3 Common Sewer Backup Causes & Quick Fixes

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#1. Clogs

A sewer backup is never a fun thing to deal with. Not only are they messy, but there is also a multitude of different sewer backup causes that you will have to consider. This article is going to explore three of the most common sewer backup causes. It is also going to offer some inexpensive, quick fix options that can clear most blockages at home.

One of the most common sewer backup causes by far is clogs. Clogs are the result of a type of material causing a blockage in one of your drain pipes within your house. They generally develop over time and have a variety of different causes.

One of the first signs of a clog is when your drain begins working very slowly. However, some clogs that are caused by things like small toys and non-flushable baby wipes may cause a sudden and complete blockage.

Another one of the most common sewer backup causes is tree roots. With time, tree roots can begin to enter your home?s plumbing lines. They can even begin to wrap around pipes and crush them in an attempt to get the water that flows inside.

This process is known as root invasion. It most commonly occurs when there is a small fissure within the pipe transporting water. Once this small crack develops, the tree aggressively begins sending roots to the water site to try to take in nutrients.

Hardened grease.

Hardened grease.
Hair.
Feminine hygiene products.
Baby wipes.
Small toys (Legos and small action figures are prime examples).
Dental floss.
Cotton swabs.

One of the most important things to remember about tree roots and plumbing is that prevention is key. Many people recommend using the overall canopy size of a tree as a way to estimate the overall width that the roots are growing. However, this method of estimation is not as accurate as was originally thought.

A better method involves using the diameter of the tree?s trunk. A 2009 study found that the root radius to tree trunk diameter was roughly 38:1. With this ratio in mind, it is possible for a developing tree with a six-inch diameter trunk to have roots that extend out almost 19 feet. Keep this fact in mind when trying to decide where to plant new trees on your property.

Sewer main blockages are another one of the most common sewer backup causes. These types of issues can occur as a result of clogs that build up over time much like the typical clog you may experience in your household line. The difference between the two is that a sewer main blockage occurs in the portion of piping that your city or district maintains.

It is also common for water to be flooding back into your home from drain openings. Remember, the first thing you should do to minimize damage is to shut off all water supplies of your home and attempt to block all the drain openings. For larger drains like toilets, a string mop is a good solution to help seal the drain.

#2. Roots

In addition to being caused by clogs, it is also possible for sewer main blockages to be caused by inadequate system capacity. As cities grow, the stress that the sewage system is placed under grows with it. During times of increased rainfall, it is more likely for the sewage system to encounter problems if it is not adequately developed.

#3. Sewer Main Blockages

Nine times out of ten, the plunger should always be your first choice when dealing with sewer backup causes. It can be used on virtually any drain opening including toilets, bathtubs, and sinks.

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