It's not pretty, and it's certainly not something you want to discuss at the office party, but sewer line clogs are serious and should be attended to as soon as you notice that something might be wrong. The key is to figure out where the clog is in the system; in the house, between the house and the street, or in the municipal pipeline. Some of the major causes of sewer line issues are:
Household Pipeline Clogs
Blockages within the house piping are rare and are not usually serious. If the house is new then it could be that the pipes have become plugged with construction waste. Often times dirt and debris will enter into the drain holes before the piping system is complete. Once the plumbing system is closed off this debris can cause trouble.
The other, and more likely, cause is people plugging the drains; this could be people placing inappropriate items in the drain, or using too much toilet paper in the toilet.
These types of blockages are usually cleared easily enough either by introducing pressure into the system using a plunger or by manually clearing the pipes with an industrial snake system.
Blockages Occurring On Your Property
Most sewer clogs occur between the house and the municipal line that runs in the street. This section of the piping is most susceptible to outside forces causing blockages. Most often this is due to the root system of trees and bushes. Roots grow toward moisture and the smallest leak in the piping can draw them near. Although slow growing, they are very powerful and can breach the piping and continue growing inside undetected until the pipe is completely blocked.
As the homeowner is responsible for the section of pipe between the house and the municipal line, it will be up to you to determine the cause of the blockage and to remedy it. The best way to find blockages in this portion of the piping is to hire a plumber to perform a sewer line video inspection to get a good view of what is causing the problem. Once the cause has been determined then the plumber can start work on removing the blockage and clearing the pipes.
Municipal System Issues
Issues with the street or municipal system are less likely, as the pipes in the street are wider and more robust than those in residential systems. This doesn't mean they are completely immune though; large boulevard trees can cause root damage, slow leaks can cause the ground to sink, creating cracks in the pipes and allowing vermin to access the system, and age can cause pipes to deteriorate over time.
It can be difficult to determine if the municipal system is at fault. The best way to go about it is to rule out household and property blockages as best you can and then talk with your neighbors. If they are experiencing sewer issues also then it's likely a systemic issue and not and individual issue.
Regardless of where the blockage is, or what is causing it, it's important to get it resolved as quickly as possible. Blocked sewer lines will only get worse, as will the ramifications of not dealing with it.
29 September 2014
Before you decide on adding a pool to your backyard, you need to decide how you’re going to take care of the pool once it’s in. This is a very important part of the pool addition process, because you’re going to spend a lot more time on the upkeep of the pool than on the installation, and it’s important to have a plan in place. After years of pool ownership, I’ve learned a lot about how to take care of a pool, what you can do yourself, and what to leave to the pool professionals. I started this blog to help others learn what they need to know about pool care and maintenance. Take a deep breath and dive right in!