Sewer lines can become clogged just like your home's water lines. When this complication happens, sewage can invade your home and do damage to your personal property. Keeping your sewer lines clear can help save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. Below are four good ways to prevent sewage clogging problems from occurring in your home.
Flush Human Waste and Toilet Paper Only
There are a variety of products on the market that are labeled as "flushable." Products like diaper wipes, adult wipes, kitty litter, and feminine hygiene products may all be branded as safe to flush down the toilet. Unfortunately, many of these products take a long time to break down. Some can even expand in water, which means that they can do a lot of damage to your sewer system.
To be safe, limit what gets flushed down your pipes to toilet paper and human waste. All other items should be disposed of by other means, such as through garbage removal or recycling services.
Plant Trees Away From Sewer Lines
Tree roots can do a lot of damage if they're planted too close to your sewer lines. If you're planning to do some landscaping with trees in the next few months, find out where your sewer lines are located to ensure that your trees are a safe distance away. The exact distance that can be considered safe will vary by tree species, as some trees having roots that occupy a much larger area than others.
To find out how far you can expect your tree roots to grow, research the type of tree you'd like to plant. Often, trees will have a root system that grows in proportion to the crown, so trees with a larger crown often have larger roots.
Avoid planting any trees that are known to have invasive root systems. Trees like poplars, silver maples, and willows all have aggressive roots that will grow through sewer lines, creating cracks and doing serious damage over time.
Keep Your Existing Trees Well Hydrated
During times of drought, tree roots will start to invade new territory in search of water. Trees that have never been a problem before could become a problem if they tap into sewer lines in search of moisture. To prevent this problem from happening, water your trees on a regular basis throughout the year—especially during drought conditions.
Have Your Sewer Inspected When You Notice Warning Signs
Before your sewer backs up, you'll notice warning signs of a problem. Some of the most common warning signs include.
- Slow drains. If one drain in your home is slow, a pipe is likely clogged. If all the drains in your home are slow, the sewer itself is beginning to back up.
- Gurgling noises in the drains. If you hear strange noises coming out of the drains in your home, then your sewer may be backed up. These noises may sound like gurgling, chugging, or like a strange suction noise.
- Water backing up into another fixture. If flushing your toilet causes your bathtub to fill with water, you’re likely at risk for an imminent sewer backup.
Have these warning signs investigated as soon as you notice that you're having a problem. Getting a plumber out to your home quickly will help you avoid a total backup and can save you from unnecessary damage.
If you live in Santa Cruz and believe that your sewer may be clogging, contact Albert's Plumbing and Drain Service. As the plumbing experts, we can help you clean or repair your sewer and its lines in an emergency or on an as needed basis.