You’re probably aware that the sewer lines in your home transport wastewater to the sewer mains that are located underground. Beyond that, most homeowners don’t think much about the sewer lines until they have a clogged pipe.
Sewer line clogs can lead to raw sewage backing up and oozing out of the drains, which can lead to major damage to the home and costly sewer line repairs or replacement.
As a homeowner, it’s important to understand how to respond to your home’s early warning system, this way you can avert expensive sewer and plumbing issues. Here are some warning signs to look out for.
Common Red Flags to Watch For
Two of the most common red flags are water that backs up out of a drain or the toilet or a gurgling sound that comes from drains.
Your house is talking to you, and that ominous gurgling sound says “there’s a problem.” If when you’re done washing a load of laundry, the toilet starts to percolate, like a coffee pot percolating, or if you get water around the floor of a drain in the basement, those are telltale signs of a clog.
Main Line & Secondary Line Clogs
A clog can occur in one of two places: the mainline or a secondary line. Picture your house as a tree: There is one main trunk that runs out of the house, and then you have a bunch of small branches off of that. If the clog is located in the main line, that means that when you run any water in the house, you’ll have a problem.
On the other hand, if it’s a secondary line clog, it will be an isolated problem.
For example, if the clog is in just the bathroom sink, it won’t go down or it will come back up in the bathtub. However, you can still flush the toilet.
If it’s in the mainline if you turn on any water in the house, the toilet will percolate and it will come up in the basement or the bathtub.
What Are the Causes?
In older homes with mature trees on the property, tree roots are the most common cause for a clogged sewer line. In newer homes, the most common culprits include feminine hygiene products, extra thick toilet paper, and paper towels.
Lots of folks have trouble with their drains because of tree roots. That’s the leading cause of drain problems. Sometimes older trees will actually crush pipes. In older homes, slow flowing drains and gurgling noises in toilets are the first signs of a sewer system that’s being hampered by tree roots.
If you don’t remove the roots, it’s a matter of time before a complete sewer line block occurs.
The first line of defense against a clogged drain pipe is to see if it can be opened with a cable. If not, the next step is to run a camera through the drain to determine if tree roots are the culprit.
Contact a Kansas City plumber from A-1 Sewer & Inspection Service Inc. today!