What Causes Sewer Line Backups?

What Causes Sewer Line Backups?

An explanation of sewer line problems for League City, Clear Lake And Bay Area Texas Homes

Your homes plumbing system can break down into 3 components. 1. The water supply line that delivers fresh water to your home. 2. The supply lines, fixtures, and drains inside your home. 3. The main sewer line that carries grey water and wastes away from your home.

Of all the 3 plumbing components, your main sewer line may be the most important. When you’re having problems with your main sewer line you may experience foul smells or even waste sewage that backs up into your home. Either of those problems is uncomfortable and potentially a health hazard to people using your plumbing system. In this article, we’re going to explain the possible causes why your sewer pipe can malfunction or fail.

Foreign objects blocking the flow of sewage waste

It can be surprising to see the things that people flush down toilets or run through the garbage disposal. Not everything that fits down the drain is appropriate for your drains. Anything you put down your drains goes to your sewer line. These items MUST break down in water. Items that don’t break down in water can be become “trapped” or create a blockage that builds and gets worse over time. See the illustration.

Tree roots in your sewer line

Trees need water and nutrients to grow. Sewer lines are a great source of both. Tree roots wrap around sewer lines and try to infiltrate sewer lines at joints, cracks, and seams. Once a tree root has made its way into your sewer line, more roots will grow in the line causing restricted flow and eventually complete blockage. See the illustration.

Sewer pipe misalignment

Sewers lines are buried in the earth under your yard. The ground shifts for many reasons, weather conditions, someone driving a heavy vehicle above it and more. A weak spot in your sewer line is where sections of sewer pipe join together. When the pipes go out of alignment, sewage backs up, and progressively the blockage gets worse until a complete sewer line clog happens. See the illustration.

Sewer pipe belly

When new sewer lines are installed it is very important the base they’re installed on top of is stable. As rain and other water soak down through the earth you don’t want this base washing away and creating void areas where there is not a solid base supporting the pipe. When base areas under the sewer line are lost, the pipe is not supported and can “belly” or sag in those places. These belly areas collect solids and restrict flow. See the illustration.

Sewer line collapse

Forces from above your sewer line can exert downward pressure on the sewer pipe. This pressure can come from tree roots, heavy machinery or vehicles above the pipeline and other causes. When the force exceeds the pressure the pipe material can bear, cracks, breaks, and holes occur. Once the pipe is compromised, things will only get worse until a sewer line repair or replacement is needed. See the illustration.

Alliance Plumbing – sewer line repair experts

Correctly diagnosing and repairing sewer line problems is a job best left to a licensed plumber. We have the right equipment and experience to get sewer problems fixed right the first time.

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