Main Sewer Line Clog: 7 Reasons Why
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A main sewer line clog is a common plumbing issue that can cause major problems for homeowners. A clogged sewer line can lead to slow drains, backed-up toilets, and raw sewage in your yard. It’s essential to understand why your main sewer line is clogged so you can take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.
Why Your Main Sewer Line is Clogged
The first reason your main sewer line may be clogged is due to roots from trees and shrubs. Roots are naturally attracted to the moisture and nutrients in your sewer line. Over time, roots can grow into the pipes. Once the roots get into the pipes, they can cause blockages and damage them, leading to leaks and other problems. To prevent roots from clogging your main sewer line, keep trees and shrubs trimmed and away from your sewer line. If you have a persistent root problem, you may need a professional to remove the roots and repair any damage to your pipes.
2. Grease and Oil
Another common cause of clogged main sewer lines is grease and oil. When you wash oily dishes, grease can accumulate in your pipes. Over time, this buildup can cause a clog in your sewer line. This is why it’s important to avoid pouring grease down your sink and to dispose of oil and other fats properly. Instead of pouring grease down the drain, let it cool and solidify, then throw it in the trash. Also, try to wipe down dishes and pans with a paper towel to remove as much grease as possible before washing.
3. Non-Biodegradable Items
Non-biodegradable items such as wipes, sanitary napkins, and diapers can also cause clogs in your main sewer line. These items do not break down like toilet paper and can create blockages in your pipes. To avoid these clogs, it’s important only to flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. If you have small children in the house, it’s also a good idea to keep all flushable wipes, toys, and other small objects away from the toilet.
4. Foreign Objects
Foreign objects such as toys, jewelry, and clothing can cause a main sewer line clog. These items can fall into the toilet or be accidentally flushed down the drain, leading to blockages in your pipes. You can prevent this kind of clog by keeping all foreign objects away from your toilets and drains. You can also install drain screens in your sinks and shower to catch foreign objects before they reach the sewer line.
5. Mineral Deposits
Mineral deposits can also build up in your main sewer line over time, causing clogs. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, can leave behind buildup in your pipes, leading to clogs. Regular drain cleaning can help prevent this from happening. In addition, installing a water softener system can reduce the number of minerals in your water, preventing buildup in your pipes.
Corrosion can also lead to clogs in your main sewer line. Over time, the pipes in your sewer line can corrode, leading to cracks and leaks. When this happens, debris and other materials can get into the pipes, causing blockages. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent corrosion and its associated clogs. If your pipes are made of iron or other metals prone to corrosion, you may want to consider replacing them with PVC or other corrosion-resistant materials.
7. Sagging Pipes
Finally, sagging pipes occur when the soil shifts and moves the pipe out of place. This is often caused by heavy loads on top of the pipes or water moving the soil around. To prevent sagging pipes from causing clogs, it’s vital to prevent underground leaks and manage drainage around your home. Additionally, you should always address any issues as soon as they are identified.
What to Do With a Main Sewer Line Clog
If you suspect your main sewer line is clogged, you need to act quickly to prevent further damage and potential health hazards. Here are some steps to take if you have a clogged sewer line:
- Call a professional plumber: A professional plumber will have the tools and expertise to diagnose the issue and provide the necessary repairs.
- Avoid using your plumbing: If you have a clogged sewer line, it’s best to avoid using it as much as possible to prevent further blockages.
- Try a plunger: If you have a clogged toilet, try using a plunger to see if you can clear the blockage.
- Use a drain snake: If your sinks or bathtub are clogged, try using a drain snake to see if you can clear the blockage.
- Consider hydro jetting: Hydro jetting is a powerful and effective method of clearing clogs in your sewer line. A professional plumber can use high-pressure water to blast through the blockage and clear your pipes.
By understanding the causes of main sewer line clogs and taking steps to prevent them, you can help keep your plumbing running smoothly and avoid costly repairs. If you are having trouble with your sewer line, you should call a professional plumber as soon as possible. They can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action to get your pipes back in working order.
Additionally, it’s important to have your main sewer line regularly inspected to catch any potential problems before they become more extensive and more costly to fix. Regular maintenance can also help extend the life of your pipes and prevent more serious issues from developing.
Main Sewer Line Clog: Bottom Line
In conclusion, clogged main sewer lines can be a major problem for homeowners. Understanding the causes of clogs, such as roots, grease and oil, non-biodegradable items, foreign objects, mineral deposits, corrosion, and sagging pipes, can help you take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. Regular maintenance and proper disposal of waste can go a long way in keeping your sewer line clear and functioning correctly.