Backed-up sewers can result in a lot of expensive damage to your furniture, floors, walls, and electric appliances, among other things.
This is why, as a responsible homeowner or commercial property owner, you need to know what causes backed-up sewers, and which experts to call right away, in case you are faced with this situation.
At KBS Maintenance, we are always on standby to respond to all your service calls for sewer backup clean-up in Montreal for both homes and businesses.
We understand how dangerous and inconvenient the situation can be. That’s why we will always respond promptly when we get the call.
Common Causes of a Backed Up Sewer
Backed-up sewers can happen for many reasons. Understanding them, as a homeowner gives you the information you need to avoid the problem in your home. Here is an overview of the common causes of backed-up sewers at home:
- Older sewer systems
Sewer systems are usually made to serve you for decades. However, with time, a backup can occur as the result of flooded basements, overflows, or an increase in sanitary sewer backups.
- Tree roots
By nature, tree roots seek moisture, meaning that they will gravitate towards sewer pipes. Over time, the roots can force their way through cracks in the sewage system and cause extensive damage, sometimes blocking them, leading to backed-up sewers.
- Poor Grease Disposal
It’s never a good idea to pour grease down the drain with hot water. Once the grease cools off, it solidifies and causes blockages in the drain and pipes.
- Illegal Plumbing Connection
Illegal plumbing connections – like connecting sump pumps, French drains to the floor drains, and other flood control systems to your main sewer line – will do nothing but cause unnecessary sewer backups. These must always be avoided.
How to know if Your Sewer is Backed Up
The foul smell, the black standing waters, dealing with insurance companies and the embarrassment it comes along with are not something that homeowners want to deal with. But how do you detect that your sewer is backed up?
If you can know early enough, then you can get the problem solved before it becomes a big issue and this may save you a lot in the long run.
Below are telltale signs of a pipe back up:
- Problems with Flushing the ToiletThe very first indication that you may be faced with a potentially backed-up sewer is if you are having problems when flushing the toilet.If you have ruled out any clogs by plunging, then then the only explanation for the difficulty in flushing may be something to do with the drain, meaning that a backed-up sewer being the potential culprit.This is because a blocked sewer line results in flushed water that won’t flow smoothly. Never ignore any difficulties in flushing the toilet.
- You are experiencing multiple clogs at the same timeWhen tubs and sinks get clogged at the same time it is a strong indicator that there may be a problem, especially if the clogging is in multiple rooms.For example, if you notice that your kitchen sink is not draining properly and at the same time your bathtub is also not flowing properly, then you have a huge plumbing problem in your hands, and a backed-up sewer is likely the culprit.Never ignore when you have more than one clogged drain.
- Presence of bubbles in your drainA common indication of a backed sewer line is bubbles coming up from the drain. This normally happens because of the trapped air inside the pipes.Once the air is trapped, it will find its way back up through the pipes and get released at some open drain.Therefore, if you see bubbles coming off the sink drain, bathtub drain, or toilet, then know that you may have a serious problem to deal with.
If it has been caused by a simple clog, then it will after plunging or clearing the clog. But if they persist, get ready to call drain backup professionals to come and check the system for you.
- A foul smell from the drainsIf you have turned on the water in the bathroom or the kitchen sink, then you notice a foul stench coming off the drains, then this may be another indication of a sewer back up.If you try plunging the drain but the problem still persists, get professional help to check the entire system for you.
- Presence of tree roots in the vicinityIt is common for tree roots to invade sewer lines. When they invade the sewer lines, they are likely to slow down the flow inside the drains, and it will be just a matter of time before they cause a complete blockage.
Therefore, if you notice that your drains are draining very slowly, then know that a buildup may be in the process.
If this is ignored, you may find yourself dealing with serious backups that might cause you a lot of money to repair in the long run.
- Running one faucet causes a backup elsewhereSuppose you are running a faucet that shares the same line with a shower in the next room, and you notice that water starts backing up into the shower the moment you turn this faucet on, then this is a classic indication of a plumbing problem that requires immediate attention.You may also notice that water backs up in the shower whenever you flush the toilet. Whenever you have a blockage on the main sewer line as is always the case with a backed-up sewer, water will be trying to leave all the drainages all at the same time.
- Gargling sound coming from the toiletThis may not be a classic sign of a potential backup, but it is one that you should not ignore. This is especially when you hear the gurgling sound and you notice that the shower and toilet are both draining very slowly.Still on the toilet, if you notice that the toilet is empty with no water in the bowl, then this should be another cause of alarm.Normally, the toilet will always have water in the bowl. If it is empty, then this could signify a blockage somewhere, and the next thing you may see is black water backing up into the toilet bowl.