5 Ways to Avoid Sewer Line Clogs

You hope when you flush the toilet or wash something down the drains of your home, everything goes through the pipes and to the septic or main sewer line. But if a clog forms in your main sewer line, that waste could come back into your home. It is much easier to prevent a sewer line clog than to deal with the expense and mess of dealing with a sewer backup. Here are five tips to avoid sewer line drain clogs. 

  1. Paper only in toilets. Toilets are the number one cause of sewer line clogs because they will flush down larger items that can stick in your pipes. Only flush waste and toilet paper down the toilet – no baby wipes, cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products or anything else should be flushed.
  2. No grease. Wipe and scrape greasy pans and plates before you rinse or wash them in the kitchen sink. Grease will attract debris and is the glue for many clogs. Have a grease can to use to pour off excess after cooking -never put it down your kitchen sink drain.
  3. Use drain strainers. Put strainers in all your drains to catch food particles, hair, soap and other items from going down the drain.
  4. Be careful of misuse of a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals can only do so much to breakdown food. Don’t put hard or fibrous items in your disposal like bone, tough peels or egg shells.
  5. Keep trees away from sewer lines. Tree roots are one of the main culprits of broken or clogged sewer lines. Never plant trees near your sewer lines to avoid future problems as they get bigger.

Just a few precautions can help you avoid sewer line clogs. To keep your lines clear, schedule hydrojetting from your sewer service company once a year to remove all sludge from the pipes and prevent sewer backups from clogs.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Sounds That Are Signs Of Septic Problems

Most people think of smell or sight when they think of senses used to identify septic problems. However, your ears can warn you of septic trouble as well. Plumbing pipes which are making a gurgling sound can alert you to a septic problem. By using all your senses, including your ears, you may be able to get the problem fixed before it becomes a larger and more expensive issue.

Listen To What Your Pipes Are Telling You

Water rushing through pipes is a common and normal sound. But when you hear a strange gurgling noise, there’s likely something amiss in your septic system. This odd sound is very distinct, letting you know that your waste water is not draining as it should be. This is generally a sign that you have a clogged drain line or backed up septic system, which will begin backing up into your home if not fixed quickly.

If you hear a gurgling noise in your pipes, you can investigate further by using your other senses. Take a walk around your drain field and septic area. Look for signs of excess water, note if there are any foul odors. In your house, check your drains in the lower levels of the house to see if they are draining properly or are slower than usual, and also be aware of any odors. This can help you determine how severe the back up is before you call a septic professional to take a more in-depth look.

The quicker you are able to spot a septic problem, the faster it can be fixed. Allowing a clog to become a full septic backup can cost you time and money, as well as be very inconvenient. This tell-tale gurgling is often the first sign of septic troubles, so keep your ears open!

Posted on behalf of Septic Service Pro

Drain Line Repairs

Drain lines are used to carry sewage or wastewater away from both commercial and residential properties.  Drain lines carrying sewage and “gray” water from a building usually begin outside of the building and run into a public or private sewer system or into a septic systems.  Often there will be a similar system that carries storm water that is collected in gutters or in roof drains, which drain into a dedicated storm water management system such as a detention pond.  Often, both of these systems will require repairs due to breakage or blockage.

One of the most common issues seen is a sewage drain line that is not flowing properly and has a blockage.  All drain lines are required to be installed at a specific slope, which keeps the solid sewage flowing.  On drain lines with too steep or too shallow a slope and the solid sewage stops flowing and causes backups.  The only way to correct this issue is to dig up the pipe and re-install it at the right pitch and on a suitable base.  Care must be taken when backfilling the excavation not to change the pitch of the pipe.  In drain lines carrying storm water, the most common problem is also blockages, which are usually the result of a foreign object getting caught in the drain line.  Gravel, stones and cans are often found in these pipes.

A qualified contractor specializing in drain line repairs has the expertise to identify the problem and make the necessary corrections, quickly, neatly and in a professional and economical manner.  In addition, they have state of the art TV cameras to visually inspect the pipe and precisely locate where the problem is, which greatly reduces the need for destructive and expensive investigations to isolate the nature of the problem.

Smelly Drain Solutions

There is nothing worse than a foul smell coming from the drains in your kitchen or bathroom. If you have tried all of the common cleaning methods and are still noticing an unpleasant smell of sulfur, why not try some of these helpful hints in order to properly clean and clear your drains.

