Sewer Problems: Three Ways to Avoid Them

There are many types of sewer problems that can arise in your home. It's important to take care of your sewer lines in order to make sure they are performing up to the standard they are supposed to for your needs in your home. Common problems include a sewage smell, tree roots in the sewer line, or a blockage. Sewer problems can sometimes be avoided. In order to steer clear of future sewer problems, be sure to implement our sewer problem solutions.

Three Common Sewer Problems

  • Sewage Smell
    • If your home has a sewage smell, people generally assume that there must be a sewage clog. This may not be the case and you may be able to fix the problem without calling a plumber. Scroll down below to read how you can try to fix the sewer gas odor that you are smelling in your home.
  • Tree Roots in the Sewer
    • Tree roots need water to survive and if they are not getting adequate water they may grow into your sewer line to replenish themselves.
    • This can cause a blockage and it is possible that a homeowner may need to replace the sewer line.
    • If you experience a drought, make sure to water your trees regularly.
    • If you choose to plant trees on your property, it is safer to plant trees away from sewer lines to avoid possible future problems. You can contact your utility company for a map of where the lines are located on your property.
  • Blockage
    • A blockage usually occurs when items are flushed that do not flow through the drain properly
    • Avoid flushing items such as wipes, diapers, and feminine products.
    • Some signs of a blockage in your home include:
      • Slow draining water in sinks, toilets, and showers.
      • Water backing up into lower level drains.

Three Solutions to Common Sewer Problems

  • What do I do about a sewer gas odor?
    • This sewer gas odor often comes from your P-trap or drain cap.
      • Make sure traps are full of water, since the water in floor drains and other drain traps tends to evaporate. The sewage smell is sometimes caused by a dry P-trap.
      • Make sure all caps are on and secure. A loose drain cap is another common issue that plumbers will look for when you report a sewage smell in your home.
      • Dump water down each drain and then run all of the sinks and showers and flush all of the toilets.
      • Sometimes a small amount of bleach poured into the drain can help as well.
  • Do Not Pour Grease Down The Drain
    • Grease should never be flushed or put down sink drains.
      • Even though grease is liquid when you pour it into the drain from your frying pan, it quickly becomes a stiff, sticky, and insoluble lump inside the pipe.
      • Wipe the grease from the pan with a paper towel first and dispose of the paper towel.
      • Make sure you've disposed of all of the grease from the pan before washing the pan in order to avoid sewer problems.
  • Avoid Flushing Chemicals
    • Do not flush chemicals into the wastewater treatment system.
    • Introducing chemical compounds such as drain cleaner, paint, thinners, or other household cleaners result in imbalances at the wastewater treatment plant.

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