When you’re faced with a sewer backup you can’t always wait for a plumber to arrive. Fortunately, you can sometimes deal with backups in the meantime. Here are some quick fixes for common causes of sewer backups.

Pipe Clogs

Depending on the cause, a plunger might clear the item or you might need to go to the next step of using a pipe snake. Usually reserved for toilets, a snake can save you grief if you accidentally flush something not flushable (or the three-year-old intentionally does it!). For unreachable clogs, a chemical cleaner can eliminate certain items. Be careful to use chemicals that won’t corrode your piping and avoid toxic cleaners.

Tree Roots

Dealing with tree roots is a long-term issue that needs to be corrected so it doesn’t cause ongoing problems. In the meantime, you can ensure that your pipe doesn’t become clogged by controlling what goes down the sink. Clearing out your home’s drainage system with chemical treatment regularly will also minimize the backups caused by tree roots.

Ultimately, you have to call in a professional to provide a permanent fix for this problem by removing the tree or re-routing the pipework. If you remove the tree, the pipe may be damaged and may need replacement.

Overwhelmed System

If you live in an older house, the main pipe may be unable to handle any bathroom additions or kitchen upgrades that may have taken place over the lifetime of your home. A pipe upgrade may be expensive but it’s the only way to ensure that you don’t end up with backups due to undersized sewage piping. Until this can be completed, you have to modify the way you use your plumbing. Avoid running the dishwasher and the washing machine simultaneously and be extra vigilant about what goes down the drain.

A way to avoid this issue is to ensure you call in a professional and follow proper procedures for any renovations that take into account the existing pipe sizes and loads on your home’s system.

For a long-term solution to damaged plumbing, give us a call and we can help you deal with the effects of a backup and prevent new ones from happening.