4 Common Causes of a Main Sewer Line Backup

You probably don’t give your sewer system much thought — and why should you when everything is working as it should? It isn’t until the kitchen sink gets clogged or the toilet starts backing up that you start to worry about the health of your plumbing system.

A sewage backup is, by all means, a plumbing disaster. Since your home’s sewer lines connect to the municipal sewer system, you never know what exactly is running through your plumbing pipes during a main line backup. Nevertheless, you can be sure that it’s unsanitary and potentially hazardous to your health.

Before you get on the phone with your local plumbing company in Washington D.C., learn what causes main sewer line backups and how you can prevent them in the future.

Sewer Blockage

The most common cause of a main sewer line backup is a blockage. Food particles, hair, and other solid materials can build up inside drain pipes until the clog becomes big enough to obstruct the flow of wastewater. At this point, the water has no choice but to back up into your toilet or bathtub. Only a professional sewer cleaning service can remove the blockage in a sanitary and unobtrusive manner.

Avoid a sewer blockage by following these tips:

  • Clean grease off pots and pans before washing.
  • Scrape food into the trash before rinsing plates.
  • Dispose of all “flushable” products, such as flushable wipes, in the trash.
  • Use enzyme drain cleaners monthly. Avoid chemical drain cleaners at all costs.

Your sewer system can only handle human waste and toilet paper. Anything else can lead to a blockage.

Tree Roots

Sewer lines are a complex system of underground pipes that carry waste away from your home. Since they’re filled with water and nutrients, tree roots grow towards the pipes and eventually penetrate them. As the roots grow, they can block the flow of wastewater and damage the sewer line.

Don’t rule out the possibility of a tree root intrusion just because you don’t have any trees on your property. Tree roots can grow to be over 30 feet long, so it may be your neighbor’s tree that’s causing your main sewer line backup.

Heavy Rain

Most homeowners don’t realize that heavy rain can cause sewer backups — this is especially true for those who don’t have a working sump pump to avoid a flooded basement. Municipal storm drains can only handle so much, and if they reach maximum capacity, the excess water may flow into residential sewer lines.

If you have a backflow of water in your basement drain or sinks during a storm, it’s safe to assume the cause of your main sewer line backup is due to heavy rain.

Cracked Sewer Pipes

Last but not least, think about the pipes that make up your sewer system. When was the last time your sewer lines were inspected by a professional or repiped altogether? Older homes may have clay piping or cast iron piping, which are prone to cracks and may result in a main line backup.  These types of pipes are prone to cracks and may result in a main line backup. Upgrade your main sewer line as soon as possible to avoid further problems down the road.

Dealing With a Main Line Backup? Call Magnolia to the Rescue!

No matter what’s causing your sewer line to back up, Magnolia can help. We have experienced technicians who are trained to use state-of-the-art tools to restore your plumbing system to its former glory. We’ll start with a camera inspection to determine what’s causing your main sewer line backup, then provide you with an affordable solution. Call us for more information.