What to do when your sewer backs up?

A sewage backup is a common but, unfortunately, very sneaky and unpleasant plumbing problem. It usually comes unobvious, but the trail of problematic consequences that sewer backup can bring to the surface – from backing up toilets and bathtubs to even faucets malfunctions makes it a brutal disaster to face. Backups have to be appropriately diagnosed, and it’s undoubtedly not the relevant issue to try fixing it by yourself.

Main sewage backup cleanup tips

A sewer is the main plumbing pipe in your household, responsible for delivering all your wastewater to the municipal line. Usually, sewers are hidden underground or in the floor, so you can’t tell whether your sewer is alright or not right off the bat once some backup troubles come up. But even if you are confident that sewer blockage is responsible for your fixture’s backups, you need to take specific steps to beat the problem up and avoid further consequences.

It would certainly be very hard to achieve victory in this fight without professional help, and, however, it would be very easy to perplex the things while trying. If you try to clean the sewer by pouring chemicals into the drain holes, you’ll not have many chances to succeed. Sewers are wide enough and can not be easily blocked. If you are dealing with a blocked sewer, that means something large has stuck in there, not just a piece of waste food or greasy hair that can be digested with chemical pipe cleaners. Trying to poke the blockage with a wire or a hose is also a bad idea. In a best-case scenario, your “instrument” will have a lack of length even to reach the sewer line. In the worst case – you may poke the drain through while trying to reach it.

When drain snaking wouldn’t help?

The very first thought that comes to your head when you see your toilet or bathtub returning recently drained waste back on your bathroom floor – is that the problem may lie in the toilet or bathtub drain. It’s essential that many people in such a situation will immediately grab something snake-shaped and start jabbing it into the drain hole, hoping that it will destroy the clog. Unfortunately, drain snaking, even performed by the equipped professionals, is forceless to sewer blockages. These two issues are similar in their symptoms, it’s easy to make a muddle of them. That is why it’s crucial to perform proper inspections prior to making any sewer backup fix efforts.

Hydro-jetting a blocked sewer

Hydro-jetting equipment for fixing a sewer backup is a true lifesaver. It can reach the clog or blockage location through the nearest drain hole or cleanout and wash the jam away in a blink. Hydro-jetter appears as a large and powerfull water pump and a hose with a special jet tip. The pump sends pressurized water through the hose and releases all its force on the blockage cause, simply cutting it into pieces. That means hydro-jetting can destroy almost everything inside your sewer pipe – from greasy hair clogs to even bath towels, accidentally flushed into the toilet (yeah, that happens too).

How to fix sewer backup in the basement?

In residential housings, plumbing systems may have different architecture. But one thing is left unchanged – your main sewer line is placed in the lowest point. Mostly, in modern houses that have basements, a sewer line is placed beneath the basement floor. That is why when sewer backup in condo or house is being suggested, it’s relatively rational to start seeking the cause from underneath. Sewer block can be reached then through the floor drain hole (if you have one) or through the nearest basement drain cleanout.

Sewer line repair with no deconstruction – how’s it possible?

Backups can signal not only for blockages and cloggings of your sewer. Sometimes, even harsher situations occur. A sewer backup can be caused by pipe breakage. When the main sewer underground line breaks in two, wastewater starts draining into the soil. Moist soil can not absorb such an amount of water instantly. And this is when backup happens.

Another common issue – root intrusion – can also cause in-house backups. Tree roots always head to moisture and dampness sources, and that makes your underground sewer a perfect and approachable target. Roots drill through pipes to get to the water, thus blocking it completely.

In these cases, sewer line repair is unavoidable. But that not always sentences you to suffer from exhausting digging and tearing your yard and basement floor apart. Modern technologies allow plumbers to perform pipe patching if the damage is minor or employ the trenchless method when complete sewer replacement is needed. Trenchless method replacement is executed entirely without digging the whole pipe up. A flexible pipeliner is put into the old broken sewer, and with being pushed through it, it breaks the old pipe and replaces it with a new one.

Root intrusion can be fought with hydro-jetting. Jetter has enough power to break through the roots, cut them and wash away, unblocking the pipe. If roots are small and damage is minor, the sewer can be easily patched, but if an intrusion has broken the pipe significantly, a replacement job should be performed afterward.

Superior Plumbing & Heating is a local team of experienced and licensed plumbers, willing to help you anytime. We are always available to give you a hand in fixing any plumbing problems. So if you are facing drain problems or backups in your residential house or conde, and suggest that your sewer may be blocked, do not hesitate to call our experts out. Service call fee is fixed at $99. And if you ignore the problem, the average cost of sewer backup for you can reach several thousands of dollars of overall material damage.

Everything you need to know about sewage backups

What are the signs of a sewer overflow?

When the main sewer line is completely blocked, water has no way to get outside your system, so it comes back to the house through all the accessible drain holes. That means you will experience numerous backups from your toilets, floor drains, bathtubs, showers, etc.

What is the first thing I should do if my sewer backs up?

First of all – shut off the water supply and stop the water from draining. That will prevent overflows and flooding, but your plumbing system will remain paralyzed. So the next step to take is to call out emergency plumbing service to hydro-jet the sewer instantly.