Sewer and drain lines are often neglected until they start clogging or flooding. If you don’t take care of them, you risk having problems with water pressure, sewage backup, or even flooding. Before we get into awesome tips for keeping your sewer in tip top shape, we would like to welcome the readers of stokesplumbing.com.
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There are two types of sewers: storm drains and sanitary sewers. Storm drains are designed to handle rainwater runoff from streets and parking lots.
Sanitary sewers collect wastewater from homes, businesses, and other buildings. They also carry away waste from toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
You should clean your sewer and drainage lines every year. This is especially important if you live in areas where heavy rains occur. The good news is that it’s easier than ever before.
Keep on reading for 7 awesome tips for sewer and drainage line cleaning.
Table of Contents
How Do Sewers and Drains Work?
Sewers and drains work by transporting solid wastes from the home to a treatment plant. When you flush the toilet, pour some water into the bowl, or use any other type of plumbing fixture, the water flows through pipes called “pipes.”
These pipes connect to manholes located at street intersections and on property lines. Manholes are large openings in the ground that allow access to underground pipes.
Manholes can be found near the curb, driveway, sidewalk, or anywhere else there is a need to access an underground pipe. Once inside the manhole, the water travels down the main sewer line and empties into a collection area.
From here, the water goes to a treatment facility.
The treatment facility removes pollutants such as grease, oil, and hair from the water. It may also add chemicals to help break down fats, oils, and grease. Finally, the water passes through filters to remove particulates like dirt, sand, rust, and algae.
How To Get Started With Your Home’s Sewer And Drain Lines
A properly maintained sewer system will prevent many common household issues. For example, if your house has a sump pump, this device prevents flood damage by keeping excess water out of basements.
However, if your sump pump (see also ‘Sump Pump Repair: A Complete Guide‘) fails, you could experience basement flooding.
If your home has a septic tank (see also ‘What Is A Septic Inspection?‘), it helps keep your yard free of unpleasant smells. But if your septic tank (see also ‘Cesspool Vs Septic Tank‘) becomes full, you could have a problem with foul odors.
If you have a well-maintained sewer system, you won’t have to worry about these issues. You can read more tips on how to maintain your sewer system here.
1. Use A Bucket Of Soap
Before getting started, make sure you have soap available. You’ll want to wash all surfaces that come into contact with the sewage, including floors, walls, countertops, appliances, furniture, and clothing. Make sure to rinse everything thoroughly after cleaning.
2. Check For Leaks
Look around your home for leaks. If you find any, fix them right away. There are several methods you can use to repair leaks. Some involve digging up the pavement, while others require only a few tools.
3. Take Out The Trash
Trash cans are one of the most common sources of blockages. If you see trash piling up in your garbage disposal, take it out immediately. Otherwise, it might cause serious problems.
4. Keep An Eye On Your Water Meter
You don’t want to run out of water when you’re trying to do something important. That’s why it’s smart to check your water meter once a month. If your meter shows that you’ve used too much water, call your local utility company. They should be able to tell you what’s causing the leak.
5. Be Aware Of Flood Warnings
Floods happen without warning. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared before they occur. Know where the nearest exit is located, and make sure everyone knows where to go. Also, prepare food and other supplies that you’d normally eat during a natural disaster.
6. Call The Utility Company
Even though you’re following some basic guidelines for maintaining your sewer lines, you still need to call your local utility company if you notice anything unusual.
What Causes Mainline Sewer Problems?
Mainline sewer problems can stem from several sources. One cause is tree roots. Roots growing around sewer pipes can block the flow of liquid. Another possible culprit is debris. Debris can build up over time and eventually lead to leaks.
Debris can include leaves, branches, grass clippings, paper, plastic bags, food scraps, toys, and other items. While most people throw their trash into garbage cans, sometimes they forget to empty those containers.
That means trash ends up in sewers instead.
Another reason why sewers become blocked is because of sediment buildup. Sediment builds up when soil particles fall into the drain. Over time, this material gets compacted and hardens. Eventually, this hardened sediment forms a plug.
When Does My Sewer Need Cleaning?
You should check your sewer periodically throughout the year. If you notice a leak, smell anything unusual, or see excessive amounts of sediment, call a professional plumber immediately.
Checking your sewer regularly doesn’t mean you’ll find a major issue every time. Most small issues can be fixed easily. However, if you find something serious, you may need to replace your entire system.
Sewer Cleaning Tips
1. Use a plunger to clear out sediment. A simple plunger works best for removing sediment. Simply place one end of the plunger into the opening of the drain, then push the handle downward. This action pushes all the sediment toward the bottom of the pipe.
2. Check for cracks in your sewer lines. Cracks are often caused by settling. If you notice any cracks, repair them before they get worse.
3. Have your drains inspected annually. Plumbing professionals can inspect your plumbing system and determine whether repairs are needed.
4. Keep an eye out for signs that your sewer needs replacing. These signs include bulging walls, leaking joints, and overflowing toilets.
5. Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners. Instead, try using mild soap and warm water to clean your drains.
6. Consider hiring a pro. If you’re unsure about what’s causing your sewer problems, consider calling a professional plumber. They can help you figure out which parts of your system need fixing.
7. Learn how to fix your own sewer line problems. It’s not always necessary to hire a plumber. In fact, some DIY projects can actually save money.
