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Sewer Lines – Problems and Maintenance Tips

Causes for sewer line problems? 

There can be several factors pending the surrounding area of the home. 

  • The age of the initial installation
  • Surrounding vegetation (*trees and deep-rooted plants)

*Tree roots are always in search of water can penetrate even the smallest cracks and seams of an otherwise intact sewer line.   Once a tree root finds an opening, it will continue to grow, causing the hole to expand.    Roots have been known to eventually fill the pipe to the point that the flow of water is restricted or prevented.   The pipe may even break apart and crumble.

Natural circumstances can be common problems 

  • Shifting soil due to freezing, settling and adjacent pressures.
  • Blockage caused by internal obstructions  Besides tree roots, solidified grease can congeal causing blockage.  Flushing objects down the toilet can obviously cause a block.
  • Wear and tear due to age
  • Broken, cracked, collapsed, or misaligned pipes. These can be caused by driving directly over the line with personal vehicles or something else causing compression
  • “Bellied” pipe – sections of pipe that have sunken creating an area of waste to converge and settle.

Signs your sewer line needs attention 

  • Repeated backups and or slow draining of wastewater. Hesitation of attention can lead to steps beginning with cleaning then repair, relining or replacement.
  • Bubbling sounds from plumbing fixtures and drains (garage, laundry, sink drains and toilets)
  • Foul odors.
  • Lush patches of grass over known sewer line paths
  • Lawn indentations or possible collapse
  • Foundation cracking.
  • Pools of septic waste.

How you can prevent problems (and thus expenses) 

Regular proactive management can prevent major sewer line issues later.  Seriously! 

  • Know where your sewer lines are located. It’s difficult to guard something when you don’t know where it is.
  • Remove all trees and other deep-rooted plants from the line’s vicinity. If you don’t do this before a major problem you will certainly do it afterward (and pay for the repair)
  • Keep heavy equipment from driving directly over sewer lines. Let the equipment operator know where your lines are.  Of course, you yourself have to know.
  • Flushing the sewer line on a semi regular interval. Flushing can be a simple as filling and draining a large sink or bathtub.
  • NEVER pour grease down a drain. Only “toilet” paper.    Facial tissue: no;  paper towels: no; small deceased pets: burial by toilet is not burial at sea;  Personal grooming materials: these are not engineered to break down in a sewer system, thus convenience can be seriously expensive.  Even “just a little” every “now and then” can lead to “really big” costs.
  • Regular attention and maintenance performed by a professional plumber can alleviate upcoming problems. Regular maintenance is a fraction of the cost of drastic corrections.   Believe me, if you don’t manage proactively, you may eventually have to pay for a correction then begin being proactive.

All Star Plumbing’s team of plumbers have all the skill sets needed for both residential and commercial plumbing, including sewer line maintenance, well pump maintenance and a variety of other plumbing services.   We know how to manage these concerns because frankly, we’ve already seen and corrected these types of problems.    Call us now (336.462.1080) to begin a maintenance plan to avoid major damage down the road.