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How to Know if Your Sewer Line is Blocked and What to Do About It



Fall is a beautiful time of year as the leaves change color and float down to the ground. As lovely as this may appear, it also means that it’s a common time for sewer line issues and backups from fallen leaves clogging outside drains and sewers.

Why Do Sewer Line Backups Happen?

The following are the primary reasons that sewer line backups occur:

•Clogged drains and/or lines–A clog in a drain or line is the most common reason for backups. The most common causes of clogs are hair, grease and oil, “flushable” wipes, and other non-flushable items that have been flushed at all once or over time. Also, at this time of year, falling leaves, twigs and other related debris can rapidly build up and form solid clogs that require a professional’s touch to dislodge them.

•Damage to the sewer line itself –This is the second most common cause of sewer line backups. Damage can include holes, cracks or other types of damage that can allow rocks and dirt to block the line and send wastewater back to your home again.

•Broken or collapsed sewer lines-There are many reasons that sewer lines can break or collapse, from corrosion against shifting soil to simple aging. That said, when it happens, your home’s wastewater has nowhere to go but back up into your house again.

•Tree roots –Tree roots typically reach far further into the ground than their owners realize. Roots will often reach as far into the ground as the branches reach above it. As they continue to grow, they slowly drill their way into the pipes, causing them to leak and allowing the roots themselves as well as soil and rocks to block the lines.

What Are the Symptoms of a Damaged or Blocked Sewer Line?

A damaged or blocked sewer line can come with many symptoms. Though the easiest one to recognize is water backing up, there are many others that can indicate that a problem is forming. They can include the following:

•Slow flowing drain

•Odor of sewer gas

•Mold growth

•Patches of lush, faster-growing grass

•Indentations in the lawn or sinking paving stones

•Sinkholes, settlement or cracks in the foundation

•Puddles of septic waste in the lawn

•Rodent or insect problems

What to Do About a Damaged or Blocked Sewer Line

The first thing you should do if you suspect you have a blocked or damaged sewer line, is to call an expert. A professional in sewer line repair is the only way to find out exactly what is happening with the line. This expert will be able to inspect the situation and find out what is happening inside the line, examine the condition of the line, and diagnose the problem.

This professional will also determine the best solution to repair or replace the line based on the problem as diagnosed.

Give McLoughlin Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call at (610) 624-8037 if you suspect you might be facing a damaged or blocked sewer line. The sooner the problem is diagnosed and fixed, the lower the risk of costly damage. We’ll make sure the problem is identified and that the most practical solution is used to correct it.