Sewer Problems and Tips to Avoid Leaks and Water Line Repair

Tom Hartelby Tom Hartel
working on a sewer plumbing

Taking steps to protect your sewer drains and water lines is something all homeowners can do to prevent plumbing problems, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new home or a fixer upper that has been on the block for 100 years – following the same preventative steps and knowing what signs to look for can prevent a plumbing mishap.

If you’ve ever experienced a plumbing emergency, you might have described it to others as a “plumbing nightmare,” and that’s not stretching the truth. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent these problems.

1) Learn more about your sewer system

While the average homeowner can’t be expected to become an expert plumber in their spare time, you can get an advantage by getting to know how your system works. Find out where your main sewer line leaving the house is located and look at how all the drainage lines are connected to it.

Do you know the last time the system was pumped, as in cleaned out with a jet rodding procedure? Have a plumbing contractor inspect your system and schedule regular maintenance to ensure your pipes are leaking and that they are clean of debris. For example, jet rodding, which is a process whereby a high-pressure water is sprayed against the interior of the lines, is an effective method of keeping your lines clog free.

2) Common causes of backups

Everything from large particles to paper to grease can negatively impact your sewer lines. While a simple plunger might do the trick for many of these clogs, eventually, as grease and other waste are introduced, a major clog can occur.

Even if you have a garbage disposal, the small bits of debris can add up, collecting against a grease-coated drainage line, leading to a significant clog. By maintaining a strict no-large debris or grease policy, you can significantly reduce the number of clogs you experience over the years.

3) Multiple drain issues

Most sewer problems will occur in one location, such as the kitchen sink or the toilet. However, if you’re noticing an issue with drainage in multiple drains, that is an indication that a deeper issue exists.

For example, tree roots will grow indiscriminately into your drainage lines, causing a significant issue. If you’ve got large trees on your property, there is a good chance the roots are growing in many directions, including into the path of your sewer line. A professional plumbing contractor can utilize video cameras to pinpoint the exact location of the problem and make the repairs.

Another way to spot a broken pipe is to look around your yard – do you see an area of particularly green grass? This could be the point at which wastewater is escaping the sewer line prematurely.

4) Enzymes to the rescue

Caustic cleaners can do damage to your sewer, particularly if you’re trying to clear a bad clog that won’t budget – the cleaner will have a damaging impact on your pipes. Instead, using enzyme based drain cleaners once a month can keep your sewer lines in great working order.

Keep in mind that enzymes aren’t meant to break through whatever is causing a plugged up line; it’s simply a preventative measure. Most enzyme treatments begin with the homeowner running their water until it is hot before they introduce the enzyme, because it works more effectively when the water is a warmer temperature. To give it time to work, try doing this before bed, as the plumbing won’t be flushed for hours as the household sleeps. Once-a-month treatments can help keep the drains free from clogging.

5) Hire a professional to assist with sewer line repair

If you’ve done everything you can to learn about your system, prevent problems and know the signs of trouble with your sewer lines, you’ve done your part in protecting your system. However, when problems occur, it pays to have a professional tackle the project.

A certified, licensed and insured plumber is efficient and reliable. Furthermore, their expert work prevents future damage to your system.

At Old World Plumbing, our fully stocked service vans and our highly trained and experienced plumbers are ready to respond, whether it’s an inspection or a complete replacement of the sewer line – and anything in between. We’ve seen it all and are ready to assist you with your sewer system. Contact us today and make an appointment for fast, affordable and courteous service, 24/7.

Tom Hartel
President/Author
Tom Hartel

I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on plumbing and fire protection systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your homes.

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