Top Causes of Sewer Backup & the Associated Risks

Top Causes of Sewer Backup & the Associated Risks

A sewer backup is not something you want to deal with in your home. A backup normally occurs when the wastewater within the sewer system doesn’t drain properly due to a blockage or obstruction. It is usually experienced in the main sewer line that normally connects the home to the municipal sanitary sewers. If the backup is not detected and addressed at the right time, the consequences may be dire, including unfathomable health risks. But for you to understand how to clear clogged sewers and most importantly prevent them from backing up, you need to understand some of the reasons why you may end up with a clogged sewer. Read below to find out more.

A clog

A clog is one of the most common causes of sewer backups. In the same manner that your drain pipes can become clogged, your main sewer lines can also become clogged, backing up into your home. Some of the items that may be responsible for causing a clog in your main sewer line include coffee grounds deposited within the system, diapers and other hygiene products, soap residues, fats and oils, and paper products such as tissue paper, paper towels, and cleaning wipes.

Old sewer systems

Old sewer systems are also prone to constant backing up. Most of the old sewer systems in the country normally comprise pipes made from materials such as cast iron, PVC, or clay. Though these materials are durable and may hold the sewer system working for decades, they are not meant to be used forever. It is estimated that nearly half a million miles of sewer lines in North America are at least thirty years old, making them prone to damages and breakages that may ultimately lead to sewers backing up in people’s homes. Therefore, if you are experiencing a sewer backup and your system is connected to the old municipal line, then just know that the age of the system could be the cause of all the problems. In this case, you might need to contact professionals for sewer backup cleaning services.

Tree roots

Trees have the potential of growing very long roots that may interfere with your sewer system in a number of ways, including causing it to backup. This usually happens when the roots grow too big and make contact with a pipe, causing it to crush or develop holes that will ultimately lead to the blocking of that pipe section. Surprisingly, the roots of the trees grown in your yard may not cause this problem. Remember, tree roots are always seeking water and the pipes that make up part of your home’s sewer system normally have an abundance of water. As such, trees growing several meters away from the system may have their roots extend in search of the water, and end up causing damage to the pipes, leading to sewer backups.

Damaged Pipes

If a pipe within your sewer system is damaged, it may fail to drain properly. Its failure to drain may lead to a buildup within that section and ultimately a backup in the home’s sewer system. There are several factors that may lead to damage to the pipes within your home sewer system, and these include an improper installation that leads to poor drainage. Also, the pipes may experience damage if they have been in use for a long time, or if you are in an area prone to earthquakes or other forms of underground disturbances.

Grease down the drain

If you are fond of pouring grease down your drains, then blame no one if you end up with a backed-up sewer. You have probably heard that if you pour hot water alongside grease in your drains, then the hot water will be able to flush out all the grease from your pipes. Well, this is nothing but a myth. The grease will cool down, and harden. Besides, hot water becomes cold fairly quickly when it gets into the pipes within the sewer system. When grease solidifies and hardens within the drains, it will form a barrier that will trap all manner of waste and in no time, it will completely close off the pipe. Remember, grease is a sticky substance and will trap items that wouldn’t normally cause any problems to your sewer system.

A flooding disaster

There may be a flooding incident in your area, and it is possible that your home may not be affected by the floods, but your sewer may be a victim. This is because whenever there is a flood, there are always very high chances that the raging flood waters may find their way into the sewer lines. Sadly, a sewer backup occasioned by flooding will usually contain more than just the waste you would expect to find there. If a pump station is flooded, then there are very good chances that an entire section of your area’s sewer system will also get flooded, leading to a disruption of services. It may be days or even weeks before the problem is fixed and normal flow is resumed.

Combining pipelines

Some homeowners are fond of connecting additional water sources to their sanitary sewer lines as a way of enhancing resource utilization whenever they add more water sources to their homes. However, this is never a good idea and another reason why such homes are likely to end up with a backed-up sewer. This is because sewer lines are typically designed to accommodate low volumes of wastewater from the homes. When you combine rainwater with a raw sewage line, you are likely to end up with a backup as well as an overflow at the same time. This is because the system will be forced to accommodate volumes and pressures that it wasn’t designed for. Therefore, be very careful about combining pipelines, especially connecting additional water sources to your sanitary sewer line.

Sewage backups can always be prevented

While causes such as flooding and tree roots are not the most common causes of backed-up sewers, the other causes can usually be prevented. Therefore, before you run into the inconvenience of a backed-up sewer, do what you have to do to ensure that your drains don’t get blocked and cause such a problem.

Contact KBS Maintenance now for our sewer backup cleaning services.