How To Properly Maintain Your Pipes And Avoid Sewer Line Backup

One of the most neglected maintenance tasks in home is the cleaning of pipes and sewer lines. But, did you know that is an important task that you should do regularly to keep your plumbing system functioning well? Not cleaning the pipes and sewer lines can cause wastewater backup and water damage that may cause expensive repairs and cleaning. So, before the problem gets worse, check and clean your pipes and sewer lines regularly.

What Are The Causes Of Sewer Line Backup?

Clogged or blocked pipes and sewer lines can usually cause backups. These backups are usually caused by tree root intrusion and the accumulation of grease and build-up of grime and other materials in the pipes.

What Are The Kinds Of Sewer Line Pipes, How To Clean And Maintain Them?
Sewer lines made of clay.
Homes that were built before the mid-1950s are likely to have sewer lines made of clay. These lines usually have multiple sections of pipes that measures about 1 meter long with joints at both ends. The average sewer line runs for about 15 meters. Making a lot of joints connected to reach the main sewer and making them prone for tree roots to enter which then feed on the water in the pipes. Once the roots grow, they become solid, thick and strong. When they cling together they can cause blockages.
To clear the block caused by them, have the lines professionally snaked with the use of appropriate equipment that will cut the roots. We recommend that you do this once a year. You should also consider using chemical root killers to stop re-growth. However, use chemicals that are environmentally friendly to protect your surroundings.

Sewer lines made of fibre conduit

In the 1950s to the 1960s, fibre conduit or otherwise known as Orangeburg was used as sewer line pipes. The pipes are usually made of rolled wood pulp and tar. These are better pipes than clay because they are less susceptible to tree root growth, unlike the clay alternative. However, they become deformed over time. They usually and slowly become egg shaped and affect how sewer wastewater flows.
To clean these sewer lines and pipes, a professional sewer and drain specialist is recommended to help choose the best cleaning method and tools to use. High-pressure water jetting is commonly suggested for these kinds of pipes. CCTV video camera fed into the sewer will help you identify if your home is using these fibre conduit pipes. We also suggest that you should have these pipes cleaned and cleared of clogs at least once a year and depending on how deformed the lines are.

Sewer lines made of cast iron

The use of heavy-duty cast iron pipes became the norm in the 1970s. Cast iron pipes have fewer joints and are very strong making them the better choice over clay and fibre conduit. However, the material used in this pipes can cause the formation of pipe scale like hard rusty build-up that forms inside the pipes. They also have a tendency to catch solids which later turn into blockages or clogs.
To clean the pipe, high-pressure water jets are recommended to clear the pipes. We also suggest that you snake the pipe at least once a year.

How To Avoid Sewer Line Backup?

Sewer backup is commonly caused by clogged pipes in your drains. It can cause flooding in your basement or bathrooms with wastewater filled with harmful and hazardous contaminants which are dangerous for your health. Blockages in the sewer line will likely cause sewage backup into pipes and drain like the toilet, sinks and showers.

Clogs and blockage are usually caused by unnecessary materials getting caught in the pipes, root growth in the pipes, and excess rainwater. The accumulation of materials in the pipes is one of the major causes of clogs which later cause bigger plumbing problems.

To prevent sewer backup we suggest that you


Avoid grease and food products from being flushed down the kitchen sink. Don’t let coffee ground, cooking oils, sauces, and eggshells to go down the drain because they can cause a major septic problem. Vegetables, pasta, rice, and potatoes should also be prevented from getting into the drain pipes. Be mindful of what you feed into your pipes because they are not made to handle food scraps which can definitely cause clogs and blockage in the near future. Dispose of these items in the rubbish bin instead of the sink drain.

Avoid flushing products that don’t degrade in water. Don’t flush wipes down the toilet drains. Wipes are cannot break down in the toilet drain so avoid flushing down. The same is true for nappies, dental floss, facial tissue, feminine products, and paper towels. Put these trash into a rubbish bin and prevent a major drainage problem.
Replace damaged or old pipes to let wastewater flow into the main sewers properly. If your pipes are damaged, they are likely to not function well. Corroding of the pipes is expected. Replacing the pipes with new ones will help prevent backups and restore the good flow of wastewater into the main sewage system.

Research and consult an expert professional plumber about what sewer system is best for your home. Talk to an expert about the method of pipe replacement that is best for your home. Ask which method of pipe replacement is best for your home. (Either through a trenchless or traditional method).

Have regular inspections of your sewer pipes by an expert plumber. We recommend that you should have your sewer line pipes be inspected every year or every 4 to 5 years. The inspection should be made to check for potential damages, blockage, and clogs.

We hope that you now understand why it is important to maintain your sewer pipes. Backups will be avoided if you keep your pipes in good condition. Taking the necessary action to keep them functional is also recommended to prevent water damage. If you need help with keeping your sewer pipes clean and functional, call us and we’ll send you a professional plumber to help you fix your plumbing problems.