Sewer Backed Up? 3 Causes

One of the worst problems a homeowner can face is when the sewer system of their home becomes backed up. A blocked sewer line can overload a sewer system and result in waste being pushed back into the house through drains and toilets.

There are several common causes of sewer backup.

1. Blockage

A common culprit of sewer line backup is trees. Tree roots can grow inside pipes, cause cracks or holes, and sometimes even wrap around the sewer line.

2. Clogs

The clogging of either the main sewer line in your area or the drain pipes of your home can cause a sewage backup. This can result in waste intended for the public sewer system flowing back inside your property.

There are several causes of clogs, including hair, cooking grease and the accumulation of solid materials, which are not intended to be handled by wastewater pipes.

3. Broken or aging lines

Older homes may be at particular risk of experiencing the deterioration of their sewer lines and drains. This is often the result of shrub and tree roots around the house breaking or puncturing drain pipes.

Why sewer backup is so dangerous

Sewer backup is not just a huge inconvenience for homeowners but can also be very hazardous.

Sewer water that enters the body via open wounds or the mouth can cause severe illnesses with diseases such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Hepatitis A. 

Homes could also start to grow mold, and breathing problems may also arise, especially for those who already suffer from allergies or asthma.

How to prevent sewer backups

The good news is there are things homeowners can do to reduce the likelihood of backups.

Homeowners should avoid washing grease or cooking oil down the drain. Cold grease solidifies and accumulates in drains, drain lines and the main sewer line resulting in clogs. 

The same applies to egg shells, hair, coffee grounds, and small food scraps.

It is also a good idea to replace your existing line with plastic pipes that come with impervious joints to prevent penetration by tree roots and to have a backwater prevention valve installed that ensures sewage can only go one way.

Pro-service Plumbing can check if your home has a backwater prevention valve and install one if it does not.

Final thoughts

A sewer backup can severely hinder your life, so take the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen to you.  

Image: Flickr

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