What Are The Causes Of Sewer Line Clogs?

A sewer line clog or break will result in the individual drains in your home draining slowly or not at all. This includes all sinks, tubs, and toilets. If there is an underground break, and flooding occurs, you could face a backup of black sewer sludge that rises into your sink and tub through their drains.

Your sewer line carries the waste water from your home to the main public drain. Since some of the line is in your home and some is underground, there are multiple reasons for sewer line clogs and breaks. These include:

Common causes of sewer line clogs and breaks

Tree roots

In times of little or no rain, tree roots will grow longer to try to find a source of water. Eventually, they can find their way inside your sewer line in their search for water. As the roots grow and multiply inside the pipe, they can form a clog. If they grow too large, they can break through the pipe.

Food items from your sink or garbage disposal

Some food items that may help to clog your sewer line include

  • Hot grease, which becomes solid inside your sewer line as it cools,
  • Bones that splinter inside the pipe and cause obstructions
  • Egg shells, which contain an inner membrane that shreds into strings inside the pipe

Items thrown into your toilet

Human waste and toilet paper are the only items that are meant to be disposed of in your toilet. Other items that are commonly tossed into toilets, helping to clog the sewer line, include:

  • Flushable diapers. They will flush, but they will also clog your sewer line because they don't degrade enough to pass through the line completely
  • Feminine products. Although it is understandable that users of the items may wish to dispose of them in a discreet manner, flushing them down the toilet may cause clogs to form around them.
  • Hair. Clumps of hair from a comb or hairbrush can form an impenetrable clump When combined with other debris inside your sewer line.

Sewer line shift or decay

A sewer line can move out of position because of extreme temperature changes or shifting soil. It may also move or decay because of age, causing poor drainage and clogs. 

What can be done about clogged or broken sewer lines?

A plumbing services company (such as ​R Acres Plumbing Company LLC) can fix the problem in different ways, depending on the severity of the situation.

Possible solutions include:

Cleaning out your sewer line

A sewer line service provider can access your sewer line with specialized power tools that will snake through the pipe and clear any obstructions. This option is only available if the sewer pipe is intact.

Repairing your sewer line

if your sewer line is cracked or broken, an inner sleeve can be installed without the need for digging or accessing the underground portion of the pipe. The sleeve is inserted through the sewer line at ground level.

Replacing your sewer line

This is the choice of last resort. It requires digging up your yard with a backhoe and physically removing and replacing your sewer line. This option is used when the pipe is too decayed or crushed to be repaired in a less obtrusive (and expensive) manner.