Fall is the Time to Check Your Sewer Main

October 15th, 2016

When the weather turns cold in Utah and the snow falls, it’s a great time to get out and hit the slopes or do some sledding. It’s not such a good time to try and dig up your yard, but that might be exactly what you are doing if you end up with a problem in your sewer main line during the months of November through March. To avoid this, fall is the ideal time to have a plumber come and check your sewer main line, especially if it’s older, you see signs of potential problems, or you have experienced problems in the past.

Dangers of Broken Sewer Lines

Most homeowners are extremely grateful for a sewer main line, even if they don’t really know what it is—that’s because it’s the plumbing that allows you to have indoor lines to carry out waste and refuse. If you haven’t ever thought much about your sewer lines beyond that, you’re not alone, and most of the time there’s not much to think about. The problem comes when your sewer line gets damaged; since it’s underground, you might not know there is an issue until the sewage backs up enough to cause a problem inside the house, and in many cases, that means there’s already pretty extensive damage.

Signs of a Potential Problem

Some of the signs you might notice that could be the result of a sewer line problem include:

  • Clogged toilets
  • Clogged drains
  • Water backing up out of a drain
  • Gurgling sounds emanating from the drains

While each of these signs could simply be an indicator of a small problem that is easily fixed, you should get your main line checked when you notice that there are problems across all water access points in your home—for example, if you flush the toilet and see water coming back up in the bathroom sinks.

Common Causes

There are many different things that could cause a sewer line backup, which is why it’s so important to hire a professional plumber to come and check it out when you notice signs of a problem. The most common are tree roots that have intersected with a sewer line, especially if your home is older and you have a lot of well-established trees. If your home is newer or the sewer main line is nowhere near a tree it could be the result of everyday products like feminine hygiene items, paper towels, or even toilet paper that have become clogged in the main line.

How to Fix It

Some homeowners might be tempted to try and fix a clogged sewer main line on their own, fearing that the price tag for the cleaning will be high. The problem is that without the knowledge of how to clean a clog, or the right equipment, you could end up doing more damage that the original issue. One common thing that many plumbers see is a homeowner who attempts to fix a problem and ends up releasing the pressure, causing water and waste to back up into the house. Now on top of the plumbing bill, you will also be paying a restoration company to help clean things up.

Better than trying to do it on your own is hiring a professional plumber. They have tools to try and open your drain, and if they are unable to clear a clog or a problem, they can run a specialized camera (a “drain snake”) to look and see what the problem is.

You can also prevent the need for frequent sewer main line clogs by having your lines cleaned regularly—about once every two to three years. For older homes or someone who has experienced regular issues with the sewer line, more frequent inspections would be appropriate.

Don’t wait until it’s too late—get a plumber that can fix your broken sewer line by calling Expert Services- Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical in Salt Lake City today.