A functioning sewer is an essential part of a sanitary house. Sewers carry wastewater from its source to a point of treatment and disposal. When a sewer is backed-up, it could be seriously problematic and cause health hazards or damage. To help you discover issues with your drainage pipes, we have compiled a list of the most common causes of sewer backups. In addition, we will be discussing the process of detecting problems with 4 types of sewage pipes.
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5 Causes of Sewer Backups
From tree roots to issues with the city sewer system, we have created an outline of 5 ordinary causes of sewage backups and how to fix them.
1.) Tree roots
A majority of sewer pipes are directly underneath the surface of your lawn or ground. Since drain pipes are within proximity of vegetation, it is not unusual for tree roots to penetrate pipes and cause sewer backups. Even if you do not have trees on your property, trees that are far away can still be the source of your sewage backup since roots may grow a long distance away from the tree.
2.) Collapsed Pipes
A lot of homes nationwide are over 100 years old, which makes the pipes susceptible to wear and tear. The older pipes get, the more prone they are to crack or collapse, thus leading to sewage backup.
3.) Objects In Sewer Lines
The most common type of sewage backup comes from objects that become stuck in pipes beneath the ground. Types of materials such as toilet paper, hair, soap scum, and grease may be responsible for the clogged drain in your basement, kitchen, or bathroom. When you are unable to flush multiple toilets in your house, grab a plunger to remove the object from your sewer pipes. If the plunger is not able to restore the flow of water in your drains, the source of the clog may be a problem with the main sewer pipe near your street.
4.) Sump Pumps Integrated Into Sewer Lines
Sump pumps help send water away from your house, but they are not meant for wastewater. As a matter of fact, it can be illegal to attach your sump pump to the sanitary sewer line, as a sewer line is meant to dispose of wastewater and not melted snow or rainwater. Attaching a sump pump your pipes can overwhelm your plumbing system and cause a sewer backup.
5.) Issues with Municipal and City Sewer Lines
City sewers encounter the same types of problems that your own sewer system does; they can get clogged occasionally and disrupt the sewer lines of some houses in the city. In this case, there isn’t much you can do about it except wait for the city to get it under control. It can be hard determining whether your clogged sewer comes from your own system of from the city’s.
4 Signs of a Sewer Backup on Your Property
Although there is no easy way to prevent sewer backups in your yard, it’s important to be familiar with the signs that are associated with a cracked sewer pipe. Being familiar with the side effects of a drainage backup will help you find small problems before they become severe.
1.) Various Drains Are Clogged at the Same Time
If multiple drains in your home are not letting water through or have slow drainage, this is an indicator of a backup. These types of clogs will affect the lowest drains in a house first.
2.) Bubbling Drains
If the drains or toilets in your house have air bubbles coming out of them, then a backup could be the culprit. Bubbles form when wastewater is unable to flow through your plumbing system, and bubbles could be an indicator of wastewater beginning to backup.
3.) Odors from Drains and Sinks
It is abnormal to encounter foul odors near your kitchen or bathroom sink in your house. If you notice a musty odor near your sink, this is a signal of a backup in your main sewer line.
4.) Sewage in Cleanout Pipe
A cleanout pipe is a capped pipe that is directly connected to the sewer line. Its purpose is to allow access to the sewage system should you ever need to remove any blockages. If you notice wastewater coming out of a pipe in your yard or basement, you may have a sewer backup beneath the ground.
4 Types of Sewer Pipes
Knowing what type of sewer pipes make up your system can help you minimize the negative effects of a backed-up sewer system. The type of pipes you have often correspond to how old your house is. The four types of sewer pipes are:
1.) Orangeburg Pipes
In houses built before the 1950s, a fiber conduit pipe is common. This is called Orangeburg, and it was made out of wood and water-resistant adhesive. Even if it appears to be in good shape, it is worth considering replacing due to its old age and lower durability.
2.) Cast Iron Pipes
Although cast iron pipes are associated with older homes, they are still installed today. Cast iron pipes are very strong and durable. Once a cast iron pipe reaches the middle or end of its life cycle, it will become vulnerable to sewage backups. Cast iron pipes are not susceptible to breakage and are designed to handle high pressure.
3.) PVC & ABS Plastic Pipes
These types of pipes are favored for their smooth interiors, which allows for easier transport of solid waste matter. Their smooth exteriors also discourage root anchorage. Plastic sewer pipes are the most common material chosen when it comes to fixing sewer problems yourself since it is lightweight and inexpensive.
4.) Vitrified Clay Pipes
Clay pipes are rare as none of the major home improvement stores carry clay pipes. Although using a clay pipe might seem outdated, it is still laid today and is a viable option for your sewer system. Clay pipes are highly resistant to chemical weathering, but they do tend to attract tree roots because of their porosity.
Sewer Repair & Replacement Services
Do you have a clogged sink in your laundry room or kitchen? Give our team of licensed plumbers a call by phone at (732) 201-3305 to schedule a sewer repair or installation service. In addition, our staff of certified technicians offers other types of HVAC and plumbing services such as water heater repair, drain cleaning, air conditioning maintenance, and furnace repair. Issues with the sewer system are best left to the professionals, as they require special care. Contact us today to get your sewer functioning and your house hazard-free once again!