How to keep your sewer live in a good condition

Here at –Αποφράξεις Αθήνα-, have seen that  most homeowners do not spend a lot of time thinking about their sewer lines. Unfortunately, every year many of them have to deal with backed up sewer lines that make their homes uninhabitable.

Many insurance carriers even offer policies to deal with backups and to help homeowners with sewer line repairs. There are some things that homeowners can do to keep their lines running smoothly that can prevent the need for expensive sewer line repairs. Some things homeowners can do are:


1 Clean Slow Drains

Many people attack a slow-moving drain with a bottle of liquid drain cleaner, but there are so many reasons why that just isn’t the best course of action. A sewer drain cleaning in Athens often is the best way to clear a drain of any grease, hair or other items that could be causing the backup. It is better for the environment and the integrity of your pipes to have this done by a professional.

2 Check for Cracks

Professional plumbers also can check your sewer for cracks using tools that most homeowners don’t have on-hand. Bendable snake cameras allow plumbers with a trained eye to locate cracks in a sewer, which helps them understand exactly where bigger problems may arise in the future.

3 Remove Trees Near Sewer Lines

Tree roots are among the most notorious killers of functional sewer lines, so one approach to preventing invasive and pricy sewer line replacement is just to remove those trees in the first place. If not removing trees, at least planting new ones away from sewer lines is a smart approach, and a plumber can help you know exactly where in your yard that may be.


4 Test Water Pressure

Professionals here at Αποφράξεις Αθήνα  have access to special gauges that can check the quality of your water pressure, and if something doesn’t appear to be working quite right, they can give homeowners a sense of what to do get things back up to snuff. 

5 Check Under Sinks for Warning Signs

Another bit of preventative maintenance plumbers do is just to have a check under sinks for any cracks or leaks in the pipes that reside there. Think of it the same way you would a multi-point inspection for your vehicle at the car dealership. If something’s wrong, we can fix it before it becomes a much bigger problem.

How Often Should You Have Your Sewer Lines Cleaned?

As a good preventive measure, you should have your sewer lines cleaned every 18-22 months. If you are experiencing problems more often than that, you may need to call a plumber and schedule a video inspection of your pipes.

Your plumber will insert a video camera down through your pipes to help visually determine what other issues may be causing your sewer back-ups. That video inspection will then enable him to make the proper recommendation for whichever repair is necessary to correct the problem.


What are the warning signs of a sewer line that need cleaning

There are several things that could cause sewer back-ups and they are not all due to dirty pipes. Sometimes they are, but not always.

  • Roots: Tree roots penetrating your pipes are the number one cause associated with sewer back-ups. The roots grow into the pipes and will continue to grow until they fill the pipes completely. Or, in many cases, the roots will break the pipes, creating an even bigger problem. A video inspection will help confirm if you have tree roots growing in your pipes.
  • Bellied Piping: A bellied pipe is simply a sag in your pipe. A sag can occur when part of your pipe slopes down, which creates a “belly” effect. This is usually caused when the soil around your pipe becomes loose and breaks, making the soil around your pipe unstable and allowing it to sink. Over time, a bellied pipe will allow waste to accumulate at the bellied part of the pipe, which in turn will create a blockage. A video inspection will tell your plumber all he needs to know and how to proceed with the proper repair.
  • Grease: Grease is a pipes worst enemy. Many homeowners casually pour their old, used grease from cooking down the drain. This is the worst thing you could do. That grease will eventually turn solid which creates a blockage in your pipes. If this happens, you will need to have your pipes hydro-jetted.


What are the options for cleaning your sewer line

The diagnosis from a professional

Have the problem diagnosed by a trained professional master plumber through the use of a video inspection to ensure you are getting the proper diagnosis for the problem.

The tree roots

If tree roots are the issue, using a mechanical auger may take care of the problem. A sewer auger has a rotating spiral head with teeth that will cut through the tree roots removing the obstruction. However, this will only take care of the existing problem because the roots will grow back.

Therefore, you’ll need to have a chemical tree root removal performed or you may have to dig up the invasive roots. If you’re looking at this option, please read our previous blog post on how to remove tree roots from pipes. There are times when the pipes are too badly damaged by the roots and will have to be replaced. A video inspection will help determine what needs to be done to fix the problem.

Hydro-jetting solution

A hydro-jetting of your pipes may be required depending on the reason for the blockage. A hydro-jet pumps up to 4,000 psi of water through your pipes to clean them out and remove the blockage. After hydro-jetting, if the hydro-jetting was done due to roots in your pipes, you can have your plumber flush your pipes with a chemical to kill any remaining roots if the root invasion wasn’t too severe, to begin with.


Who is responsible for my sewer lines?

Homeowners are fully responsible for the maintenance and repair of all home plumbing, including the lateral lines that travel from residential structures out to the sewer main.

Public utility easements generally refer to the portion of the lateral line that exists in areas between the street and the official property line. Problems originating in the sewer main, however, are the responsibility of the city and should be reported right away.

Any issues that are determined to be city responsibility will be repaired or paid for in full by the related municipality, as will any resulting property damages. Not only are they not responsible for repairing any portion of the plumbing that leads up to the sewer main.


The Take-Away

Keeping your sewer pipes clean is just as important as any other preventive maintenance task you perform on your home. Therefore, you should schedule a cleaning every 18-22 months if you want to avoid the hassle of a sewer back-up. Or allowing a problem to go undetected to the point it becomes a major repair.

If you’re a resident of the Pittsburgh area, then let Terry’s Plumbing help you out. Schedule your sewer cleaning today!

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