A sewer backup is among the most unpleasant plumbing issues you might experience. This issue occurs when sewage and wastewater accumulate in your sink, toilet, or drain. You want to avoid sewer backups, so watching for the early signs of issues is important.

When you fail to take care of problems in your sewer line, they can worsen and lead to sewage backing up into your home. Besides being unsanitary, sewage backup can necessitate costly repairs. If you notice issues with your plumbing, including slow drains or noisy pipes, take them as a call to action.

What Is a Sewer Backup?

A sewer backup occurs when a clog in the sewer line prevents wastewater from draining away from your home. When this happens, the water continues to rise until it begins overflowing. If it backs up, wastewater can flood your home, making a terrible mess. Wastewater is contaminated and quite hazardous, which makes it essential for you to hire professional cleaners to perform the cleanup and a professional plumber to make repairs.

Signs and Causes of a Sewer Backup

Homeowners can easily miss early signs of a building clog. One strong indicator that you have sewer line issues occurs when the drains throughout your house drain slowly. While one slow drain might indicate a clog in that drain, multiple affected drains point to a sewer line problem requiring professional help.

Another sign is when waste from flushing your toilet or draining your washing machine backs up into a different pipe. For example, wastewater in your sink when you flush the toilet could indicate a clogged sewer line. A sign of a severe issue is when waste backs up and overflows your drains.

You might notice your toilets overflowing with contaminated water spilling onto the floor. If this happens, avoid using your plumbing until you have had professional repairs.
There are myriad causes of a sewer backing up. Here are some common ones:

  • Clogged sewer lines
  • Tree root invasions
  • Broken sewer line pipes
  • Heavy rain

Preventing Sewer Backups

Most sewer backups happen because of a failure to dispose of waste properly and are usually preventable. You should avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste in your toilets. Also, watch what you put in your bathroom and kitchen drains. Following are steps to prevent sewer backups.

1. Regular Professional Inspections

Schedule a professional sewer line inspection every five to 10 years. A plumber will inspect for clogs, cracks, and other signs of damage. They will snake your sewer lines and might inspect their interior with cameras for cracks and root invasions. Older homes need inspections every five or six years, while newer homes need them every decade.

2. Schedule Regular Sewer Line Cleaning

Schedule your sewer lines to be cleaned every three to five years. Cleaning sewer lines involves vacuuming the sewer line with equipment that removes blockages, helping to prevent clogs from building.

3. Properly Dispose of Waste

Don’t pour oil, fats, rice, coffee grounds, or other solids down your kitchen sink’s drain. Even with a garbage disposal, these can cause problems. Grease poured down the drain solidifies when it cools, causing clogs.

Avoid flushing anything other than paper and human waste in your toilet. Even wipes labeled “flushable” can cause problems in drains and sewer lines. These products take time to break down. Hair can also contribute to stubborn clogs, so add a hair trap to your tubs and showers.

4. Properly Route Downspouts and Sump Pumps

Your gutters’ downspouts and sump pump should not be routed into your sewer line. Instead, they should connect to a storm sewer. If you don’t have an available storm sewer, your downspouts and sump pump should discharge above the ground six or more feet away from your home’s foundation.

5. Have Old Lines Replaced

Replacing your sewer lines might be a good idea if you have an older home. Old sewer lines were often made of clay or cast iron, both more brittle than plastic and can break or rust. These materials are also more easily penetrated by tree roots and prone to cracking when the soil shifts.

6. Fix Drain Issues

Fix drain issues to prevent flooding during storms and reduce the chances of sewer backups. You can schedule an inspection to ensure your plumbing is up to code and address any issues that might be discovered.

For more information about sewer backups, contact R.J. Groner Inc. today and get your Stroudsburg, PA, sewer cleared.

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