On a hot summer day, the last thing you want to deal with is a clogged sewer line. Instead of relaxing in the pool or cheering in the stands at a baseball game, you’re trying to figure out where the smell is coming from and how extensive the damage may be. Here are several reasons why sewer lines tend to clog and leak during summer months, as well as a plan for preventing them so your summer days can remain free for more appealing outdoor activities.
What Causes Sewer Lines to Clog
Summer storms can overload public sewer systems and cause backups. When a sewer system collects a large amount of water at once, as it does during heavy summer rains, it can cause water to back up in individual water lines. If your sewer line does not have a backwater valve, this can result in sewer water backing up into your home and onto your property. You may need to have a backwater valve or a sump pump installed if you experience regular flooding. Experts also advise you to avoid doing household chores that use a lot of water during a storm, because the more water flowing into the lines, the harder the system must work to get rid of it.
Summer is also a time for intense growth of tree roots, which can also cause sewer lines to clog. If the sewer line is located below or beside a tree, roots can penetrate the pipe. Once inside and growing, the root can block the passage of water and particles going through the sewer line. Some older homes have sewer pipes made of clay, which are notoriously weak and susceptible to damage. Cast iron pipes can corrode over time, allowing tree roots to grow into the interior of the pipe. Most newer homes are fitted with PVC or ABS sewer lines, but even these materials are not impervious. Tree roots sometimes penetrate at the joints between pipes, causing damage.
How to Prevent Clogs
You can help prevent damage to sewer lines by observing these basic rules.
- Do not consider the toilet as another waste paper basket. Do not flush items such as diapers, tampons, sanitary pads, paper towels, or any other item not meant for the toilet.
- Be careful how much you put down the garbage disposal at one time. Adding large quantities of anything solid at one time can lead to a clogged sewer line.
- Never pour cooking grease or fat down the drain. Both substances will harden over time and clog the drain.
- If you are considering adding trees to your yard, choose trees that grow slowly. Many county extension services publish lists of trees that are more likely and less likely to cause damage to sewer and water supply pipes.
What to do if the Line is Clogged
If your home is experiencing a clogged sewer line, call your a licensed plumber. You may be able to detect the signs of a clogged sewer line, but clearing the line without further damaging pipes is a job for a professional. A licensed plumber can inspect the line, determine the source of the clog, repair it, and make recommendations for maintenance to prevent future problems.
For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.