One area of the drain that often gets over looked and is particularly prone to the build up of residue and grime is the drain pop up. Release the stopper and thoroughly clean this whole section of drainage. When residue builds up excessively in this area, it can lead to further problems in more difficult to access sections of the drainage.

The next action that should be taken in order to tackle your foul smelling drains is to ensure that there are no blockages causing the problem. Carefully use a screwdriver or clothes hangers to release and pull out any hair or grime that is creating a blockage and then follow this step by flushing hot water down the pipe. Removing the grime will go along way to getting rid of the odor but hot water is necessary to kill any bacteria and push smaller gunk down and out of the drain.

In the case of particularly big blockages or ones that occur out of access to a long screwdriver, your only option may be to get under the sink and dissemble part of the piping. The elbow pipe serves an important purpose of storing water to prevent sewer gases from moving back up the pipe and into the home.  Sometimes the accumulation of gunk in the elbow is the cause of the foul odor so cleaning this area of pipe every so often can prove to be beneficial.

If your drain still has a foul odor, call your plumber or sewer septic professional to have you drain lines and sewer system inspected.  You may need professional drain cleaning or the smell could be a sign of a more serious problem.

Clearing Sewer and Drain Lines With Hydro Jetting

High pressure hydro jetting is a modern technique for clearing many types of tough clogs from sewer lines and drain lines.  Hydro jetting shoots water pressurized to about 3,000 psi in a circular pattern through a special spray nozzle.  The nozzle and hose is inserted into the clogged line through a clean out and sprays the inside of the pipe with the highly pressurized water.

Hydro jetting breaks up and flushes away many types of clogs including tree roots, paper products, grease, sludge, and other debris.  The high pressure jets of water break up the clog and the debris flows down the drain line. Hydro jetting is done from “downstream” of the clog so that all of the material can be safely flushed out of the sewer line.

Hydro jetting can be more effective than clearing out a clog with a plumbing snake.  A plumbing snake punches through a clog, but it leaves a lot of material behind.  This leftover material is a great place for a new clog to start forming.  Hydro jetting removes all of the foreign material without damaging the inside of the pipe.  Hydro jetting leaves the inside of the pipe in nearly new condition.

Hydro jetting will remove all of the tree roots inside a pipe, but they will immediately start growing back again and a clog will form again in a few months or year.  Your sewer-septic professional will be able to help you choose from several options including chemical treatment to prevent or impede root growth or replacing that section of sewer line.

Should You Repair Or Replace a Sewer Line?

A broken, collapsed, or totally clogged sewer line is serious problem that needs immediate attention.  You will need an experienced plumbing contractor or sewer-septic contractor that handles sewer and drain line installation and  repair to identify the source of the problem and help you determine whether to repair the drain line or whether a replacement pipe will be necessary.

A sewer line that clogs frequently or leaks probably has cracks that are infiltrated by tree roots.  These roots can be cleared, but unless you address the underlying problem they will grow back and the problem will reoccur.

If the pipe is leaking in one area, there is a good chance that leaks or cracks will soon form in other areas of the pipe.  If you have a broken or collapsed line, you will need to know what caused the problem and the condition of the rest of the pipe.

First, have any clogged lines cleared by a mechanical rooter or high pressure hydro-jetting, then have a video camera inspection done of the inside of the pipe.  Your sewer-septic technician or plumber will run a small video camera through the accessible area of the pipe and be able to let you see the condition of the inside of the pipe.

You will know from the video inspection whether one section of the pipe can be repaired or whether it should be replaced.  If the damage is limited to one section and the rest of the pipe is in good shape, your plumber or sewer-septic professional can probably repair it. On the other hand, cracks and damage throughout the line means that the entire pipe should be replaced.

Water Jetting

High pressure water jetting or hydro jetting offers an effective solution for most clogged drains and sewer lines.  Built up accumulations of grease, oil, sludge, hair, dirt and other debris as well as infiltration by tree roots and other foreign materials can cause drain and sewer lines to clog.

Traditional rootering techniques use a mechanical cutting head attached to a thick metal cable (often called a snake) to cut through clogs.  While this method works well to cut through clogs, it leaves behind a lot of residual debris that can soon start forming a new clog.

