Few things can be more disgusting than a sewer line backup in your home. The good news is that there are maintenance tasks you can add to your home care routine that will minimize the chances of such an occurrence. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Know your pipes
The type of pipes you have can help you determine the best maintenance schedule. Older homes often have clay pipes, which have joints every few feet that allow roots to grow into the pipes. There is also the chance that the home may have fiber conduit, which is impervious to tree roots but it does warp and sometimes become clogged. Most modern homes have cast iron, which only has the downside of sometimes developing rust clogs.
Tip #2: Schedule regular cleanings
Once you know your pipe type, you know what types of cleanings you likely need. For clay pipes, plan to have the pipes rooted with a pipe snake every couple of years – or more frequently if there are large trees or shrubs planted nearby. Fiber conduit piping should have annual cleaning. Hydrojetting out the pipes with water is the best solution since it gets any clogs out of narrow spots but doesn't damage the pipes. Cast iron pipes only need cleaning every couple of years to remove rust deposits. This can be done with snaking or by hydrojetting. You can bring in professionals to do the cleaning or you can rent the equipment to do it yourself.
Tip #3: Manage your drain usage
Another key to avoiding a sewer line backup is to flush items down the drain with care. This means nothing other than tissue in the toilet. Place other items, like feminine hygiene products, in the trash, even if the box says they are flushable. Use mesh drain covers to make sure small toys, jewelry, and other items don't end up in the sewer line to form a clog. In the kitchen, only put food down the sink if you have a garbage disposal – and never put grease or pasta down the drain. These can harden in the sewer pipes and cause a clog.
Tip #4: Skip the DIY chemicals
It can be tempting to pour a bunch of drain cleaner down the sink if the line seems clogged. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix. You may end up with some improved drainage as the chemicals cut a small channel through the clog, but in the end you will still likely need to have the drain snaked or hydrojetted. The only issue now is that there are caustic chemicals in the drain pipe, which can pose a hazard to the sewer cleaners when they arrive.
Contact a sewer line cleaning company like Holmes Sewer And Drain for more help or advice on your drains.