Learning About Plumbing For Residential Dwellings

What Causes A Sewer Backup?

Of all the things that could happen in your home, the sewer backing up into your bathroom is probably the most disgusting. It's different than a standard clog, where a simple plunger and maybe some rubber gloves are usually enough to get the job done; a full sewer backup requires specialized skills and equipment.

But what causes it? How can your sewer line become so clogged that it forces all the waste to turn back around into the home? As it turns out, there's not one simple answer to that question, but a myriad of possibilities that will all require you to hire a plumber to perform basic sewer services.

Collapsed Pipes

Older homes that have copper pipes installed in their sewer lines are most susceptible to collapsed pipes, but even newer homes that use PVC can experience this as well. Over time — or because of ground shifting and other environmental factors — those pipes can crack and collapse in on themselves, causing a clog that will back up into your house as well as create a mess in your front yard. Usually, a collapsed pipe can't be repaired and will need to be completely replaced, but if you're lucky, it'll be several decades before you have to deal with it again.

Invasive Tree Roots

Similar to a collapsed pipe in your yard is a tree root that is getting too aggressive for its own good. Root systems love water sources, so if you've got a tree in your front yard and your pipes are backing up, you might hire sewer services to see if the root system has broken through the sewer pipes. It could be a major headache to cut the roots or even relocate the tree, but if you're able to repair the pipe, it's a lot cheaper than replacing the entire line.

Debris in the Drain

One of the most common sources of sewer backups is something that is actually preventable by the homeowner. What you put down the drain — whether it's hot grease from the kitchen or flushable wipes (which are not really flushable) — can collect and form a major clog inside your sewer pipes that needs to be dislodged by a professional who can perform these types of major sewer services. Don't think it could happen to you? In 2017, an 820 foot clog weighing nearly 287,000 pounds was responsible for clogging up a main sewer line in London, taking three weeks to fix. The source? "Flushable" wipes.

To learn more about sewer services, contact a company like Walt's Plumbing.