Nobody wants a sewer overflow or backup. They’re gross, damaging, and potentially quite costly. Despite these awful risks, however, homeowners often neglect sewer line maintenance. We’re not pointing fingers; we get it. It’s all-too-easy to forget about your sewer line. It’s a common victim of “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.
Unfortunately, sewer failure isn’t just unpleasant but it can seriously negatively affect your family’s health and wellness. Luckily, avoiding the plague of a squishy yard and wastewater overflow is easier than you’d think. It’s all about understanding what makes sewers back up and how you can avoid them.
Invest in regular professional drain cleaning.
Grease and oil build-ups are one of the most common causes of sewer line blockages. This isn’t limited to food waste, either. Even build-up from soap scum can clog sewer lines over time. Regular drain cleaning for your home and sewer lines can circumvent this problem.
By spending a little on clearing out build-up on a schedule, you avoid costly repairs necessitated by ruptures. You could also avoid grease build-ups in the first place if you never pour hot cooking grease down the drain. Grease solidifies when it cools and turns into a sludge that collects other things, blocking drains.
Do research before any landscaping.
Tree roots frequently damage sewer lines by breaking through the subterranean pipes and blocking the flow of sewage. Roots of trees naturally seek the nearest water source. For many, the nearest water source is the wastewater within a sewer line. They probe, breach the pipe, and create a balled line blockage.
Don’t plant anything close to your known sewer line. If you are going to plant trees or shrubs in your yard, go for varieties with short roots. Trees with small root systems include amur maples, trident maples, crape myrtles, and many others. Preventative maintenance is one thing, but if you notice signs of a root blockage you’re not in too much trouble yet. A trained plumber or tree-trimming expert will be able to trim the roots without doing additional damage. Signs of an existing breach include slow-flowing drains, clogs, or changes in water pressure.
Pay attention to your cleanouts.
Your cleanouts provide direct access to your sewer line. They’re typically found right outside our home in the yard. They look like white plastic-capped pipes that protrude a few inches from the ground. Cleanouts provide direct access to your sewer line, so they also provide direct access to potentially bad sewer gas stink.
A bit of simple maintenance can help keep your cleanouts clean and smell-free. Check on your cleanouts every few months to make sure they’re full of water. You should also make sure that the caps are on tightly and securely. If you ever notice a smell, you can unscrew the caps and pour a little bit of bleach inside to help.
If your home’s plumbing – sewer or otherwise – ever needs any help, give Ben Franklin Plumbing a call. No matter what your home’s plumbing needs, we’ve got you covered. Our expert technicians have the knowledge and know-how to keep your pipes clean, clear, and operating correctly.