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What Causes Sewer Backup and How to Prevent It

What Causes Sewer Backup and How to Prevent It

A clogged sewer can reek havoc on your home, with the potential to cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Repair will not only involve the sewer system, but also flooring, electrical systems, and plumbing. This is why it pays to know what causes sewer backups and most importantly, to know how to prevent them. Read below to learn more about some of the common causes of sewer backups, and the best ways to avoid them.

Top Causes of Sewer Backups

An Aging Sewer System

An aging sewer system is the number one cause of drain back up. A typical sewer system is designed to last for up to three decades. If your system has been in place for this long, then it is well on its way to its sunset years. There’s a good chance you’re already experiencing issues with it. The best solution to an aged sewer system is to simply replace it with a new one.

Tree Roots

The roots of trees and shrubs often have a way of finding the location of the sewer lines in their search for moisture. Once they access the lines, they are likely to cause cracks, especially in the joints. In some instances they may gain access to the pipe’s interiors through the cracks, and cause blockages – leading to sewer back up.

Sanitary Main Blockage

Some drain back up is the result of a sanitary main blockage. This usually happens when there is a blockage in a city sanitary main. If the authorities don’t detect the blockage in time, the floor drains of many homes and businesses can be affected.

How to Prevent Sewer Backups

There are ways to prevent sewer back up in both your sewer lateral as well as in the city main. They include the following:

Installing a Backwater Prevention Valve

The backwater prevention valve is a fixture usually installed in the sewer line, to prevent back-flows. It is usually installed in the basement of a home to prevent basement drain back up and subsequent flooding of the entire home if there is back-flow. When installed and maintained properly, back-flows can be avoided, since all the contents of the line will be forced out of the system.

Replacing Old Lines with New Plastic Lines

It’s not possible for tree and shrub roots to breach plastic lines. That is why it is recommended that all the old lines be replaced with new plastic lines.

Proper Disposal of Paper Products

Sanitary wipes, disposable diapers, paper towels, and other feminine hygiene products do not deteriorate very quickly. They are the number one reason for blocked residential sewer systems.
It is highly recommended that you not dispose of these products in the toilet because with time, they will not only block the owner’s lateral but also the city main.