More Info on Common Sewer Main Issues
Updated: Sep 22
Sometimes sewer line issues are foreshadowed, like when your child flushes a toy down the toilet. But other times, you may be left wondering what caused the issue. Why did this happen out of nowhere? There can be a number of causes. Here are the four factors that most commonly contribute to sewer line problems:
Root Infestation: This is one of the most common causes of main line issues. If your home has large trees or shrubs, you run a high risk of root intrusion. Trees naturally grow towards water for nutrients. In addition to this, their roots are very small and strong, easily fitting into any fine cracks or holes. Once in the pipe, these roots continue to grow, ultimately causing blockages or cracks in the sewer line. This can lead to a necessary repair or full replacement.
Stoppages caused from grease and debris: 2 things you should never do---pour oil, grease, or fat down the drain and flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Both are commonly the culprits of a back up to your system. This can typically be taken care of by cleaning the line (chemical drain cleaning or snaking the line). However, it does depend on the severity of the situation. Even after a cleaning, the build up can begin again if you're not careful to maintain it.
Cracked Pipes: Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to prevent this. Just like everything else, pipes age over time. The natural aging process of pipes, as well as things like a shift in soil, increased ground traffic or the freeze-thaw cycle,
Sagging Sewer Lines: Also called a "bellied" pipe, this occurs when a portion of the pipe has sunk because of ground or soil conditions. Once this happens, waste will begin to get stuck in this sagging point in the line, causing a blockage in the line. As you can see, sewer main issues can stem from different sources. However, whether preventable or not, it's always helpful to know the common causes of these problems. If you are experiencing slow-draining, constant back ups/multiple areas backing up at once, or unpleasant odors don't let the problem get worse. Reach out to a professional right away to get to the root of the issue!