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Drain & Sewer FAQs

What Should I Do if My Sewer Line Backs Up?

If a sewer line on your property backs up, you are likely the one who needs to call to have it repaired. It will ultimately depend on where the backup occurs, what your municipal guidelines are, and what caused the problem. However, most of the time, if it occurs on your property before it reaches the city main lines, it’s your responsibility.

In this case, you should call someone in your area that can provide expert care and service for your sewer line. There isn’t anything you can personally do, especially if the backup is in the main sewer line, so get a professional in to check it out as soon as possible.

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How Do I Prevent Drain Blockages?

The easiest way to make sure your sewer line never gets blocked is to have a professional come out and perform annual maintenance. Even when being extremely careful about what goes down a drain in your house, it’s impossible to know how much waste will back up or get clogged on its way to the main sewer lines. An inspection and annual flush removes that excess waste and ensures your line remains consistently clear.

If you’re considering using chemicals advertised on television for clog removal or prevention, you need to take in to account the impact they have on the environment and the pipes. Many chemicals are abrasive by their nature and corrode the pipe over time. While not an issue right now, it will slowly break down the line, possibly creating leaks. And with such a strong environmental impact, it is highly discouraged.

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What about Video Inspection?

Video inspection services are an advanced way to pinpoint and diagnose problems in your drainage system. While not necessarily used during routine inspections, video tools allow a professional to dig deep into your drainage system and check for obstructions, possible wear in the pipe walls, and any roots that are growing into or near your pipes. If you suspect a problem in your line or you recently moved into a new home and want to start with a clean slate, a video inspection is a great option.

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How Much Digging is Involved in a Repair?

In the past, the only option a plumber had when a block or leak occurred was to dig up the property around the sewer line and repair it directly. However today, it is possible to use video inspection technology to directly pinpoint the problem and dig only where necessary. In some cases, repairs can be made without any digging at all, especially if the pipe integrity is still intact. The only way to be sure is to call a professional for an inspection of the pipe.

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Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Put Down the Drain?

Basically anything that doesn’t say “flushable” is not safe for flushing. Toilet paper is unique because it is designed to break down quickly in water. Most food waste, when broken down by a garbage disposal is also very soluble. However, other paper products like paper towels and tissues are designed to absorb water and stay intact. As a result, they quickly clog drains and do not flush well.

Some food products are equally dangerous to flush down your drain. If not properly broken down, anything that absorbs water, like potatoes or some vegetables, can clog the drain when combined with kitchen grease and other debris. In short, be smart about what goes down your drain and you’ll limit the risk of an actual leak.

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