A plumbing problem that causes a blockage or a slow drain can be frustrating to troubleshoot and repair, especially because the clog is not visible below ground or in your home's walls. Having knowledge about some common types of plumbing issues can give you a little insight and illuminate the issue to help you get it resolved quickly. Here is some insight about what causes some common types of sewer problems and what you can expect in repairing them.
Sewer Line Age Deterioration
Depending on the age of your home, it may have been built at a time when the sewer pipes were made of a material that was not built to last many decades or a century. In this situation, your sewer line may now be beginning to collapse and crack, leading to a failing sewer system.
A large number of home sewer pipes were produced and made of Orangeburg, which is a tar impregnated wood pulp during a time of approximately 1948 until the 1970s. This type of pipe can break down and fail over time, blocking your sewer line. Orangeburg pipe was not built to be durable and withstand the weight of several feet of soil upon it for many decades, which causes the line to collapse.
Other types of inferior sewer lines are made of clay, which can crack from soil weight and tree root intrusion, and cast iron, which can corrode from the chemicals found in sewage waste. Even a partial collapse in your sewer line will lead to a reduction in waste flow, which can collect a build-up of debris that slows and eventually blocks the line.
If you begin to experience recurring plumbing clogs and backups in your home and your home was built on or before the earlier part of the 20th century, you may want to have your plumber inspect your sewer line. They can complete a full inspection with their camera and also use a GPS on the camera to determine the location of any identified damage to your line. This will determine if your sewer line has become collapsed and what type of material your sewer line is made of. Your plumber will recommend some options to replace or reline your sewer line with a plastic pipe to provide your home with freely-flowing sewage for 100 years or more.
Keep in mind that most homeowner's insurance does not cover a sewer line replacement. Check your insurance policy to find out if you have this coverage, especially if you own an older home. You can purchase additional insurance to help cover the replacement of your sewer line.
Improper Use of Sink Disposal
Having a kitchen sink disposal does not give you a free pass to grind up and rinse away any type of food waste. This type of mentality can lead to a sink or plumbing line clog. Your kitchen disposal is not the place to eliminate greases, fats, and meat, egg shells, and fibrous vegetables or their peelings. Scrape food particles and waste into the trash, then rinse the dishes.
Grinding up and rinsing down the wrong types of foods in your disposal can cause them to collect in and clog your sewer line. And this type of clog usually forms further down into your sewer line, making it difficult to clear the clog with a plunger.
When you first encounter a clog in your disposal, hold the sink stopper on one side of your sink (if it is a double sink) then use a plunger on the other drain. If a plunger does not get rid of the clog, you may need to use a plumbing auger snake on the line. You can find a plumbing auger at most home improvement stores, which you can attach onto the end of a power drill.
Feed the end of the snake into your basement sewer clean-out drain until the end of the snake stops on the clog, then turn on the drill and push the snake in and out of the line to clear it. If your auger cannot reach the clog, your professional plumber can use their longer-length sewer auger to clear deep-set clogs.
For professional plumbing help, contact a business like In & Out Plumbing & Construction.