Almost every homeowner has run into the unfortunate situation of having a clogged drain or a slow-running sink or bathtub. While a single clog can be a pain, it’s typically easy to fix.
However, what happens if all the drains in your home begin backing up at once?
It could be a sewer drain clog. The repair or replacement of an entire sewer line (or even just a section) is sometimes required when drain clearing efforts don’t work. Here are the primary indicators that a repair or replacement procedure is required:
1. Severe Pipe Damage
When sewer pipes are broken or ruptured, the sewage won’t be able to properly drain through the system—leading to immediate and frequent backups. Common causes of sewer pipe damage include:
· Sewer pipe rupture due to shifting soil, settling, increased traffic on the ground above, or use of heavy construction equipment above ground.
· Corrosion of an older pipe, causing the pipe to break or collapse.
· Leaking joints where the seals between sections of pipe have broken, allowing water and sewage to escape.
2. A Sagging Sewer Line
While this is out of a homeowner’s control, sagging sewer lines happen over time. This “bellied” pipe occurs when a section of the pipe has sunk due to ground or soil conditions.
The low spot in the line will begin to collect paper and waste—resulting in repeat blockages.
3. Tree Root Infiltration
Older sewer lines were sometimes constructed out of clay or other porous materials. In addition, the connections between the pipe sections weren’t as tight as today’s PVC pipes.
As tree and shrub roots grow, they search for sources of water. If they latch onto a sewer pipe, they will grow into the pipe in order to reach the water inside. As the roots expand over time, it can cause the line to break.
4. Flushing Debris Down the Toilet
For the sake of your plumbing system’s health, it’s important to know what you can and can’t flush down your toilet.
Treating your toilet as a trashcan will cause sewer drain issues. The number one rule to remember when flushing the toilet – make sure only human waste and toilet paper goes down.
5. Pouring Grease Down the Drain
Grease, fats, and oil are all some of the biggest culprits when it comes to clogging lines. It’s NEVER a good idea to pour grease, oil, or other fats down a drain.
Always pour hot grease into a coffee can or jar. Once it solidifies, you can throw it away. People mistakenly think that running hot water when pouring grease down a drain helps wash it away. This is not the case.
Once grease cools off, it will harden and stick to your pipes—leading to sewer line clogs.