What Usually Causes a Sewer Backup?

Much like other home and office systems, you never think about your sewer pipes until they don't work properly. Your plumbing systems have to handle every drop of water that falls from your faucets. These systems also catch every strand of hair and cup of grease, as well as every ounce of soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent, that enter your drains. When combined, these items can clog your pipes and cause a sewer backup. There are other causes of sewer backups, though, and like clogs, they can be unseen and lurk beneath your lawn or the floors of your home or business.

 

Knowing the causes of sewer backups can help you troubleshoot your drain system and determine what product will best serve your needs.

 

Sewer Backup Caused by Clogs

The most common type of sewer backup is from clogged pipes. The combination of toilet paper, hair, soap scum and grease (as well as a two-year-old's fascination with what will and will not flush) are common causes of sewer backups. If you have a backup that's affecting more than one toilet or sink, this could be a sign of an issue with your main sewer line and may indicate a problem that can't be solved with the help of a plunger. 

 

Common sewer backups can be prevented with regular maintenance and by using your drains properly. A toilet used as a trash bin will clog. Items such as cleaning wipes, diapers, napkins, and many other hygiene items should not go in the toilet. They should be disposed of properly in the trash, and not flushed.

Additionally, kitchen grease should not be poured down the sink, and garbage disposals should not be loaded with large quantities of kitchen waste. However, while proper use can prevent many common sewer pipe backups, other problems aren't as evident.

 

Tree Roots Can Cause a Sewer Backup

Most sewer pipes lie just beneath the surface of your lawn, and as trees grow, their roots can penetrate your sewer line, clogging it and resisting any attempt by you to remedy the problem. Even though you may not have a tree near your sewer lines, tree roots can cross property boundaries and may be located far away from their source. If you have a sewer line that's been infiltrated by tree roots, you can use a product like Blast Away. This product actually heats up when it comes into contact with moisture, and the tiny aluminum particles contained in it start to become agitated with the heat. These particles then begin to move rapidly down the sewer line, shredding any material inside the line that may be slowing the flow--including tree roots. Plus, Blast Away contains a tracer dye, so you can actually SEE it working!

 

 

Do You Have a Commercial Sewer Backup?

Commercial buildings have different plumbing requirements than homes. For instance, restaurants and other businesses with food waste may require a grease trap. Grease traps that are not cleaned on a regular basis can result in a sewer backup in your business, and can ultimately cause you to shut your doors for good. Commercial buildings have a high volume of traffic and the number of people using its facilities can easily cause a sewer backup. Regular maintenance with the right products can head these problems off before they're an issue.

 

Sewer Backup Caused by your Municipality

The main sewer lines that carry waste away from homes and businesses can clog and cause a backup with relative ease. When this happens, nothing you can do will fix the problem except calling your local city or municipality. This is more common in homes with basements, because drains lower in your home can get sewer backup from a clogged municipal sewer systems.

 

Collapsed Pipes Can Cause a Sewer Backup

Although less common in Texas, many of the homes and businesses across the U.S., such as those in Sacramento, California, are over 100 years old. Common sewer pipe materials, in their original installations, are often comprised of clay, Orangeburg material and cast iron. As they age, these pipes are prone to crack or collapse. Trenchless technology can replace sewer pipes made from these materials with a system that causes minimal disturbance. If your home or business is very old, and you're experiencing frequent sewer back-ups, it may be time to call your local plumber.

 

Do You Have Frequent Sewer Backups? Call us today!

If you have frequent sewer backups or sewer leakages in your yard, you may not be using the right product for the job. American Patriot Industries carries a variety of sewer and drain maintenance products, specifically designed to help eliminate every kind of back-up issue.

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