Sewer lines are one of the best gifts of modern civilization known to man. Without it, people would still be digging holes in the dirt outside their homes to bury their waste, and we all know what happens to waste that’s not properly disposed of, recycled or decomposed—it gives rise to diseases.
But what happens when your sewer doesn’t cooperate and refuses to remove said waste to where it can be properly disposed of? A sewer backup occurs. And if that sounds nasty, trust us, it is. Here Plumb Straight Plumbing Inc. discusses what a sewer backup is in a nutshell and how you can address this problem.
What Is a Sewer Backup?
A typical home has two sewer lines—one leading away from and one leading into the house. The outgoing sewer line –which is used by your washing machine, dishwasher, shower, tub, sinks and toilet–carries used water away from your home to a proper disposal site.
A backup can occur when, somewhere along the way, the outgoing sewer line gets blocked or clogged. As a result, the wastewater doesn’t have anywhere to go. This will first manifest as the slow draining of water throughout the house. Even more dramatically, as the problem worsens, the wastewater “backs up” your drains, contaminating your clean water and creating unsanitary conditions.
What You Can & Cannot Fix
While this sounds–and usually is–horrifying, it’s not always your fault. Certain conditions are typically beyond the average homeowner’s control, and in such cases it’s the community’s problem, not just yours. Flooding after a massive rain shower or storm is one example, as this can easily overwhelm the neighborhood’s sewer pipes even without blockage. Some storms are also highly damaging in that they can rupture pipes, which leads to soil or earth settling in the pipes and causing blockage.
For everything else, it might be you that’s the culprit (especially if your house is the only one experiencing it). Bad plumbing behavior includes pouring grease, oil or fat down the drain, which hardens over time and creates blockage in the pipes. Remember not to put anything down the drain that can’t be dissolved within a few hours.
Plumb Straight Plumbing Inc. can be your lifeline if your sewer decides to be difficult. If you’re experiencing blocked drains—or worse, a backed-up sewer—we’d be glad to help. Call us at (904) 327-9972 or fill out our contact form to get started.