Have you ever experienced a sewer system backup or blockage in your home? It can be a messy and costly ordeal to deal with. The key to avoiding these unpleasant situations is regular sewer maintenance.

Sewer systems are an essential part of every community’s infrastructure, responsible for carrying away waste and ensuring proper sanitation. However, like any other system, they require regular maintenance to function efficiently. Neglecting sewer maintenance can lead to clogs, backups, and even costly repairs.

To prevent sewer problems and keep your system running smoothly, it is crucial to understand the common sewer maintenance practices. By following these practices, you can save yourself from the hassle and expense of dealing with sewer issues down the line. In this article, we will discuss the essential aspects of common sewer maintenance that every homeowner should know.

Don’t Put Certain Things Down the Drain

Certain things can clog a drain easier than others and shouldn’t be put down the drain or flushed down the toilet. “Flushable” products aren’t safe for every plumbing system and can cause serious clogs on older systems or systems that are not designed to handle these items. This can happen if the plumbing was installed with bends to accommodate a house or commercial property structure with limited room. These bends wouldn’t be able to handle clogs as well as other plumbing systems. We have a guide on what not to put down the drain but for a quick list:

  • Coffee grinds
  • Egg shells
  • Fats, oils, grease
  • Starchy foods such as potato peels
  • Produce stickers

Have Regular Video Inspections

Schedule a plumber to do a video inspection on your sewer line to observe the condition before there are any issues. Tree roots, clogs, old age, and previous damage can all cause your sewer line to fail and if you can catch these things before it fails, it can save you thousands in repairs. These things are also happening beneath the surface so you won’t really have an indication of pending failure until it’s too late. A plumber can run a video camera and inspect the line visually for the current condition of your sewer or drain health.

Run the Water

If there is a small clog forming, running water can help loosen it before it becomes fully clogged. There are a few methods to use. Try running extremely hot water or boiling water down the drain to help break down stuck grease and fats. Fill up a large pot and boil the water and pour it down quickly so the water coats all the sides as it goes down. Another method is to fill up a few sinks up and the bathtub up and drain them all at once to keep a constant flow of water to clear a stuck clog.

Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals

Not all plumbing systems can handle “drain cleaners” and the chemicals used can actually damage your plumbing system if your pipes are able to handle the pressure, or chemicals involved. Plumbing pipes were made of different materials over the years such as terracotta, steel, brass, copper, lead, and pvc, and you may have pipes that will be dissolved by the chemicals. Try using more natural chemicals first such as baking soda and vinegar to create a foaming solution that adds pressure and a chemical reaction that can help push clogs loose.

Check the Landscaping

Roots are not friendly to your plumbing. If you have old trees, do you know where the roots are growing? Your pipes underground can be broken by roots and cause sewage to leak into your yard or backup into your home. You may also have an issue with water pooling in certain areas which could be damaging your plumbing as well. A regular video inspection can help check into the condition of your underground pipes.