Raw Sewage is Serious

Dealing with raw sewage can be a serious issue – it can damage your property, spread disease, and ruin your day. If you notice your sewer is acting up, it’s important to address it immediately before it turns into an emergency. When facing such problems, it’s crucial to rely on a qualified plumber rather than a handyman, as plumbers have extensive experience in this area. Remember, only human waste and thin toilet paper should be flushed. If raw sewage is backing up into your home, keep your family and pets away from the affected area to ensure safety. Untreated sewage is a health hazard, and it requires the attention of a trained, insured, and licensed professional as soon as possible.

How to Know if Your Sewer is Backing Up

Your sewers will often give subtle hints if there’s a problem. For instance, if all the drains in your house, including the laundry lines, are moving slowly, it’s likely that your mainline is clogged. However, if only one fixture, like a kitchen sink, is affected, it might be a localized clog instead. Another sign of a mainline sewer problem is unusual behavior at your fixtures, such as shower or tub drains backing up when you flush a toilet, or noticeable odors. Check your plumbing cleanout too; if it’s filled with waste and water, you likely have a mainline clog.

If you suspect a blockage in your sewer line, it’s best to hire a professional plumber. The cost of clearing a clogged sewer drain is generally lower than the expenses for cleaning up afterward. Plumbers bring thousands of hours of hands-on experience and extensive training to the job. They also adhere to codes and regulations and carry insurance, unlike handymen or do-it-yourself projects. While DIY may be suitable for minor tasks like installing a toilet, it’s not recommended for more complex issues like clearing a clogged sewer line.

Common Sewer Line Problems

The most common cause of sewer line clogs is flushing items like personal hygiene products, wipes, and thick toilet paper. We advise our customers to use single or double-ply toilet paper instead of luxurious brands. Ultra-soft toilet paper can create “soft clogs” that are difficult to clear and can quickly reappear even after snaking the drain. In such cases, we use hydro-jetting equipment to thoroughly clean the pipe walls.

Tree roots are another threat to sewer lines, especially for older homes with clay pipes. Roots seek out moisture and can penetrate and grow inside pipes, causing blockages and, in severe cases, pipe collapses. Chemicals that claim to kill tree roots are available, but they often fail to provide a long-term solution.

The age of your home can also impact the likelihood of sewer problems. Older houses with materials like clay pipes can suffer from soil compression and increased pressure on pipes, leading to bellied pipes and collapses. This is why a plumbing inspection is essential before buying a property.

Storms and floods are beyond our control, but they can still cause major sewer issues. When city storm drains become overwhelmed, they can back up into homes. Overhead sewers and flood control systems can help, but not all homes have these.

In summary, avoid flushing anything other than waste and toilet paper. Be cautious about planting trees near sewer pipes, and stay alert for signs of sewer problems. Regular inspections, including camera checks, can help identify issues early.

Sewage Floods What To Do

If you have water flooding in, turn off your HVAC system and cover floor vents. Keep family and pets away from sewage, especially those with weak immune systems. If comfortable, check the cleanout for debris and water. Discard any personal items contaminated by sewage. Call a professional plumbing company immediately – the longer sewage sits, the more damage it can cause.

Don’t let sewer issues escalate. Rely on licensed plumbers, not handymen or DIY solutions. Pay attention to early warning signs and treat sewage as a health hazard. Dispose of affected items and check with your insurance for coverage. In case of doubt, always call a licensed plumber for expert assistance.