Common Causes of Sewer Line Clogs

Sewer Line Clogs | Bonney Plumbing When a clog develops in your sewer line, it can cause filthy sewage to back up from your drains and into your home. This often causes extensive damage to your flooring, walls and appliances. Not to mention the costs of addressing the clog and damaged plumbing.

A simple way to avoid this disaster is to identify sewer line clogs before they become catastrophic, but to effectively do that you must first know what causes them. That way, you can correct the blockage before it becomes a major concern.

What is a Sewer Line and What Happens When It’s Clogged?

Each home on your street has a plumbing line that carries waste from toilets, dishwashers, sinks and showers to the main sewer underneath the street. It’s called the sewer or main line. Just like any other pipe or plumbing fixture, it can become clogged or damaged. Unfortunately, because it’s underground, clogs are more difficult to detect.

One of the easier ways to identify a clogged sewer line is to keep an eye on the speed at which your fixtures and appliances are draining. A clog in the main line will cause all of them to drain slowly or not at all. Other signs to watch for include sour smells, “gurgling” sounds and shower drains backing up after flushing the toilet. 

Reasons Why Sewer Line Clogs Happen 

Clog in Your Home

Sometimes the best explanation is the simplest. If your sewer line has developed a clog, there’s a good chance it came from somewhere inside your home. Blockages can develop gradually or suddenly, ultimately blocking water flow in the line and causing damaging backups. Common clogging hazards include:

    • Bathroom waste
    • Food and kitchen debris
    • Excessive grease poured down the drain

Tree Roots

Large trees and shrubs in your yard will instinctively seek out water sources underneath the soil to survive during dry seasons. The nearest water source is often your sewer line, especially if it’s close to a tree or shrub. It takes time, but eventually roots can penetrate the sewer line at its joints and cause a blockage or severe damage to the line. This issue is more prevalent in older homes with outdated pipes.

Damaged Lines

Cracked, collapsed or damaged sewer lines can exhibit symptoms similar to those of blocked sewer lines, resulting in backups and flooding in your yard or basement. The damage can be caused by ground shifting during an earthquake, poor ground support or natural wear and tear to an older sewer line made from cast iron or clay.

Sanitary Main Blockage

A clogged sewer line doesn’t always stem from your home’s plumbing. City sanitary mains can become clogged and produce the same results as a clog in your line, including drains backing up and flooding on your property. Though these blockages are often detected prior to becoming an issue, they do occur on occasion.

Excessive Rainfall and Flooding

Sewers can withstand only so much rain and flooding before they’re overmatched and the water goes elsewhere. When this occurs, the excess water often makes its way into residential sewer lines, which can cause clogs and sewage backup.

Sewer Line Service in the Greater Sacramento Area

If you suspect your sewer line is clogged or damaged, it’s best to contact a certified professional to have the lines serviced and repaired before any extensive harm is done to your home. Bonney Plumbing provides the greater Sacramento area with quality routine and emergency plumbing service at affordable prices. To schedule a service appointment today, call 800-444-0551 or visit us online.