A sewer backup situation at home can be a nightmare. The messy stinky sewer water is not only a major cleanup challenge, it is also a definite health hazard.
Sewer line backups usually occur when the wastewater drainage from your house gets obstructed in the sewer line. This causes the wastewater to flow backwards into your home, as your drain pipes continue to fill up.
It’s very likely that you are also interested in knowing what causes sewer backups.
Here are the chief causes of sewer backups that you should know about.
1. Blocked sewer lines
Sewer lines can get clogged due to non-degradable waste and trash. Kitchen waste like coffee grounds and cooking fats can accumulate in the sewer lines and clog them. Toilet paper and tissues flushed down the toilet can also ultimately collect in the sewer lines. Likewise, sewer lines can block due to accumulated hair and other solid wastes.
In order to avoid sewer line backups, you must be vigilant about what goes down the drain. Having a drain catcher in the kitchen sink and shower, can help keep unwanted materials from entering the drainage system.
2. Damaged sewer lines
If your home’s drainage system has gone old and rusty, you may have to face sewer backup problems soon. The sewer lines in old homes may be made of cast iron or other metals, and are likely to get rusted and deteriorate over time. Broken sewer pipes will surely lead to sewer backup.
Modern PVC pipelines are less prone to damage or rusting, and can last for years without much trouble. As such there are fewer chances of sewer line backups if PVC pipes are installed in your home’s drainage and plumbing.
3. Lack of proper maintenance
Neglected sewer lines will surely surprise you with a backup issue sooner or later. Homeowners should be proactive about maintaining and cleaning the sewer lines on a regular basis, at least once every 3-5 years. Powerful vacuums are used to clear the sewer lines of blockages and debris.
Besides clearing the sewer line, you should also consider getting an inspection done. Sewer lines are inspected using a camera. Any damage to the pipes; cracks and clogs etc. can be detected through the inspection, and you get the problem fixed before it gets out of hand.
Don’t forget that the lateral sewer lines are your responsibility too. You should get the lateral sewer pipes inspected and cleared as well. You can contact any reputable plumbing company for these services.
4. Tree roots in sewer lines
You probably didn’t imagine nature to be a problem, did you? But the truth is, if there are trees and plants growing near your home’s sewer line they can cause sewer line backups too.
Deep tree roots can penetrate into the sewer line and lead to clogs. In fact, sometimes the tree may not even be planted right over the sewer, but its root could have spread all the way. The roots can lead to cracks in the pipes, or may even wrap around a pipe and crush it. All these mishaps could lead to a major sewer backup in your home.
5. Gutters and downspouts
A lot of times homeowners don’t realize that the connection of gutters and downspouts in their homes plays a crucial role. If the gutters and downspouts, and even sump pumps for that matter, are connected to regular drainage pipes in your home plumbing, you may have to face sewer backup issues. Whenever there is an overload in the city sewer lines due to stormy and rainy weather, sewer water can back up into your home through the gutters and downspouts.
It’s better to establish connections of the gutter and downspouts with a storm sewer line, rather than the city sewer line.