A backed-up sewer line is a problem that no homeowner wants. Besides the inconvenience and the cost, it can also be hazardous to our health. Therefore, you always want to make sure you act fast.  

If you suspect that you’re sewer line is backed-up, or if you want to avoid this problem in the future, here is everything you need to know.

Clogged Drain vs. Main Sewer Line Clog

Knowing if you have an issue with your sewer system or sewer drain is relatively easy. If it’s your drain line, you will typically only experience problems with one drain. However, if it’s your main sewer pipe, you may experience issues with plumbing fixtures all over your home. For example, sewer water backing up into your tub.

Why Does My Sewer Line Keep Backing Up?

If you’ve determined your plumbing problem is caused by your sewage lines, there are several possible causes. To find out for sure, you may need a camera inspection.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are the leading cause of sewer lines backing up. Your sewage pipes are very appealing to tree roots as they provide nutrients like water and oxygen. Plus, the ground around them is often disturbed, making it easier for roots to spread.

Tree roots seek weak spots, cracks, and joints in your sewer pipe. They can grow and reduce the diameter, causing misalignments or even collapsed pipes (most common in thin-walled PVC). 

Old and Brittle Pipes

Old cast iron, clay, and concrete pipes are particularly susceptible to brittleness and corrosion. This makes it easier for roots to penetrate or debris to enter your line.

Incorrect Usage

Contrary to popular belief, not everything can be flushed down the toilet or garbage disposal. Only toilet paper should go down the toilet—especially in homes with septic systems.

It’s also important to know which items shouldn’t go down your kitchen sink–grease, coffee grounds, and eggshells are just a few examples. 

What Can I Do To Help My Plumbing System?

There are several things you can do to prevent your sewer lines from backing up—for example, ensuring they’re used correctly.

If you are past the point of prevention, the first step is to determine whether you have a clogged drain or a backed-up sewer line. If you suspect it’s your sewer line, you must take immediate action as it can be hazardous. You may experience feces backing up into unwanted places or toxic gas releases.

Who Do I Call About a Broken Sewer Line?

Not all plumbers are licensed for sewer line repairs, so it’s essential that you research those who are. These professionals will have the knowledge to determine whether you need a repair or replacement and have the necessary equipment to follow up.

To find out the cause of your problem and where it is, they will insert a drain camera into your line. This also gives you confidence in the advice you’re receiving.

How Is A Backed Up Sewer Line Fixed?

If the clog is caused by grease, expert hydro jetting may just be enough to clear the blockage. Otherwise, you will likely need a pipe repair or replacement.

A repair is recommended if your sewer pipe is…

  • Reasonably accessible
  • Appropriately sized for the occupants in your home
  • Has a reasonable life expectancy after the repair costs

Your sewer line will need replacing if it is…

  • Orangeburg
  • Undersized for your home’s occupants
  • Bellied or collapsed
  • Deformed or deteriorated
  • Passed the existing pipe’s life span (typically 30 years)
  • You want a worry-free solution

Some businesses—like Spencer Home Services—offer trenchless sewer line repairs, which means you can avoid excavation. There are two methods for trenchless sewer repairs: trenchless pipe bursting and trenchless relining. The option we choose will depend on the landscape and compatibility of your home.

Why Our Company Is Right for Your Sewer Repair or Replacement

Spencer Home Services only uses top-quality materials to ensure a long life for your pipe. 

We are members of Nexstar, a world-class business development organization with whom we’ve sworn a code of ethics. Our thorough training ensures we have the knowledge to give you one quote with no surprises later. 

And finally, we understand that sewer line backups can be costly, so we offer a selection of financing packages.

Do you have a concern about your sewer pipes? Call Spencer Home Service on 978-293-5770, and ask about our sewer line repair and replacement services.