All of your home’s plumbing fixtures, drains, and pipes connect to the biggest piece of plumbing in the system — the main sewer line. Through improper use of fixtures and drains, coupled with environmental factors, this sewer line sees a lot of action, which can lead to clogs, cracks, and leaks. If you think you have problems with the main sewer line, don’t delay and call Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating for an inspection.
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What Causes Clogged Sewer Lines?
Many homeowners have experienced slow or clogged drains, and while a single clog can be a nuisance, it’s usually easy to fix. However, what happens if all of the drains in your home run slowly or are backed up at the same time? It could be a clog in the sewer line that’s to blame. Here are just a few of the reasons your sewer line clogs.
- Pipe Damage - When pipes break, the sewage can’t drain properly, which causes backups to occur. Damage comes by way of ruptures from shifting soil or increased traffic on the ground above as well as corrosion.
- Sagging Lines - Sagging sewer lines happen over time when the section of the pipe sinks because of changing ground or soil conditions.
- Tree Roots - Tree roots are a significant problem for older sewer lines made out of clay or porous materials. As tree and shrub roots grow, they seek out water sources. Once they latch onto a pipe, they grow inside to get at the water. Over time, the tree roots expand, which causes a blockage and eventually, a break.
- Flushing Non-flushable Items - To keep your plumbing healthy, get to know what you can and can’t flush down the toilet. As a rule of thumb, the only things you should flush are human waste and toilet paper; everything else should go into the trash.
If you’re diligent and use some common sense, you can avoid most significant sewer line clogs.
Warning Signs Saying You May Need Sewer Line Replacement
While not every sewer line issue requires a full-on replacement, it’s wise to keep an eye out for potential problems and fix them before they grow and cause extensive damage. Here’s what to watch for:
- Frequent Backups - If you get a lot of clogs, many experts advise you to steer clear of the liquid drain cleaners and call a pro for help. Drains that continuously clog — especially those at the lower levels — indicate a break or block in the main sewer pipe.
- Multiple Clogs at Once - If you have more than one fixture that’s clogged at a time, it could be trouble in the main sewer line.
- Unusual Reactions When Using Fixtures - If flushing the toilet causes water to back up into your tub or the toilet water begins bubbling, contact your plumber to find out if the issue is in the main line.
- Overly Lush Lawn - If you notice parts of your lawn that are lusher than others, or if you see puddles in the yard, it’s probably a break in the main sewer line.
If you notice any of the above problems, call us and let us examine the system to find out the issue.
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When Do You Need to Replace the Main Sewer Line?
Replacing the main sewer line is an expensive and time-consuming job that most people would like to avoid, if possible. However, if the line is significantly damaged, replacement is usually the only option.
There’s no specific time frame for how long a sewer line should last. Clay pipes can last up to 60 years, while cast iron can reach up to 100. And there’s no way to predict how long the pipe will last either because factors such as earth movement, construction, tree roots, and shoddy installation affect the pipe’s lifespan.
The good news is that plumbers have many tools and techniques at their disposal that fix sewer line problems without having to dig up the yard, so call to find out what options are available to you.