A clogged drain or toilet is a problem, but not one that should be too much cause for alarm. Sewer line clogs, however, are another situation altogether. But what causes these to occur? Find out below.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Sewer Line Clogs?
Almost every homeowner has experienced the frustration of a blocked drain, a slow-running sink, or a bathtub. While a single blockage might be inconvenient, it’s usually simple to clear.
What happens, though, if all of your drains back up at the same time?
It might be a clogged sewer drain. When drain cleaning techniques fail, a whole sewer line (or even just a piece) may need to be repaired or replaced. The following are the most common signs that a repair or replacement operation is required:
1. Severe Damage To The Pipes
When sewer pipes break or burst, sewage cannot flow freely through the system, resulting in rapid and frequent backups. Sewer pipe damage may be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Shifting soil, settling, increasing traffic on the ground above, or the use of heavy construction equipment above ground may all cause sewer pipe burst.
- An older pipe has corroded, leading it to shatter or collapse.
- Water and sewage may leak at joints where the seals between sections of pipe have cracked, enabling water and sewage to escape.
2. A Sewer Line That Is Sagging
Sagging sewage pipes occurs over time and are beyond of a homeowner’s control. When a segment of a pipe sinks owing to ground or soil conditions, it is known as a “bellied” pipe.
The low point in the line will begin to gather paper and debris, causing blockages to occur again and again.
3. Infiltration Of Tree Roots
Clay or other porous materials were occasionally used to create older sewage systems. Furthermore, the connections between pipe sections were not as tight as they are today with PVC pipes.
Roots of trees and shrubs seek for water sources as they develop. If they grip onto a sewage pipe, they will grow into it to get access to the water inside. The line may break as the roots get larger over time.
4. Disposing Of Debris In The Toilet
It’s critical to understand what you can and can’t flush down your toilet for the benefit of your plumbing system’s health.
Using your toilet as a garbage can can clog your sewage line. The most important thing to remember while flushing the toilet is to ensure that only human waste and toilet paper are flushed.
5. Grease Pouring Down The Drain
When it comes to blocking lines, grease, fats, and oil are some of the most common offenders. Pouring grease, oil, or other fats down the drain is never a smart idea.
Pour hot grease into a coffee can or jar at all times. You may toss it away after it has solidified. When putting oil down a drain, many people believe that running hot water can assist wash it away. This isn’t the case at all.
Grease will solidify and adhere to your pipes as it cools, resulting in sewage line blockages. To avoid difficulties, familiarize yourself with what you should and should not throw down your trash disposal or drain.
The Signs That You Might Have A Sewer Line Problem
The main sewer line is generally the first place a clog will occur. One key contributing factor can be if there is too much water in the pipe. That means you should try to keep your toilet tanks from getting filled up and use a stick to clear out any debris that might have accumulated on top of them or near the opening where they drain into your house’s plumbing system.
If you want to discover a sewage line problem before it’s too late, we’ve compiled a list of four warning indicators to check for:
Drains Or Sewer Lines Continue To Clog
Our recommendation is to avoid using liquid “drain cleaning” and to get a professional to inspect your clogged drain. A crack or obstruction in your sewage line might be the cause of a constantly clogged drain, particularly at the lowest level of your property.
Several Light Fixtures Are Clogged
You’re not sure if the toilet or shower drain is clogged due to a single pipe obstruction or a sewer line problem. When more than one plumbing fixture backs up at the same time, it’s a clear symptom of a sewage line problem.
When Using Plumbing Fixtures, Strange Reactions Occur
While you suspect a sewer drain blockage, the next thing to check for is any unexpected or strange responses when utilizing plumbing equipment. If any of the following apply to you, you may have a problem:
- When you flush the toilet, water backs up in your tub or shower.
- The water in the toilet begins to bubble. If this happens, run water for a minute or so in the sink nearest to the toilet. It’s not a fluke if the water continues to bubble (or climb).
- When the toilet flushes or the water in your bathtub or shower drains, you may hear a gurgling sound. If you hear anything like this, call your local plumber.
Your Lawn Begins To Alter
A sewer line runs from your house to the city’s sewage system, usually via your front yard. Examine your grass to check whether any of the following changes have occurred:
- You’ll notice an indentation on your grass if your sewage pipe has broken.
- It might be sewage from a damaged sewer line if you see a damp area of grass when it hasn’t rained or snowed lately.
Why Are Main Sewer Line Clogs So Bad?
The main sewage line connects all of the plumbing fixtures, drains, and pipes in your house. It is the largest (and most significant) piece of plumbing in your home.
The main sewage line may take a hammering over time due to poor usage of these fixtures, drains, and pipes, as well as a variety of other external issues. The main sewage line might eventually get blocked (or perhaps collapse), necessitating extensive repair or possibly replacement. This wear and tear might become a headache you don’t need!
Knowing what causes sewage lines to clog and what to look for as warning signs may help you avoid having to deal with a significant repair or replacement.
Sewer Line Repair & Replacement Options
While certain drain cleaning and maintenance operations may be safely completed by a homeowner, sewer line repair and replacement should always be handled by a licensed plumber.
Inspection Via Video
By employing an in-line Inspection via video camera, you will be able to see where the problem lies and experience faster and less costly repairs. Here’s how it works:
- The camera technician controls a gadget that transmits the images acquired by the camera. These photos are saved to be reviewed later.
- Simultaneously, a radio transmitter on the camera captures the actual position of the line and its depth from the surface, allowing for optimal planning and implementation of repairs.
There are a few alternatives to pick from if it’s found — and you agree — that a sewage line has to be repaired or rebuilt.
Sewer Line Repair Or Replacement (Traditional)
The Sewer Line Repair or Replacement (Traditional) is typically performed using a backhoe to dig up the area surrounding the line, allowing easy access to the problem area. Once the repair is made, the backhoe is used to refill the area.
Depending on the quality of your pipes, their arrangement, or where you reside, this may be your only choice.
Methods Of Trenchless Sewer Line Repair
Small access holes are drilled where the broken pipe begins and terminates for trenchless repairs. The current pipe is then shattered into fragments while a new pipe is drawn through it, simultaneously laying fresh pipe.
Because just the earth at the beginning and end of the line is disturbed, trenchless repairs cause less damage to yards and driveways than typical repair procedures.
If You Need To Repair A Sewer Line, Call A Professional Plumber
Regardless of the option you pick, the job must be handled by a qualified and competent professional plumber. Sewer line problems usually require big repair jobs that utilize the tools and skills only a plumber can provide.
Main sewer line clogs are often caused by foreign objects. The cost of a main sewer line clog is about $2,000.
A leaky faucet can lead to increased water bills. Find out more in What Causes A Faucet To Leak?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the main sewer line keep clogging?
A: The main sewer line keeps clogging because the sewage within it is not flowing properly. This can be caused by a number of things, such as an obstruction in the pipe or something blocking one end of it for example.
How do you unclog a main sewer line?
A: The best way to unclog a main sewer line is by using an auger, which can be rented or bought. You can also use the assistance of a plumbing professional.
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