A backed-up sewer line can cause a big mess and result in extensive damage to your home, in many cases requiring expensive repairs to your plumbing system. It’s important to know the warning signs of sewer and drain problems to prevent small problems from becoming drain disasters.
What Are the Warning Signs of Sewer Line Problems?
A home’s sewer and drain system are designed like a tree, with branches of drain pipes leading to the main trunk line that runs out of the house to the sewer main. If there is a clog in a secondary line it’s going be isolated to that line. For example, if your bathroom sink is clogged and the toilet flushes normally, it’s isolated to the sink drain. However, if the problem is with the mainline, the toilet may percolate and wastewater may come up from the shower or tub drain or floor drain in the basement.
Slow to empty drains and gurgling noises from toilets are often the first warning signs that your sewer system is obstructed. It’s important to have a sewer line inspection as soon as possible to identify and correct the problem.
Preventative Sewer Line Maintenance
Most home owner’s insurance policies do not cover sewer line problems and repairs and in most cities, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sewer line that runs from the house to the sewer main by the street.
You can reduce the potential for sewer and drain clogs by keeping materials like cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, baby wipes, and other waste products out of toilets. This would include products marketed as “flushable”.
Pouring paint, grease and oil and other chemicals down the drain is not only harmful to the environment, but it can also cause problems inside the pipes.
Among the most common cause of sewer line backups and damage is tree root intrusion. A sewer and drain line inspection is cheap insurance and can find potential problems with tree root intrusion, broken or disconnected pipes, debris build-up and more. If problems are found your plumber has many tools to help clear or repair the line, including rodding, water-jetting, and trenchless sewer line repair. A follow-up video camera inspection will help to ensure that the repair was successful.