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What Should I Do If My Sewer Backs Up?

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Sewer backups are never a fun thing to deal with; if you do discover a backup, you’ll have to take action very quickly. This means having a plan beforehand, to deal with emergencies. Here are the first steps to take:

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  • Backups can be identified by slow-moving or clogged drains. First, try to clear the drain yourself using a drain cleaner, snake or by removing any objects that are in the way.
  • If this does not clear the problem, discontinue use of the drain and plumbing fixtures where the backup is occurring.
  • Check for standing water in your sewer cleanout. If you can’t see any water there, then the clog is likely in your sewer line. This means you are responsible for clearing it out, not your city’s sewer and sanitation workers. You will need to call a plumber immediately for service.
  • Keep children and pets away from the affected area, both inside and out.
  • If waste water is overflowing, turn off your central heating system and try to prevent the flow from reaching your floor vents.
  • If there is damage to any of your belongings due to the overflow, you may be able to file an insurance claim.

Calling for Emergency Sewer Repair

It’s important to call an expert as soon as possible so they can not only identify the problem, but fix it. Most professionals today use a trenchless inspection method. This means less damage to your property, and very little disturbance to your landscaping.

Using the latest technology, they can see inside the pipes. This allows them to discover the layout of your sewer pipes, the overall condition that they’re in and where the problem is.

Once they’ve identified the problem they will discuss the options with you regarding repair. Depending on the severity and nature of the problem, part of the piping may have to be replaced. They will use a process called Pneumatic Pipe Bursting to replace old pipes. This process is also much less intrusive than traditional methods.

Preventing Future Problems

Once your sewer pipes have been repaired/replaced and your drains are working normally again, it’s important to take measures that will help ensure it doesn’t happen again. The most common reasons for sewer backups are:

  • Foreign objects getting flushed: If you have small children, they are no doubt fascinated with the swirling action of the toilet! Many children like to throw small toys and other objects just to see it flush. This can wreak havoc on your pipes. To avoid this, try getting child-proof toilet seat covers so they can’t open it without you present.
  • Objects that don’t break down: Toilet paper, paper towels, feminine hygiene products and baby wipes are not bio-degradable and should never be flushed down a toilet.
  • Grease/fat: Save all of your grease and fat in a separate container and dispose of it in the garbage; once it cools it solidifies and can stick to the edges of your pipes, causing it to clog over time.
  • Tree roots: Tree roots are strong and quite forceful. They can penetrate sewer pipes easily and this can cause big problems for your sewer line. Never plant trees close to your sewer pipes.

Budget Sewer can handle all of your sewer needs, including emergency backup situations. Visit the website for more information.

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