4 Ways To Deal With Regular Sewer Main Issues In Older Homes


Sewer mains in older homes can become clogged with some regularity. If you have a house that's many decades or even centuries old, you may notice that the sewer main backs up once a year or more often. Here are a variety of ways to prevent and deal with such backups.

Adjust Your Home's Landscaping

One of the first things to consider isn't your home's plumbing system but rather its landscaping.

Many sewer main problems are caused by tree roots. Roots can grow near lines and dent them, and they even are powerful enough to sometimes puncture lines and grow right through them. Both issues alter and restrict the flow of a sewer main, which can increase the likelihood that items flushed down a home's plumbing will get caught and back up in the main.

If you have any plants that are growing close to your home's sewer main, contact a landscaper to find out whether the plant's roots may interfere with the main. If the roots could or already are interfering, removing the plants will prevent them from causing any additional problems with the sewer main. The landscaper can recommend other plants that don't have far-reaching roots to use as replacements for the ones you remove.

Be Conscious of What's Flushed Down Drains

If your home's sewer main is already having trouble with clogs, everyone in your home should be particularly conscious of what's flushed down the home's drains. Larger objects that could create back-ups shouldn't be put down drains or toilets. These objects might include the following:

  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Extremely large wads of toilet paper

These first three items should be instead disposed of in the garbage, and toilet paper ought to be broken into smaller clumps before using.

Have Your Home's Sewer Main Replaced

A viable but expensive option is to have your home's sewer main replaced. A new main won't clog as easily because it'll be built to current-day standards and won't have sustained any damage from tree roots. Digging up your current main and putting a new one in is costly, though.

CostHelper reports that sewer main replacements cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 on average, and some can run as much as $25,000 or more. You might be able to save some money by only replacing a single section of your home's main, but it still won't be cheap. Replacing a section typically runs between $50 and $250 per foot.

If you want to explore this option, ask the sewer main cleaning company you hire to clear out a clog how much replacing the line would cost. Most companies that offer sewer main cleaning will also replace lines, and the company that services your line will know whether the whole line should be replaced or if just one section can be redone.

Get Regular Preventative Clean-Outs

A much less expensive option is to have a sewer main cleaning company perform regular preventative clean-outs. Instead of waiting for your main to clog, have a company come slightly before a clog would likely develop.

If you look back through your sewer main cleaning calls, you'll likely see a pattern in their frequency. Schedule preventative cleanings a couple months more frequently than you've been having your sewer main cleaned. This will let a plumbing team clean out any debris that's building up and will soon create a clog -- but hasn't quite yet.

While this solution requires paying contractors each time they come, service calls cost much less than replacing a sewer main. Service calls are also usually more affordable when they're scheduled ahead of time.


16 August 2017

DIY plumbing - can you do it yourself?

When you get a clogged drain or a toilet that just won't flush, do you reach for the phone and call for a plumber? When you have these seemingly simple plumbing problems around your house, you have to make a decision quickly. Do you pay for someone to come out and make the repairs, or do you attempt the repair on your own? This blog is all about DIY plumbing repairs. You will learn the basics and find tips for when to cut your losses and call in for professional assistance so you don't make a small fix one that needs serious repairs.