How Do I Know My Sewer Line Needs Cleaning?

Your sewer line is a crucial component of your home’s plumbing system. It collects wastewater and channels it to the main sewer line. Over time, the sewer line can get clogged with grease, fat, or small objects. With nowhere to go, the wastewater backs right into your home. If you notice any of the following signs, contact your local plumbing company in Hampton Roads, VA, for professional cleaning.

  1. Slow-Draining Plumbing

If the plumbing around your home moves water slowly, chances are the main sewer line is blocked and that’s why water is taking longer to drain out. Try flushing the toilet and see what happens. Keep an eye on the sink too. Are they draining slowly? Ask your plumber to perform a sewer line cleanout to save your plumbing from serious blockage in the near future.

Sewers are usually designed to move wastewater at a velocity of two feet per second. When the velocity falls unexpectedly, solid waste starts settling out of the flow and rests at the bottom of the pipe. What this does is reduce the flow capacity and ultimately cause stoppage. Other things that can lead to slow-draining pipes include:

  • Inadequate flow capabilities for your home
  • Poorly designed and installed collection systems resulting from faulty construction
  • Damaged joint seals due to earth movements, traffic vibration, or construction disturbance
  • Partial or complete interruption of wastewater flow due to sewer obstructions
  1. Water Backing Up in Unusual Places

When the shower or toilet gets clogged, you can expect water to back up and not drain away. These are common places for clogs to occur. A simple fix like unblocking the toilet drain could fix the problem. However, if you flush the upstairs toilet and water backs up somewhere like the downstairs shower, it means water traveled but didn’t go all the way. Chances are a pipe further down the plumbing line is backed up. And in this case, it’s likely to be the main sewer line. Take this as a cue to arrange a sewer cleanout.

  1. Bubbles Appearing

Does the toilet bubble anytime you run the tap in the sink or elsewhere in your home? That’s a subtle sign of a sewer line problem that’s about to get worse. Don’t ignore the problem even if the sinks and toilets aren’t overflowing with water when taps are on.

  1. Awful Smells from plumbing

Toilets and bathrooms usually emit odd smells or odors when they haven’t been cleaned in a while. However, if you walk into a freshly cleaned bathroom and there’s a faint smell of sewage, that’s a sign a problem is brewing somewhere in the sewer line. It could mean the sewer line is backed up and any waste inside it is about to re-enter your house. Some homeowners try to unclog the main sewer line without having a clean out, but this is not advised. Arrange a clean out with a professional plumber if the smells linger for some time.

  1. Plumbing Can’t Handle Huge Water Volumes

If you run the sink and flush the toilet just fine but experience backup with large washing machine loads, there’s a problem with the sewer line. It’s easy to run smaller loads and ignore the issue, but chances are those will ultimately become a problem too. Existing clogs will grow bigger with time. It’s far easier to resolve the issue now before the problem gets out of hand. A professional sewer cleanout can dislodge the clogs that are building up and ensure your plumbing stays functional.

  1. Flooding in the Yard

Another unmistakable sign that your main sewer line needs a cleanout is excessive dampness in the yard. When there’s a blockage, the wastewater will come back up through the pipes and flow out into the yard. The area might appear lush due to the sewage. If you notice water in your yard, yet there’s no rain, time is up to call a professional plumber to carry out an inspection and clean out the sewer line. There could be a few explanations, but a sewer line clog is a very likely one. An outside sewer line cleanout could be in order.

  1. Mold and Mildew Growth

Odd wet patches in your home could be a sign that wastewater is forcing its way into your house via other means. Even if it doesn’t stop you from using your sinks or appliances, there’s a good chance that mold and mildew will grow. Left unchecked, mold spores can spread and contaminate surfaces as well as the indoor air. Sneezing, throat and eye irritation, a runny nose, and persistent coughs are all indications that mold spores are present in your home. Call your plumber to inspect your sewer line and perform a clean out fast.

How Can a Sewer Be Cleaned?

The most common method of cleaning a more corroded or clogged sewer is with hydro water jetting. Hydro water jetting is one of the best ways to clean a sewer because it clears clogs without damaging already-sturdy plumbing. With hydro water jetting, cold water is forced through your pipes under high pressure, as high as 60,000 PSI. Because the path of least resistance is through the clog or material buildup, it’s able to force the clog out into the general sewer system, restoring your normal water movement.

If you have cracked, bent, broken, or very old pipes, hydro water jetting may still be an option, but a plumber will need to assess the pipes to make sure that the pipes are sturdy enough not to sustain damage from the high pressure. If the pipes aren’t sturdy enough for hydro water jetting, an alternate solution may be used.

If you suspect that your main sewer line has a problem or contributing to plumbing issues around your house, contact A1 Sewer & Drain for a plumbing inspection and quote. We’ll locate the source of blockages, then clear the main sewer line so your plumbing system can function as usual.

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