3 signs your sewer pipes need to be cleared

September 22, 2014

If your toilets and/or drains start backing up, call a professional sewer pipe cleaner to clear the blockage and get your plumbing running smoothly again.
If you find foul-smelling wastewater backing up through the drains and pooling in your home, your sewer pipes very likely are failing to flow efficiently into the main line. These backups can cause serious property damage, not to mention the obvious health hazards. Yet most people never think about cleaning their sewer pipes.

3 signs your sewer pipes need to be cleared

Three signs your sewer pipes need to be cleared

It’s a fact that many of Canada’s sewer pipes are old. Years of wastewater have thoughtlessly been flushed through these pipes, so it’s no wonder many show a reduced flow. Some signs your sewer pipes may be blocked by debris include:

  • Water backing up through drains in your home
  • A gurgling sound coming from your drains
  • Slowly draining sinks, bathtubs, etc.

Tip: If while running your dishwasher or washing machine you notice water is pooling at the drain in your basement, you probably have a backup in your sewer lines.

What is blocking my sewer pipes?

What kind of debris is commonly found? Well, besides the organic substances you’d expect to find in your sewer pipes, plumbers find:

  • Tree roots clogging or damaging pipes
  • Non-biodegradable refuse (baby wipes, diapers, paper towels, feminine hygiene products)
  • Oil and grease used for cooking

What to do if you detect a sewer blockage

If your drains begin backing up into your home, immediate action should be taken. Plumbers suggest the following:

  • Avoid using the facilities
  • Turn off the water
  • Remove the rubber cap from the cleanout pipe in your yard
  • Call a sewer pipe cleaner (plumber)

Tip: It’s important to get professional help when you realize you may have a blocked or damaged sewer line. A sewer line cleaner has all the necessary equipment to clear a sewer line and is specifically trained to handle this equipment. If the pipe is broken or collapsed, a professional sewer line cleaner can also install new pipes.

The latest sewer-cleaning technology

You may be surprised at the technology that goes into sewer pipe cleaning. First off, your technician may offer a video inspection, although it’s typically cheaper just to auger the pipes first. If that simple and inexpensive method doesn’t clear the pipe, then a video inspection can determine exactly where the blockage is – without disturbing the ground above.

Pipe bursting (trenchless pipe repair / replacement)

Another reasonably new technology is pipe bursting, or trenchless pipe replacement. If a video inspection shows that tree roots have penetrated your sewer pipes, or the lines have corroded or collapsed, this method of replacing the pipes won’t require digging up your yard or breaking your driveway.

Hydro-jet cleaning

Finally, consider hydro-jetting. By pumping highly pressurized water through your lines, a technician can, without chemicals, safely scour them not only of debris, but also years of buildup of sand, silt and grease. This fast, affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to drain snaking is an excellent maintenance tool.

Tip: Experts recommend you guard against sewer line backups by filling your sinks full of water every month and then letting the water drain out, potentially flushing out any substance blocking the pipes.

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