Four Causes Of Clogs In Residential Sewer Lines (And How To Fix The Blockage)

1 June 2022
 Categories: , Blog

The standard size of a residential sewer pipe is around four inches in diameter. This size is adequate for the proper discharge of greywater and blackwater from a house. The small diameter also increases pressure inside the pipe and speeds up wastewater flow. However, it presents the risk of frequent blockages, especially if the pipe isn't properly maintained. Therefore, it's vital to understand the causes of clogs so you can manage and possibly prevent them. Read on to find out where sewer line clogs come from and how to handle them. 

Improper Kitchen Waste Management

Improper kitchen waste management is a leading cause of sewer pipe clogs. Not all the waste from your kitchen should be dumped down the drain. Grease, fats, and oils harden inside sewer pipes and trap debris, creating massive blockages. Similarly, the sludge formed in the garbage disposal after breaking down food waste can block old pipes. Therefore, avoid dumping grease and solid food waste down the drains. If your sewer line is blocked, you need a hydro-jetter to blast the clogs and clear the pipe.

Flushed Debris

Accidental or intentional flushing of debris can gradually block your sewer line. For example, if you frequently flush wipes, diapers, and menstrual products, these items may get caught inside the pipes. Once trapped inside the sewer line, these products inhibit wastewater flow and cause a backup. You need highly pressurized water to push the clog down the sewer line and into the septic tank or sewer system. However, since most of these items aren't biodegradable, they can clog your sewer system as well.

Deteriorating Sewer Pipes

Deteriorating sewer pipes are at risk of trapping debris and causing blockages. In this case, you should be concerned about these two forms of deterioration:

  • Sagging pipes: Sagging pipes make it difficult for wastewater to flow through. You can clean the pipes to clear existing clogs and improve wastewater flow.
  • Corroded inner lining: Copper pipes suffer corrosion due to old age and exposure to chemicals. Corrosion causes the material to break down and deposit debris inside the pipe, which causes a buildup inside your sewer line.

During cleaning, inspect your pipes for any damage. Plan to repair or replace corroded or sagging pipes to avoid future blockages.

Damage From Tree Roots

A small leak in your sewer line can attract tree roots, causing them to invade the pipe. Over time, the roots grow inside the pipe and inhibit wastewater flow. If you have roots in your pipe, you can use a hydro-jetter to break them down and push them into the sewerage system. Also, fix the leak to prevent new roots from invading the pipe and blocking it.

Do you have a clogged sewer pipe? Contact a sewer contractor for professional residential sewer cleaning services.