We have all had the displeasure of a backed-up sink, toilet, tub or shower. In this post we’ll spend some time on what causes drains to back up, have a look at some do’s and don’ts when it comes to your home’s sewer system and explore a couple things that you can do to help prevent sewer stoppages.
The first and biggest rule is please do not use over the counter caustic drain clean products in your sewer system. They are full of very abrasive chemicals that can over time cause permanent damage to your homes plumbing system. This damage can be compounded in homes that were built before 1973. Pre-1973 homes were built with cast iron sewer systems. Cast iron sewer systems have a life span of 40-50 years under normal wear and tear and if you use caustic chemicals in your sewer system you can shorten the life. Those same chemicals in today’s PVC piping can do damage. Next question is, what causes the sewer to back up in the first place?
There are many things that can make a sewer line not do its job. These include age of the system, lack of maintenance, putting improper things down the drains, and in some scenarios tree roots have penetrated the system. The two preventable things you my intrepid readers can do to help prevent sewer system back ups are maintenance to the sewer and don’t put the wrong things down the drains. Wait, I need to maintain my sewer? What are you talking about?
No matter how old the home is build-up occurs inside the system and a good cleaning of your sewer every few years can save you from those pesky backups. At Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning, we have a machine called a “jetter” which is basically a power washer on steroids. I won’t bore you with the details so in keeping it simple we wash the interior of your sewer line with very high-pressure water which takes it back to an as close to new state as possible if it’s PVC and makes it flow much better if it is older cast iron. What about wrong things down the drain you ask?
The list of things you should never put down a drain is quite extensive. The biggies are:
- Any form of grease, oil or butter
- Feminine hygiene products
- Wet wipes (even if they say flushable)
- Corn husks, onion skins, crustacean shells (disposals can’t handle them)
- Prescription drugs (they build up in the water supply and can’t be filtered out)
- Paper products other than toilet paper
The best rule of thumb to prevent sewer backups is the only things that should go down the drain are human waste and the correct paper products; anything else can wreak havoc on the plumbing under and in your home.
If you do have the unfortunate experience of a sewer back up Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning has a myriad of tools to get the water draining away again depending on where the backup has occurred. They include hand augers, sewer cables and of course in the worse cases we can always break out the aforementioned jetter.
After we get the water flowing again it is strongly recommended that we do a colonoscopy (Yup, exactly what you are thinking!) of the property with our sewer camera to make sure there are not bigger problems hiding under the house.
Alright friends I hope you don’t have a crappy day (all puns intended) and until we meet again I was on stage the other day singing karaoke, I started my sixth attempt at the song Danger Zone when the DJ stopped me. When I asked why he said you’ve exceeded your maximum Loggins attemps. (They get worse every week, I know!)
House Whisperer out!!