It’s the worst nightmare of almost any homeowner—the stinky smell of sewage, the clog that won’t go away, or the dreaded sewer backup. Unfortunately, most homeowners never realize that they have a problem with their sewer until it’s too late, and they are stuck paying a premium for emergency sewer repair services (and dealing with the mess left behind). As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is our official guide to preventing sewer backups on your property.
What Are You Washing Down the Drain?
Whatever you are putting down the drain can lead to a sewer backup, even if it doesn’t manifest for weeks after the object was flushed down the drain. In your kitchen, avoid putting grease, cooking oil, salad dressings, sauces, pasta, potatoes, rice, or fiber-laden vegetables down the drain. Coffee grounds can also lead to sewer backups over time. Remember that just because something can go down the drain doesn’t mean that it should!
In the bathroom, pay attention to what you are flushing down the toilet. Only put toilet paper in the toilet. Anything else, including paper towels, “flushable” wipes, diapers, and feminine hygiene products, should not be placed in the toilet. These products do not disintegrate and break down in the same manner as toilet paper, so they can linger in your sewer lines and lead to a backup.
Replace Your Sewer Line
If you consistently have sewer backups, even if you follow all of our rules above, it might be time to actually replace your sewer lines. If you have clay or metal sewer lines, they are susceptible to problems with tree roots or rocks. If these infiltrate your sewer lines, you will have frequent problems with sewer backups because the lines will not be able to work properly. Replace your sewer lines with a more modern option, like plastic pipe or PVC pipe, and you’ll notice the difference right away!
Install a Backwater Prevention Valve
One of the best ways to prevent a sewer backup in your home is installing a backwater prevention valve. These are installed into the sewer lines in your home to stop backups from entering your home. These valves are designed to let sewage leave the home in normal amounts, but prevent it from returning back inside when there is too much in the line.
Prepare Your Plumbing for Summer with Master Plumbing
Give Master Plumbing a call at (301) 650-9100 or contact us online to get more information on how our expert plumbers can help you with your dripping faucet (or just about anything else plumbing related!). We have received Angie’s List Super Service Award recognition for plumbing and drain cleaning every year since 2007, in addition to the Best Plumber award from Best of Bethesda. We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured and our service is unparalleled. Give us a call today—you won’t regret it! To see examples of our projects, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.