High pressure water jetting does a much more thorough job of clearing clogged pipes.  Water jetting uses water sprayed under very high pressure to cut through clogs in drain lines and sewer lines.  Special high pressure hoses with spray nozzles at the end are inserted into the pipe and pushed or pulled the length of the pipe while blasting water at very high pressure.  The high pressure water spray clears clogs by cutting through tree roots, grease, hair, paper, and other organic materials.

In addition, water jetting scours the inside of the pipe and removes all of the debris from the pipe walls including grease, oil, sludge, dirt, and other foreign materials.  Unlike rootering which simply cuts through a clog, water jetting actually cleans the inside of the pipe and returns it to nearly new condition.   The water spray then drains through the pipe, flushing away the removed debris.

For industrial and commercial drains that are subjected to high volumes of grease, oil, sludge, or other materials, regular water jetting can help minimize business interruptions by keeping your drain and sewer lines flowing freely.

$10,000 Bonus

Wouldn’t we all like a $10,000 bonus for this year on our paychecks?  If you have been living in your home for 10-15 years, then a $10,000 repair bill may actually be in store for you if you haven’t properly maintained your septic tank.

One of the best and easiest ways to extend the life of your septic tank is through regular pumping.  Many experts agree that regular pump outs of your septic waste water tank will extend the life of your tank and system for many years.

A new septic tank will cost anywhere from $10,000-$15,000 (or more!) depending on the size of your home and your needs.  If you never pump, and are not mindful of the contaminants that you put in your septic tank, the average life span of your tank will only be around 10-15 years.  That is about a $1,000 a year for use of this septic sewer system.

Instead, give yourself a bonus on your paycheck or at least eliminate an unplanned for bill!  Have regular pump outs of your septic tank.  Watch the amount of water you use and be conscious of water conservation techniques.  Have a professional clean the inlet and outlet drains on a regular basis (annually is recommended) to ensure proper functioning.  Perform the recommended annual maintenance on your septic system, and call your sewer-septic professional for help if problems occur.  These routine check-ups are a small price to pay for the health and longevity of your septic tank.  You will save money in the long run.

Septic System Warning Signs

We all have had home repair issues.  The sewer septic is one area that none of us wants a problem with.  As homeowners, it is our responsibility to know the warning signs of when things may be going wrong with our septic system.

Your septic tank and sewer system is an important, expensive piece of your home.  It provides wastewater disposal for the entire plumbing system of the house.

Signs of impending nightmares include toilets that are slow to flush or have ‘remains’ in them after flushing.  Drains that are slow to drain are also signs of potential clogged drain lines.  Often, these lines can be ‘cleared’ with a simple plumbing technique, but in other cases more serious services are required.  Never place chemicals in any drain to help speed the drainage as these chemicals can actually destroy the bacteria that helps break down the solid waste.

Standing water in the area of the leach field and septic tank generally indicates a leak in the sewer septic system somewhere.  A qualified professional should be contacted immediately in these cases.

Foul odors or smells coming from the yard where the septic tank is generally indicate that the septic tank lid is cracked or broken, or that the tank itself has a crack.  A smelly septic tank odor and area is a very bad sign, and requires immediate help from a qualified professional.  In some states, civil penalties can be assessed for sewer septic tank failures.

Drain Smells

Do you ever have a sulfur smell that comes from your kitchen or bathroom drains?  Here are some helpful hints to solve your foul smell that has not been alleviated by traditional cleaning.

Make sure your drain pop up is properly cleaned.  Pop up the drain stopper, clean off any residue that has attached itself to the assembly.  This residue can build up and cause blockage and bacteria that will lead to further drainage issues.

Next, check to see if there is any blockage in the drain itself and clean out the blockage.  You can stick a long screwdriver in the drain to pull out any hair or gunk that could possibly cause further problems.  Then flush the drain with very hot water to push any small particles through.

If this blockage is thick, you may have to disassemble the elbow pipe under the sink and clean it out as well.  The elbow holds a small amount of water that is supposed to block sewer gases from coming back up the pipes and home.

Sometimes it is these gases that you smell along with bacteria that is formed from the gunk clinging to your drain stoppers.  You can try this mixture to clean your smelly drain and get rid of musty and other unpleasant odors: 1 cup ammonia, 1 cup white vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 gallon of water.

If the odor persists you can try leaving a pan of cat litter in the dry sink.  Keep the door closed and replace the litter every couple of days until the smell is gone.