We don’t think about the sewer line much. As long as it does its job, we probably don’t think about it…ever. Even when lines run slowly, we tend to think of the part that we see: the drain. How do you know if your sewer line has a problem, and how do you know what to expect in fixing that problem? Here are a few clues.
To know whether the problem is your drain or your sewer line, look for these issues:
- All or most of the drains in your house are running slowly. A clogged drain only affects that drain. A sewer line can affect every drain in your home.
- When you run the washing machine, water burbles in your toilet or comes out of a shower drain.
- Flushing the toilet makes water come up in the lowest shower in the house.
- Draining the sink causes the water in the toilet to burble.
See a pattern? One drain affecting another is a sewer line problem. One drain struggling on its own is a drain problem.
A sewer line problem can cause more than a slow drain—it can cause sewage to back up in your home. No one wants that, so the next step is to figure out whether that sewer line needs to be descaled, cleaned out, or replaced.
If your home is older, any one of these could be the solution.
- Descaling is the process of using high-pressured water to wash away years of build-up debris. Kind of like plaque on teeth, waste can build up on the walls of your sewer line. Since the main sewer line is about six inches in diameter, it takes years of build up before you notice the slowing. Normal flushing and draining won’t wash it away, but high-pressured water will.
- If you have trees, their roots can pierce your main line and toilet paper and other debris can get tangled on them. High-pressured water can cut through roots most of the time, leaving a clear path.
- If the roots have gone too far and gotten too large, or if your pipe has deteriorated, you will need a bigger repair or total replacement.
No one can diagnose which you need from a blog, but give us a call and we can show up in person and help you out.