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Causes of Sewer Backups

Sewer workers
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Reasons Sewers Back Up

 

There is never a good time for a home sewer system to back up. At best, sinks, tubs, showers and toilets will not be useable. At worst, a backup causes raw sewage to flood your home. Neither option is a positive one. There are a few things you can do to avoid this problem by recognizing the trouble signs:

 

Tree Roots

Problem: Roots from trees (and shrubs) seek out moisture and will naturally grow towards sewer pipes and field lines. The tiny roots can enter the sewer lines through hairline cracks. As the roots are drinking water, they grow, expanding the hairline cracks and filling up the lines. The wastewater that leaves your home eventually will have nowhere to go except back the way it came.

Solution: Plant trees and shrubs away from septic tanks, field lines and sewer pipes.

Full Septic Tank

Problem: Homes in suburban and rural areas rely on private septic tanks to catch and hold waste water. A septic tank system works properly when maintained. They fill up and need to be pumped out regularly by a professional plumbing company.

Solution: Don’t use the toilet as a trash can, and resist the urge to pour cooking grease down the drain. Cool cooking grease and dispose of it properly. Your septic tank will not need to be serviced as often.

Sanitary Main Blockage

Problem: The sanitary main of a city sewage system can become blocked by tree limbs, cracked pipes, and improper items placed in the system (e.g. diapers and other garbage). When the city’s sanitary main is blocked, sewage will slowly enter homes and businesses on that clogged sewer line. Raw sewage will typically enter through floor drains, but can also back up through bathtubs and shower drains.

Solution: Report the problem to the city public works office and call a licensed plumber to repair the damage and help with cleanup.

Flooding

Problem: When excessive rain creates waterlogged soil and flooding of low-lying areas, sewers often back up because the wastewater has nowhere to go. The ground is saturated and can not accommodate any more moisture.

Solution: Do as much damage control as you can to protect your property and remove standing water that has come indoors. A professional plumbing company can help with this. Later, when the flood water abates and soil dries out, your licensed plumbing team can access and repair sewer line damage.

Call a Professional

If you experience a plumbing emergency, day or night, call Plumbing Authority at (647) 992-7473. Our team  of professional, experienced plumbers are available 24/7 to provide service and free on-site estimates.

 

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