Sewer line clogs- warning signs, causes and how to fix them
Homeowners are often inconvenienced by bathtub, toilet and sink drain clogs from time to time but those problems are on a small scale when compared to the consequences of a serious sewer line clog. An obstruction in a sewer will impact on all of the plumbing fixtures in your home and can result in long-term damage, which is both time-consuming and very expensive to fix. Seeking the professional expertise of a plumbing firm before things get out of hand could ensure the problem is dealt with swiftly and correctly.
Property owners can prevent significant damage to their home by spotting a sewer line clog before it gets serious. The most common signs of a clog are percolating noises and water backing up out of a toilet or drain. There is often a problem when several of the plumbing fixtures are affected at once so check each of them one by one to ensure they are working correctly. Toilets have the biggest drain line and are connected directly to the sewer so begin by flushing them to check for any warning signs before moving on to the washing machine, bathtub, shower and any other relevant fixtures and fittings.
Finding your main line stoppage can also tell you whether you have a serious blockage. This main line clean out is typically located in the front yard and at the sides of a home. To check for any backed up water or waste, unscrew or pull the clean out cap to open it. You will know if there is a blockage when the water is standing in the pipe or is flowing upwards.
“Your house is basically set up like a tree,” plumbing expert, Tammy Sims says. “You have one main trunk line that runs out of the house and then you have all these small branches off of that. If the clog is in the main line that means any water you run in the house will cause problems. If it’s a secondary line, it’s just going to be isolated to that secondary problem.”
“If it’s just the bathroom sink, (for example), it will not go down or it will come back up into the bathtub, but you can flush the toilet and it works perfectly fine. But if it’s the main line, anything you run will cause the toilet to percolate and come up into the bathtub or the basement.”
Tree roots are the main cause for clogs in older homes. These roots cause significant damage to pipes and in some circumstances, can crush them. The roots are attracted to sewer lines due to their warmth and moisture and they soak up the nutrients available there, causing debris to collect on them. This eventually blocks the water flow and the blockage only gets bigger as more debris begins to settle. Sewer lines are around six inches in diameter so it requires a significant build up to clog them. However, in newer homes, insoluble products such a paper towels and hygiene products can also cause a residential sewer line clog.
You must shut off the water immediately if you have a main line clog. You can use the main line stoppage to relieve any pressure by removing the clean out cap. This will send any excess water outside of your home, which is vital for reducing the potential damage brought about by serious sewer clogs.
Fixing the problem
Homeowners can diagnose the problem and fix it quickly and safely by requesting a camera inspection with a plumbing firm such as RupCoe. We can use a drain auger cable, more commonly known as a sewer drain snake, to attempt to clear the clog. This cable has a cutting device that can open the drain and solve your plumbing woes. If this cable is not effective, then we can use a camera to inspect the interior of the pipeline. This process should reveal the cause of the blockage and uncover any breakages and cracks in the pipes. Another mechanical cleaning method involves the use of a high-pressure water jet. This will force the roots and other debris to be flushed down the line.
These cleaning devices can be extremely dangerous if misused so it is recommended that you contact a reputable plumbing and heating firm to fix the sewer blockage. Calling a professional technician is the fastest way to clean a fixture drain. RupCoe have trained employees that are specialized in plumbing, air conditioning, heating and bathroom and kitchen remodeling.
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