While most homeowners and even renters have dealt with a basic drain clog or backup of some kind in their lives, a rarer and more serious event is a main sewer line clog in a home. This is a more significant concern than a typical clog that you’d clear up with a plunger or basic drain cleaner, often impacting several pipe areas at once and commonly requiring expensive repairs.
The team with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air is here to help with numerous drain and sewer installation and repair needs, including concerns with the main sewer line. Luckily, these issues can be prevented with a thorough understanding of how the main sewer line works and what the common causes are of clogging and other sewer concerns. This two-part blog will go over everything you need to know, from the reasons why you have to take these issues seriously to the potential causes and signs that will tip you off.
Severity of Sewer Line Issues
Why are sewer line issues more severe than typical drain clogs or related concerns? Well, because they typically involve numerous drains, not just one – in fact, they commonly include every drain in a given home’s plumbing system.
This is due to issues with the main line itself, which serves as a funneling point for all your smaller drains in the home. The main sewer line connects to your public utility lines, running through your yard underground to do so. So when it has issues, they will affect not only this line, which is a major plumbing feature of any property, but also the other drains in the home that connect to it. This is why understanding the causes of sewer line issues and how to avoid them is so important as a homeowner, which we’ll go over in our upcoming sections.
Perhaps the single top cause of main sewer line backups and clogs is improper use of toilets in the home. The primary culprit here: Flushing down items that are not meant to be flushed.
These items range from tissues and cotton balls to so-called “flushable” wipes – most of which are not actually flushable despite claiming as much. Simply put, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down a toilet – any other items may risk clogs, and should be disposed of in other ways to avoid main sewer line issues.
As we noted above, main sewer lines typically run underground through a part of your property, most often the back yard. If you have trees that are near this area, or if you plant new ones too close, their root systems may reach out and impact the sewer line in search of water. Tree roots are incredibly powerful, and can actually grow into pipes and crack, corrode or otherwise damage them, expanding over time and blocking up the entire system. If planting new trees, you should take great care to understand main sewer line locations and avoid them.
For more on how to recognize the signs of a main sewer line clog, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.