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How a Sewer Line Problem Can Cost You Thousands

A sewer line before it has been installed.

Home maintenance can be an expensive chore- maybe you need to re-shingle the roof, install new insulation, or tear out and replace some flooring. It’s easy to get lost in the growing list of demands a well-kept house needs, but something like your plumbing shouldn’t be overlooked.  A sewer line problem left untreated can lead to costly problems like backed up sewage, pest infestations, a cracked foundation, and mold.

What Causes Sewer Line Problems?

Knowing what to look for can be tricky. The best course of action is to do what you can to prevent sewer line problems, but that means knowing what exactly can cause your plumbing and sewer lines to clog and break. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to avoid some nasty and expensive plumbing repairs. Here are a few problems to consider:

  • Tree roots. One of the most common causes for a sewer line problem comes from the very trees in your backyard. Tree roots are notorious for breaking through even the sturdiest of pipes, as they want the nutrient-rich water that’s inside the sewer line. If left untreated, it’s much worse than a simple sewer line problem. The tree roots inside the sewer line will multiply and expand until the pipe itself collapses, and depending on the damage, it can cost thousands to repair.
  • Feminine products and other unwanted flushed objects. Tree roots are typically a problem for older homes. If you have a newer home, you probably don’t have to worry about tree roots just yet, but you should worry about what exactly you flush down the toilet. Anything other than sewage and toilet paper that’s flushed down can cause some serious blockage in your plumbing. Even the thicker triple-ply toilet paper takes some time to disintegrate.
  • Old pipes. Older homes don’t just have to deal with tree roots when it comes to sewer line problems- they also have to deal with older pipes. Pipes made out of clay, cast iron, and PVC/ABS plastic, for example, are susceptible to corrosion and breaking. Over time what can happen is the internal thickness of the pipes can grow, creating less space for water to flow through and that creates a lot of pressure. When exposed long enough to an increasing supply of pressure, pipes will crack, break, or sometimes even collapse.

Common Repairs You Can Do

If you think you might have a sewer line problem, it’s best to contact a professional plumber immediately, as they will know what to look for and can offer you the best solution. Fixing the problem yourself might be tempting if it saves you the money and trouble of contacting somebody, but working with hot water and heavy pipes can be dangerous. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make the issue much worse. However, if you’re looking for ways to prevent future sewer line problems, there’s a lot you can do.

  • Reduce your water pressure. As mentioned earlier, high water pressure will eventually cause your pipes to crack and break. An easy way to prevent a sewer line problem is to monitor your house’s water pressure. Installing a hose bib gauge is easy and cheap, whether you do it yourself or hire a plumber. Good water pressure stays between 45 and 80 psi, anything higher and it’s time to install a pressure reducer.
  • Routinely flush your sinks and tubs. An easy way to prevent your drains from clogging is to flush out your sinks and tubs. You can do this by filling them up to the top with water and let it drain. If everything gets flushed at least twice a month, the rush of water is usually enough to get rid of any growing clogs and it keeps your sewer line clean.
  • Avoid clogging your drains. It sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook what could be damaging to your plumbing. Washing things like food, grease, and hair can accumulate inside your pipes, causing blockages and the end result can be some nasty sewer line problems. Thoroughly scraping your dishes, routinely washing your shower stalls and tubs, and keeping the toilet lid closed, are all easy ways to prevent clogs.

What A Professional Can Do For You

A professional plumber can do more long-term solutions for any potential sewer line problem. They will usually inspect the problem with a camera inspection, where they insert a rod with a high-resolution camera attached, inside your sewer line to identify where the clog or breakage is. If there is a problem with your sewer line, a plumber will then offer you the best-suited solution, but it will depend on the problem. If there is something of a major clog, like some tree roots got lodged inside the sewer line somewhere, a plumber might suggest hydro-jetting. Hydro-jetting involves high-pressure water jets that blast away any stubborn buildup. It’s highly effective, non-toxic compared to commercial chemical drain cleaners, and it safely cleans your sewer line without damaging it. If sewer has some severe damage, your plumber might suggest a more permanent solution such as pipelining, where a professional replace the lining of your old pipes with a stronger, seamless, high-grade epoxy.

Don’t Wait Until Your Pipes Burst

The worst damage happens if it’s left untreated, and a sewer line problem can’t be overlooked. The problem might be as easy to fix as a quick flush to your plumbing, or it could be serious and you’ll need someone to replace your sewer line.
Don’t wait until you’re dealing with backed up sewage, if you think you have a sewer line problem, contact Gold Service Service immediately!

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