Learn the Most Common Causes of Sewer Backups…

Ricky Heath Plumbing July2023 Blog Image

And How to Prevent Them From Happening!

Sewer backups are smelly, messy and, worst of all, can pose health threats to you and your family. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs, common causes and ways to prevent sewer backups.

Sewer backups occur when a clog or blockage prevents water from flowing freely through your main sewer line. With nowhere else to go, the water backs up into your home through the drains, toilets and sinks. If you notice any of these signs, you should call a professional right away.

The Warning Signs

These are all signs that your sewer is backed up:

Some of the Most Common Causes

  1. Blocked or Clogged Pipes: Your main sewer line, just like your drain pipes, can get blocked or clogged with grease, hair, soap buildup and other materials. This will cause sewage to back up into multiple drains in your home.
  2. Tree Roots: When you planted those cute little shrubs or adorable saplings on your property years ago, you probably never dreamed they would someday take over your property. Well, the roots have taken over underground, too. And there’s a strong possibility that the roots have found their way inside of your sewer line—an easy source of water and nutrients. Although this problem is more common in older homes with clay pipes, it can happen at any home with any type of sewer pipe.
  3. Damaged Sewer Pipes: Sinkholes, earthquakes and other movement of the earth can cause your property to shift, which, in turn, can cause cracks or breaks in your sewer line. These cracks or breaks can result in sewer backups.
  4. Heavy Rain: If the public sewer system gets overloaded during heavy downpours, the water can back up into your home and cause a sewer backup.
  5. An Old Sewer System: The clay and cast iron used in the past can break and crumble more easily than today’s modern, more durable plastic pipe materials. However, even plastic pipes can deteriorate.
  6. Municipal Sewer Issues: Problems with the public sewer system can lead to backups in your home, too.

Why are sewage backups so dangerous? For starters, the contents of your sewer line include harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illnesses, such as hepatitis A, gastroenteritis and e. coli. You never want your family exposed to those things. Plus, a sewage backup can encourage mold growth as well as damage your floors, walls, furniture and other household items.

Ways to Prevent Sewer Backups   

  1. Inspect Your Sewer Line Regularly. Your sewer line should be inspected by a professional, like Ricky Heath, at least once every few years. This allows us to find and fix any potential problems.
  2. Don’t Pour Grease Down Drains. Grease can harden and cause blockages.
  3. Flush Only Toilet Paper.  Baby wipes, paper towels, sanitary products and more can cause blockages when flushed down the toilet.
  4. Schedule a Sewer Line Cleanout. A thorough cleanout will remove any buildup or blockages that can cause backups.
  5. Replace Old Sewer Lines. Old sewer lines are more prone to damage. The professionals at Ricky Heath will be happy to visit your home, assess your main sewer line and help you determine if it should be replaced to prevent damage that could lead to backups.

At Ricky Heath, we have the team, tools and technology to find the cause of your sewer backup and repair it quickly and reliably. We’re also experts with drains, water heaters, septic tank cleanouts and more. To schedule your appointment or to learn more, call us at 478.298.6553 or reach out through our website.

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