Household sewer blockages can occur at any point in the sewer line, from P-traps immediately attached to sink or tub drainhole, to pipes spanning to areas deep inside the sewer line where only a long sewer snake (auger) will reach the backup. Prevention --- always the best measure in helping stop blockage occurrences --- requires you to understand the initial causes.
Pouring hot animal fat down the drain is a major cause of sewer backup. As the grease cools (especially if you pour cold liquid into the drain immediately after the grease), it attaches itself to the walls of the sewer pipe. Other objects flowing down through the drain then stick to the grease, which in turn creates a blockage.
Though most sewer lines are made of PVC or ABS hard plastic, the coupling joints over time can weaken, and the tips of tree roots may push their way into the sewer line in their search for water. When waste travels down the pipe, it becomes caught in the roots and a blockage occurs. Never plant trees with deep roots close to underground sewer lines.
When you use too much toilet paper at one time, it can easily becomes stuck in the toilet bowl's bends or around the closet flange area --- the section of the sewer line attached to the floor above which the toilets sits. This scenario tends to occur even more so if the toilet and sewer line are older. Using only an adequate amount of toilet paper is an easy prevention, though the use of an auger can remedy the blockage.
Small foreign objects such as toy cars or hair pins can easily flush down toilets or even drop down sink drain holes. Once these objects meet a bend in the sewer line, they become stuck, and sewer waste in turn sticks to the object. With small children in the home, always have locks on toilet lids and keep bathroom doors closed at all times when immediate adult supervision is not possible.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
Septic Tank Backup Problems
A septic backup is cause for concern, because the remedy could require costly repair. It's just as possible, though, that when water...
What Is Sewer Backup Insurance?
Every year Americans suffer millions of dollars in damage when heavy rains or blockages cause sewers to back up into their homes...
How to Clean Up From a Sewer Backup
Sewage backup in the home is a health hazard. A backup can happen when the septic system overflows or when there is...
How to Prevent Sewer System Backup
Sewer systems are used to carry liquid and solid wastes from household plumbing and appliances such as toilets, washing machines, utility sinks...
How to Replace a Toilet Flange & Sewer Pipe
Sewer lines (pipes) are connected to the city sewer (or septic tank) on one end, and to a toilet flange on the...
How to Unclog a Sewer Backup
Household sewer blockages can be created through the buildup of cooking fat or oil sticking to the inner walls of the pipe,...
Sewer Backup Prevention
A backed-up sewer poses problems to both the environment and to your personal property. When a sewer backs up into your home,...
Why Is Sewer Water Backing up Into the Basement?
A sewage backup in the basement is surely among the most unwelcome sights to any homeowner. Given the sanitation hazards and foul...
Why Does My Sewer Back Up Into the House?
A sewer can back up in to a house for a number of reasons. It is never safe or normal for raw...
What Causes a Drain to Clog Up & Back Up Into the Bathtub?
For most homeowners it's an inevitable fact of life that a drain in their home will eventually become clogged. Unfortunately, and depending...
Drain Cleaners That Dissolve Toilet Paper
The drain cleaners that dissolve toilet paper the most quickly aren't safe for your toilet. It's better to use a plunger or...