All the plumbing infrastructure in your house – taps, toilets, showers, you name it – connects to the most important plumbing element in your home: the main sewer line. Over time, this sewer line can erode, become damaged or blocked, and even collapse completely, resulting in a massive plumbing backlog that can rack up thousands of dollars in repair and water costs.
Knowing what causes main sewer lines to clog or block up, as well as what to look out for that may indicate this has already happened, can help prevent this plumbing disaster in future. So, what causes main sewer pipes to clog?
Severe Pipe Damage
The older your home, the more likely it is that the main sewer line has some form of damage. Tree roots are a common cause of sewer line damage, as they grow and expand over time, seeking the moisture and nutrients in the sewage system. Once they’ve infiltrated the line, they can cause extensive damage, often leading to a complete blockage.
An accumulation of grease, fat and other organic matter is another common culprit behind sewer pipe clogging. When this gunk accumulates over time, it can form a thick sludge that restricts the flow of water through the pipe.
Sanitary Wipes & Other Non-Flushable Items
It’s important to remember that just because something is flushable doesn’t mean it should be flushed. Sanitary wipes, cotton buds, baby wipes and other items that are typically considered safe to dispose of down the toilet can quickly form a clog if flushed en masse.
To avoid this, always check the packaging of any item before flushing – and remember to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper!
As mentioned earlier, tree roots are a common cause of sewer line damage. If you have any large trees near your home, it’s important to keep an eye on their root system and how it’s growing.
If you notice that the roots are starting to grow too close to your sewer line, or even into it, you can take preventative action by having them trimmed back. This may not always be possible or affordable, but it’s worth considering if you know your home is at risk.
How to Prevent a Main Sewer Pipe Clog
There are a few things you can do to help prevent a main sewer pipe clog, including:
- Regularly checking the condition of your pipes and taking action if you notice any damage or blockages
- Keeping an eye on the root system of any large trees near your home, and trimming them back if necessary
- Disposing of sanitary wipes and other flushable items in the garbage, rather than down the toilet
- Avoiding putting too much grease or fat down the drain
- Installing a sewer grate in your garden to help catch any debris before it can enter the pipe line
These are just a few tips – for more comprehensive advice, please contact a professional plumber on the Sunshine Coast.
Clogged Sewer Line Symptoms
There are a few tell-tale signs that your main sewer line may be clogged up and in need of attention. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to call a professional plumber to assess the situation:
- Slow drainage in sinks, baths and toilets
- Gurgling noises coming from drains and toilets
- Water backing up into drains or overflowing from toilets
- Standing water in your garden or yard
- Foul smells coming from taps, drains or toilets
What To Do If Your Main Sewer Line Pipe Has Clogged Up?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, the first thing you should do is call a professional Sunshine Coast plumber. They’ll be able to assess the situation and determine whether the clog is caused by severe damage, an accumulation of gunk or wipes/other non-flushables, or tree roots.
Depending on the cause of the clog, there may be different courses of action that can be taken to clear it. If it’s caused by severe damage, then the plumber may need to replace the entire sewer line. If it’s due to an accumulation of gunk, they may be able to clear it with a plunger or high-pressure water jet. And if it’s due to tree roots, they may be able to trim them back using specialised equipment.
When Should You Call A Professional Sunshine Coast Plumber?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s always best to call a professional plumber for help. They’ll be able to assess the situation and determine the best course of action for clearing the clog.
It’s also a good idea to have your main sewer line pipe assessed on a regular basis, especially if you know your home is at risk of damage from tree roots. This can help prevent a major plumbing disaster down the track!For assistance with your plumbing issues, contact a professional plumber at Synergy Trades Group today!