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Why Is My Sewer Line Clogged?


The most important part of your home’s entire plumbing system is… the sewer line!

All of your home’s drain pipes lead to this single sewer line, so it’s extremely important this piece of plumbing is operating as smoothly as possible.

The moment your sewer line becomes clogged, you should know about it and why it happened.

unclogging drain in kitchen sink

Signs Your Sewer Line is Clogged

Slow-Moving Drains

When you run the faucets or turn on the shower, the water should enter the drain at the same rate it’s dispensed. If water begins pooling into the sink, shower, or bathtub, then there’s more than likely some form of blockage within the drain pipe that’s preventing the water from draining as it should.

Pro Tip: Stay away from chemical drain cleaners as these can damage the surfaces of your drain pipes and sewer line. Not only do they cause damage, but they don’t always clear blockages — especially deep in the sewer line and if the blockage consists of solid items like hair.

Clogs Are Common Across Multiple Plumbing Fixtures

Noticing that your sink doesn’t drain water as fast as it used to is definitely a sign that a blockage exists within the drain pipe. However, one drain acting up doesn’t mean your main sewer line is clogged as well.

On the other hand, if you start to notice that multiple drains begin draining slowly, the toilets are clogging more often, and plumbing appliances are causing water to back up into your toilet or shower — your sewer line definitely has a blockage that needs to be removed.

Reasons Why Your Sewer Line is Clogged

Tree Roots Have Invaded the Sewer Line

During the spring and summer, tree roots on your property search for water as they embed themselves deeper underground. If there are trees planted close enough to the sewer line, the roots will eventually “sniff” out your sewer line.

If your sewer line has any sort of damage that causes water/waste to escape, tree roots will sense this and will infiltrate any cracks and gaps within the pipe. Once inside of the sewer line, these tree roots will grow rapidly due to this newfound water source. After a while, your sewer line will become FILLED with tree roots that can prevent any water/waste from passing through (causing A LOT of damage to your plumbing system).

You Flush More Than You Should

Do you know what you’re allowed to flush down the toilet?

If you said toilet paper and human waste — you’re correct!If you said anything else — you’re wrong!

Your plumbing is meant to handle your bathroom business and toilet paper (which is designed to break down in water within minutes). This is why both of these items are accepted by your plumbing. Everything else that you think is okay to flush should NEVER be flushed! Here are a few examples of some items people flush that can cause serious plumbing nightmares:

  • Paper Towels
  • Cotton Swabs/Cotton Balls
  • “Flushable” Wipes/Baby Wipes
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Grease/Oils
  • Hair

Sure, you might be able to unclog the toilet with a plunger. But if enough of these items wind up in the sewer line, the clogs you experience won’t be fixed with a simple plunger or drain snake.

Underground Pipe Damage

Over time, your sewer line can become increasingly prone to damage due to its surroundings. Since the sewer line is underground, it can sustain serious damage due to shifting soil and the later settling of that soil. Therefore, if your property is prone to flooding or is on a drastic slope — you may want to have your sewer line inspected every so often.

Even when the conditions of your property aren’t extreme, even the slightest movement can collapse a sewer line if it is an older pipe. Years of wear and tear, the use of chemical cleaners, and if it’s made from PVC can make your sewer line more prone to serious damage or total collapse.

What to Do When Your Sewer Line is Clogged?

When you begin to notice the signs of a sewer clog, your first instinct should be to call your local plumber. Waiting to have this problem remedied (or trying to do it yourself) will cause the problem to worsen with each passing day that it’s not professionally addressed.

Know that the plumbers at Advanced Home Services specialize in the clearing, repairing, and replacement of sewer lines.

This is the most important piece of your home’s entire plumbing system, and we’ll make sure it’s fully operational and safe to use by the time we leave!

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