For some homeowners plumbing may be a mystery. You may not know that your home has two main systems for your plumbing. You have the water supply and disposal. If all is going well you could go without researching into sewer backup your whole life, but unfortunately problems do arise sometimes. Knowing the signs of the problem will save you money though because sewer backup problems can grow out of control quickly. Hopefully your waste disposal never gets backed up and things flush out without a problem, but knowing the information here can’t.
The causes of backups can range from multiple things. Tree roots are a common cause of backups in older homes. This is due to the fact that mature homes used metal piping instead of PVC pipes which are harder for roots to infiltrate. The mainline can experience a blockage due to unnatural causes as well. If you’re not careful of what you’re flushing then you’ll cause a blockage. Be sure not to flush or wash down any grease, wipes, or any food. Enough of these things and the walls of your pipes will begin to collect sewage.
Signs Of Blockage
There are plenty of warning signs to look out for. If you don’t respond accordingly and promptly, then you’ll be looking at a hefty plumbing bill. Look out for slow draining and pooling water in sinks and tubs. If you have long hair, then there’s chances that your hair or something of the sort may have clogged your pipes. If you discover this pooling water, then use a drain cleaner or a DIY drain cleaning guide. Here’s something you can do with household items. You’ll need baking soda, chlorine, vinegar and hot water. Pour vinegar and baking soda into the drain and let it sit for two hours. Run water down the drain, and then pour a cup of chlorine down the drain. Be sure to run the water for a couple of minutes before pouring the because it could create a toxic gas if all the vinegar isn’t flushed. Let the chlorine sit for another two hours then run hot water. If the cleaned drain begins to pool water again, then you can assume the issue is in the main line. Other signs may include percolating toilets or gurgling toilets. When you start the washer check the toilet to see if it’s making any noises.
Assessing The Situation
If you see these signs, then you should then checkout your main line with a drain hose. You can rent one from your local hardware store. At Home Depot, they run about $67 per four hours. Be sure to grab one with a camera attachment, so that you can see the exact issues in the pipe. You could also have a plumber come and take a look for you if you aren’t comfortable handling the equipment. If you do rent the auger or intend on doing so, then you should first find your cleanout pipe. You can find this in either your backyard or basement. It’s a pipe that extends out of the ground. Unscrew it with a pipe wrench, and depending on how backed up everything is sewage may spill out onto the floor, so having a bucket to catch it would be helpful. After you remove the cap, feed the drain hose down the pipe with the camera attachment. You’ll be watching the monitor to see what exactly the issue is. If you see a blockage that is not made of roots then you’ll want to move onto the next paragraph. If it’s roots, then you’ll want to move onto the Plumber paragraph.
If you’ve come this far doing it yourself, then know that the clean out journey is almost over. All you have to do next is to retrieve the drain hose and fit it with the puncturing attachment. Your drain hose should’ve come with many different sizes, so fit the one according to the size of the blockage, and then feed the hose back into the drain. You’ll want to move the hose back and forth until it moves freely, as though the blockage is gone. Once it seems to be gone, feed the hose back in with the camera attachment to be sure. Retrieve the hose and clean it and you’ll be done cleaning the blockage.
Find A Plumber
If you see roots in you pipes with the camera attachment, then take pictures of the monitor so that you can show them to a plumber when you hire one. This’ll save the plumber time which will save you money. The plumber should then replace your pipes with new ones. Hopefully this article has helped you figure out if you have a sewer backup and taught you what to do in case you do have one.