8. Make sure your toilet is working correctly. Dirty toilets can cause sewage backflow. To prevent this problem, make sure your toilet has a lid and that it’s kept closed at all times.
9. Avoid putting grease down your kitchen sink. Grease will collect in the trap area of your sewer. When grease collects there, it can form a thick layer of sludge.
10. Be careful with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can burst during heavy snowstorms. You can avoid this problem by checking your pipes monthly.
7 Awesome Tips For Sewer And Drainage Line Cleaning
Sewer lines need to be cleaned regularly because they carry waste water away from homes and businesses. This helps prevent clogs and backups.
There are two different types of sewer lines: sanitary sewers and storm sewers. Sanitary sewers typically carry wastewater from sinks, showers, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and other appliances.
Storm sewers collect runoff from streets, parking lots, driveways, roofs, and other impervious surfaces. Storm sewers also help prevent flooding by diverting surface water into underground pipes during heavy rains.
Cleaning sewer lines is important to avoid expensive plumbing repair bills.
Watch The Pipes
Trash cans and compost pails should be used to prevent clogs in your pipes. Food scraps and feminine hygiene products shouldn’t go down the drain. Wipes may cause clogs.
A drain screen should be used to stop hair falling into the sink or bathtub. Hair strands should be caught by the screen and kept out of the drain.
Get A Snake (No, Not A Reptile)
A snake is a small auger drill attachment that is flexible, allowing you to clear out small places. Snakes are cheap, and easy to use. Using snakes to remove minor clogs is an effective solution.
Snakes won’t fix every clog, but they’re great for small ones. Don’t overuse a snake because it could damage your pipes. Call a plumber if you need help removing a major clog.
Baking soda mixed with vinegar is an effective way to clean grease out of pipes. Grease may stick to your pipes because it cools off after being dumped down the sink or toilet. A great way to remove the grease is to mix baking soda with vinegar.
This mixture will foam up and cause bubbles to form. Bubbles will help clean grease and other debris out of your pipes.
Put a bit of drain-cleaner into the water instead of regular water. Make sure you flush the toilet before you use it. You should never put too much water down the pipe. This could cause a back-up.
Sewer cleaning should be done regularly because sewage can cause many health issues if left untreated. Baking soda can be used as an inexpensive alternative to expensive chemicals. Citrus based cleaners can be used to clean sewers without causing any damage.
Dedicated Drain Cleaners
You should flush out your pipes every few months to avoid clogs. Chemical cleaners are not recommended because they can damage your pipes.
Instead, use a drain cleaner once in a while. Make sure you’re not using too much water when you flush your pipes out. Chemical cleaners should be flushed every few years to avoid clogging your pipes.
Turn to the Professionals
A plumbing company should offer sewer cleaning services. Ask them if they do. You need to know what the process will involve and how much it will cost. Make sure the plumber you hire has experience with sewer cleaning.
If you’ve tried to clear out the clog yourself, there may be more serious problems. Have a professional inspect your sewer line before trying to fix it by yourself.
Sewer & Drain Line Cleaning – How Do I Know When My Sewers Need Cleansing?
Sewer line cleaning is an essential part of maintaining your plumbing. Without proper maintenance, your pipes can become clogged, which can lead to costly repairs. Fortunately, there are ways to determine whether your sewers need cleaning.
The first thing to look at is the color of your drainpipe. If it’s black, gray, or brown, then it probably needs cleaning. If it’s white or light colored, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your pipes are dirty. It may just be because your drains aren’t being cleaned often enough.
Next, consider the amount of debris that you see inside your drains. If you see lots of hair, dirt, grease, or even small pieces of paper, then it’s time to clean those pipes.
Finally, think about how frequently you flush your toilet. If it takes longer than five minutes to empty your tank, then it could indicate that your pipes need cleaning.
If you spot any signs of trouble, it’s always a good idea to schedule regular sewer line cleaning. Doing so will help prevent expensive plumbing issues from arising down the road.
Why Do I Need To Clean My Sewer And Drainage Line?
Sewer and drainage line cleaning is necessary to keep your plumbing system working properly. Over time, debris builds up on the walls of your pipes, which makes it harder for wastewater to flow through.
Eventually, this buildup causes your pipes to get clogged, which leads to flooding and sewage backup.
What Does It Cost To Clean My Sewer And Drain Line?
There are many factors that contribute to the overall cost of sewer and drainage line cleaning. These include:
- The size of your home
- The number of rooms in your house
- The type of soil in your area
- Your property value
- The age of your pipes
- How far away your home is from the city sewer treatment plant
- Whether you live in a flood zone
- The condition of your pipes
- The frequency with which you perform routine maintenance
How Long Does It Take To Clean My Sewer And Pipeline?
It depends on the size of your home, as well as the extent of the damage. Typically, it is recommended that homeowners have their pipes inspected every three years.
However, if you notice any problems, such as leaks, blockages, or discoloration, then it’s important to contact a sewer cleaner as soon as you can.
Sewer and drainage lines can get backed up due to several reasons. In most cases, these backups are caused by tree roots growing into the ground near your home.
This can cause the root systems to grow deeper and deeper into the pipes. Eventually, this can result in major problems like flooding.
Thank you for reading!