As a homeowner, you’re probably aware of how important it is to maintain your home. You have your air conditioning system checked, you clean your gutters, and you winterize your heating system. But, what about maintaining your main sewer line?
Many homeowners forget about cleaning their main sewer lines, or they’re not even aware that it can and should be done. Little do they know that this single step can avert costly water damage and cleanup expenses. You don’t want to find out the hard way that your sewer needs a good cleaning.
Causes of Sewer Line Backups
Residential main sewer lines backup for a variety of reasons, specifically tree roots, grease and pipe scale buildup. The cause usually has g to do with the type of sewer that a home has.
Generally, homes built before the mid-1950s are made of clay. If tree roots grow in clay sewer lines, not only do they become thick, but solids, such as toilet paper cling together over time creating a blockage.
Depending on the severity of the tree roots, we may suggest an environmentally safe chemical treatment with a follow-up treatment to kill any remaining roots and to inhibit re-growth.
Fiber conduit: These supposedly newer and improved sewer lines were built between the late 1950s and the 1960s. Manufactured out of the rolled wood pulp and tar is known as “Orangeburg,” over time these lines are known to become deformed, creating an egg shape that inhibits how the sewer flows.
Our Kansas City plumber can carefully examine the problem and choose the correct cleaning method, which may involve using high-pressure water jetting to effectively clean the sewer. A camera inspection can determine if the sewer is in fact made of fiber conduit. Depending on how bad the line is deformed, we’ll probably recommend having the lines cleaned at least once a year.
Since the 1970s, sewer lines have been made out of heavy-duty cast iron piping. While cast iron is incredibly strong, the material has a tendency to form pipe scale, which is made of hard rusty deposits that accumulate inside the pipe.
Essentially, solids can get caught on the pipe scale, which ultimately leads to a blockage. If your cast iron line hasn’t been cleaned in some time, we recommend high-pressure water jetting to scour and smooth out the inside of the line. Additionally, cast iron should be snaked once a year.
After a mainline sewer clog emergency, how do you prevent your sewer from backing up again? Our response is always the same, “Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!”