Common Causes of Sewer Line Clogs

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

A clogged sewer line can be a messy and expensive affair. You will need emergency plumbing services to fix this blockage in your plumbing and allow water and fluids to flow away from your property without issue again.

You can see signs of a clogged sewer easily, such as a backup in your drains, malfunctioning in your plumbing, or changes in your lawn’s surface. But if you know the culprits behind these clogs, you can better prevent them from affecting your plumbing system. Read on to learn about three of the major causes behind main sewer line clogs.

clogged pipes in sewer line

Why Is My Sewer Line Clogged?

Grease, Fat, and Debris

Like a clog within a drain or any other pipe, a clog in a sewer line can occur due to a blockage. This may come in the form of debris accumulation, such as toilet paper or a foreign object that may have been flushed down a toilet. Or it could accrue gradually as build-up from soap scum or grease.

Many people may pour grease or oil from cooking down their sink drain and think that running water will clear it from their plumbing. But these fatty materials will easily stick in pipes where they will harden as they cool.

This can then build up until it creates a blockage that disrupts your sewage system. So take care not to empty these materials down your drain. These should be disposed of by alternative means to protect your sewage system. Consider using stoppers or strainers in your sink too to avoid foreign items going down the drain and creating a blockage.

Tree Roots

A major threat to your sewer line comes from tree roots, which may surprise many people. Even if you think trees are nowhere near your sewer line, the roots can extend further than you might guess.

Tree roots tend to seek moisture and grow toward your main sewer line where they can crack into the pipes and form a blockage. Pay attention to the location of your landscaping on your property in relation to your plumbing. And when planting new trees, avoid your sewer line as much as possible.

Damaged Pipes

Sometimes a clog in a sewer line comes from problems with the pipes in your plumbing system themselves. Over time, the structure of pipes may begin to deteriorate. This could cause leaks in the plumbing, but it may also allow dirt to enter the system where it can create clogs.

Additionally, old sewer lines might start to sag as the earth around the pipes shifts or sinks. Then wastewater will collect into pools rather than flow away from the property as intended. Eventually, this can make the pipes back up, resulting in these fluids heading back the way they came.

Your local plumber can diagnose the precise issue with your sewer line with imaging technology. Then depending on the cause, they can fix the problem. Call early to prevent serious property damage from this plumbing issue.