Preventing Sewer Backups

Preventing Sewer Backups

Sewer backups can be a messy and expensive problem.  When your storm sewer backs up, rainwater can flood your basement.  When your sanitary sewer backs up, sewage is flooding your home.

Unfortunately, over time, sewer line clogging is a fact of life.  Having a professional preventatively rod your sewer lines can help prevent major problems.  But as sewer lines age, you may need to have them excavated and replaced.  Still, there are some simple things you can do to maintain the lines.

  • Your toilet is not a garbage can.  The only things that should be flushed down a toilet are toilet paper and (there is no delicate way of saying this) human waste.  The following things should NOT be flushed down your toilet: diapers; feminine hygiene products; baby wipes; dental floss; Qtips; prophylactics; and hair.
  • The kitchen sink, with or without a garbage disposal unit, is also not a garbage can (which means you can’t throw everything but the kitchen sink down it).  Avoid dumping grease, fats and oils down the sink.  Fibrous food scraps (such as onion peels, celery, corn husks, etc.) and coffee grounds also should be thrown in the trash.  Also, make sure to run lots of water when using the disposal.
  • Drain cleaning chemicals exist and can be used.  Be sure to use the right type of product for the specific stoppage.  But avoid products that contain acid or a base such as Liquid Plumber or Draino; they will damage your pipes.  Ask your plumbing professional for a recommendation.
  • If you are planting trees, try to plant them away from sewer lines.  Over time, the roots will infiltrate the lines, and clog them.
  • Have a professional maintain and inspect your sewer lines periodically.  This type of preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your sewer lines open and flowing, and reduces the risk of a messy, inconvenient and expensive flood.

If you have any questions about sewer line back-ups, we’ll be happy to come out and take a look at your sewer lines, and advise you on the proper action to take.

Click here to learn even more about sewers.

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