Most likely, a clogged main sewer line is the worst plumbing problem you could have. If your sewer drain is clogged, your whole plumbing system stops working because there is nowhere for the wastewater to go. Getting rid of that clog is the key to everything. Even when they don’t involve human waste, plumbing emergencies are scary enough on their own. Even though we hate to be the ones to tell you this, sometimes they do.
Many scary plumbing problems are easy to avoid, which is good news. Taking a few simple precautions is the best way to avoid sewage back-up. If your sewer drain pipe isn’t moving, it’s likely because of one of these three things:
Tree Roots in Sewer Line
This is especially important for people like us who live in California. To grow, trees need water. If they can’t get enough water, like, during a drought, they’ll look for it wherever they can find it, even in your sewer line. Roots can get into your sewer drain pipe through small cracks or pipe fittings and cause problems over time.
Even if you don’t have a lot of trees in your yard, you shouldn’t think you’re safe. Roots can go a long way. In fact, the roots from your neighbor’s trees could have been the cause of your sewage backup! The best way to keep tree roots from damaging your home is to have regular inspections and clean your sewer and drains.
This is the main reason why sewage backs up most of the time. People try to flush all kinds of things that don’t belong in a toilet, which is bad. You name it: paper towels, grease, a dead goldfish. The problem is that your pipes start to get clogged when you flush things down the toilet that they can’t handle.
If you only see one fixture getting clogged, the problem is probably only in one set of pipes. It’s good to hear! If sewage backs up in fixtures all over your house or near your sewer cleanout, the blockage is in your main sewer line. That’s a big problem, and you’ll need help from a professional to fix it. Watch what you flush to avoid getting these kinds of clogs in the first place. Don’t pour hot grease down drains, and be careful when you use your garbage disposal.
A sewer line that is broken or has caved in
Your sewer line won’t last forever, just like everything else. Depending on how old your house is, the weight of the earth above it may have broken your sewer line or it may be made of old materials. Or both at the same time. Most sewer lines are made of heavy-duty, long-lasting plastic these days, but that wasn’t always the case.
Most old homes have pipes made of cast iron or clay. Over time, these materials may break down and wear out until they break or even fall apart. When your sewer line breaks, the sewage it handles has nowhere to go, so it builds up. If you are worried about your sewer line, you can have a professional plumber use a camera to check the condition of your pipes.