3 Most Common Causes of Sewer Backups and Practical Ways to Prevent Them

22 October 2019   |   by PRIME PLUMBING & HEATING INC   |   Plumbing

A sewer backup may be the most unpleasant event that can occur as a homeowner. You may discover that when heavy rains occur, the water that is supposed to flow from your rain gutter down through your sewer line gets pushed back into your home and finds its way into your bathrooms and other places where wastewater is supposed to drain out.

A sewer backup can cause serious damage to a home and expose a family to health risks.

Data from the Insurance Information Institute tells us that there are more than 500,000 claims arising from damage caused by sewer backups in the United States annually. It also goes to show that at least half a million homeowners call a plumber each year to address sewer problems alone.

Here the three most common causes of sewer backups and what you can do to prevent them:

Blockage
Roots of trees can create holes or cracks in sewer pipes and eventually grow inside them. This prevents waste water from flowing efficiently down to the local sewer system.

Clogs
Clogs are solid items that build up in the drain and eventually block the waste water. These include hair, soil, cooking grease (it will stick to the walls of your sewer pipe, solidify and build up over time) which will eventually cause water to backup.

Broken or Worn Out Lines
Your sewer pipes can be destroyed over time by rust or other elements such as tree roots, random digging and other causes. This allows debris to get into the pipe and eventually block waste water from passing through.

How to Prevent Prevent Sewage Backups
Thinking of its health risks and all the troubles it can bring makes us afraid of sewer backups happening in our homes. Fortunately, it is preventable. Here are some measures you can apply to prevent sewage backup:

1. Avoid washing left-over cooking oil down the drain.
Even if you thought the cooking oil has disintegrated because you have rinsed it with dish washing solution or hot water, it will still solidify and accumulate on the inner walls of your drain pipe. This can become a clog over time.

2. Remove loose hair, and other solid materials from bathroom floors, sinks, and washing machines before flushing them down the drain. These materials don’t disintegrate and could block your sewer system in the long run.

3. Make sure that your sinks and floor drains are fitted with strainers to prevent solid materials from going through the drain.

4. Avoid flushing paper, feminine products, cotton swabs, and other materials down the toilet as it might block the drain line.

5. Use plastic pipes in your sewer line. Good quality PVC pipes are better than cast or galvanized iron pipes because they are not sensitive to corrosion. Corroded steel pipes easily get punctures or cracks and they often give way to soil and tree roots. If your existing sewer line is made of steel and experiencing issues, you should replace it with plastic or PVC. Call a plumber to help you with this task.

Ensure guaranteed workmanship for all of your water and sewer line projects. Call Prime Plumbing at (720) 542-8153.