A main sewer line clog is probably the biggest plumbing-related problem you could face. A clogged sewer drain essentially paralyzes your entire plumbing system because there is nowhere for wastewater to go. Everything hinges on breaking up that clog. Plumbing emergencies are scary enough when they don’t involve human waste. Unfortunately (and we hate to be the bearer of this news here)… sometimes they do.
Fortunately, many scary plumbing problems are relatively easy to avoid. The best way to avoid sewage back-up is with a few basic preventive measures. If you’re wondering why your sewer drain pipe isn’t flowing, it’s likely one of these three reasons:
Tree Roots in Sewer Line
This is especially relevant for California residents like us. Trees need moisture to thrive. If their access to moisture is limited (due to, say, a drought), they’ll start looking for water anywhere they can get it–including your sewer line. Tiny root tendrils can penetrate small cracks or pipe fittings in your sewer drain pipe and eventually wreak havoc.
Don’t think you’re safe just because you don’t have a yard full of trees, either. Roots can travel far. In fact, your sewage back-up could have happened because of wandering roots from your neighbor’s trees! Regular inspections with sewer and drain cleaning are the easiest ways to keep your home safe from tree roots.
This is the most common cause of sewage back-up. Unfortunately, people try to flush all sorts of things that don’t belong in a toilet. Paper towels, grease, dearly-departed goldfish–you name it. The problem is, when you flush things down your toilet that your pipes can’t handle, your pipes begin to clog.
If you only notice one fixture clogging, that means the clog is probably restricted to a singular set of pipes. That’s good news! If you notice sewage back-up in fixtures all over your home or around your sewer cleanout, then the clog is in your main sewer line. That’s a serious problem, and one you’ll need professional help to fix. To prevent these types of sewer clogs in the first place, watch what you flush. Never pour hot grease down drains, and use your garbage disposal with discretion!
A Broken or Collapsed Sewer Line
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes your sewer line. Depending on the age of your home, your sewer line may have succumbed to the weight of earth above it or it may be constructed of outdated material. Or a combination of the two. These days most sewer lines are made from long-lasting, heavy-duty plastic materials but that wasn’t always the case.
Older homes tend to have cast iron or clay piping. These materials may disintegrate and wear down over time until they break or even collapse. When your sewer line collapses, the sewage it processes doesn’t have anywhere to go; so it backs up. If you’re worried about your sewer line, you can have a professional plumber perform a camera inspection of your pipes to assess their condition.
Los Angeles Sewer Cleaning and Maintenance
When sewer clogs stop your home plumbing from working, get in touch with Mike Diamond. Whatever your sewer line needs, we’ve got you covered. That’s what we’re here for – even if it’s gross.