How to Maintain a Healthy Sewer Line System

How to Maintain a Healthy Sewer Line System

Plumbing is a vital part of keeping your home running smoothly and protecting it from water damage. Homeowners know that part of this process is maintaining a healthy sewer line system. So, here are some key points Chicago homeowners need to know for sewer line maintenance, including identifying issues and preventative measures.

Understanding Your Sewer Line

A home’s sewer system plays a crucial role in managing wastewater. By connecting the home’s plumbing to a municipal sewer or septic tank, the system ensures that waste water is successfully transported.

The first step to understanding your sewer line is having a good understanding of its components. This includes:

  • Pipes: The primary transporter for wastewater. They’re typically made from PVC, cast iron, or clay material.
  • Joints: As the connection points between pipes, these parts can be vulnerable to leaks or root intrusions.
  • Cleanout Ports: These are access points for inspecting and cleaning the sewer line. They are typically located outside of the house, or in the basement.

This is important foundational information for homeowners to remember. Doing so will help you better understand underlying issues that may be occurring with your plumbing.

Causes of Sewer Line Damage

causes of sewer line damage

Like anything else in the home, sewer lines are at risk for damage from multiple areas. This could be:

  • Tree Roots: Sewer lines carry water, and tree roots naturally seek that. This means they can often invade sewer lines through small cracks or joints. This will cause blockages, pipe damage, and even a complete collapse of the sewer line if left to fester.
  • Weather and Environmental Factors: With extreme temperatures and shifting soil, nature puts a lot of stress on sewer lines. This leads to cracks and breaks as pressure builds. Heavy rains can also add to this pressure by causing the ground to swell around the pipes and joints.
  • Corrosion and Deterioration: Like most things, pipes need updating and replacing over time. This is because aged pipes, especially ones made from metal, can corrode over time. This includes discoloration, flaking, and a reduction in the diameter.

It can be easy for homeowners to forget what’s not constantly in their line of sight and hidden beneath the ground. However, it’s important to remember that sewer lines also face a plethora of damage.

Signs of Sewer Line Issues

While you may not see them, there are still signs of sewer line damage to keep an eye out for. These include:

  • Slow-Draining Sinks and Toilets: Slower drainage could indicate a blockage in the sewer line.
  • Unusual Noises or Foul Odors: Gurgling noises from drains or unpleasant odors from sinks and toilets could indicate a problem.
  • Water Backup and Lawn Changes: Noticeable changes in your lawn, like lush patches of grass and water backing up in your home, can be a sign of sewer.
Housewife Covering her nose

Sewer line issues can be harmful to people, due to the pathogens and bacteria the water carries. It can also be harmful to the environment, if it’s located near a water source that people use. So keep an eye out for these signs. The sooner you spot them, the better for your home and your costs.

Preventative Sewer Line Care

There are ways to keep your Chicago sewer lines safe from damage with preventative care. There are a few methods to consider, all of which work best together.

  • Routine Actions: Be sure to regularly flush your drains with hot water, using enzyme-based cleaners to help prevent buildup and blockages.
  • Utilize Best Practices: This means treating your pipes with care to avoid blockages. For example, don’t flush wipes, sanitary products, or grease down toilets or sinks.
  • Minimize Root Intrusion: When planting trees, make sure they are rooted far from your sewer line. Also, consider using root barriers to prevent root damage.

While you may not see your sewer line, remember that it deserves care as well. There are steps you can take to ensure your sewer line stays protected against damage and problems.

Understanding Professional Sewer Line Maintenance in Chicago

While there are preventative measures you can take as a homeowner to protect your sewer line, it’s important to have a plumber on your side for elevated care and comprehensive solutions. Here’s everything you need to know about professional sewer line maintenance in Chicago.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential. It helps to detect and address issues before they become major problems, helping you save money and stress. The smaller the problem, the easier the service will be.

Routine check-ups on your sewer line will also help you identify problems early if there are any. This allows for timely repairs and a more comprehensive care plan for your sewer line’s specific needs.

Sewer Line Inspection Techniques

In Chicago, homeowners are encouraged to clean their catch basins because it is the responsibility of the property owner. This can be done with the help of a plumber.

sewer camera inspection

One of the first steps a professional plumber will take is to inspect your sewer line. This will consist of two steps.

  • Camera Inspections: This is a non-invasive method to help assess the condition of your sewer line. Professionals will use this method to identify blockages, cracks, and any other issues.
  • Professional Assessment: Effective solutions don’t end once the damage is repaired. It will also involve routine inspections to help spot early problems, potentially saving you from costly damage.

Inspections are a vital part of not only assessing current damage and issues but also preventing further problems from occurring.

Sewer Cleaning Techniques

If there is a blockage in your sewer line, you’ll be offered a cleaning service. There are two common types of cleaning.

professional sewer line cleaning

First, there is hydro jetting. This uses high-pressure water to clear blockages but can be more expensive. It may also not work well with older, more fragile pipes.

The second option is snaking, which uses a rotating auger to break up clogs. While this method is less costly, it may not be strong enough to clear all blockages.

A plumber will be able to assess your pipes and give you professional advice on which cleaning method is the best choice for your sewer line.

Tree Root Intrusion and Removal

As previously mentioned, due to the water and moisture, tree roots are naturally drawn to your pipes for the nutrients they provide. Over time, these roots can cause significant damage that’s costly to repair.

tree roots intrusion removal

Repair for this kind of damage can be substantial because roots are reported to cause 50% of all pipe blockages.

If you’re experiencing problems with tree roots, plumbers will use techniques like root cutting, sewer rodding, and chemical treatments to remove the roots. This will avoid damaging the pipes. Moreover, if there is sustained damage to the pipes, the plumber will assess it and prepare a plan for repair with you.

Pipe Corrosion and Deterioration Repair

Pipes can last a long time. PVC pipes, for example, can last up to 80 years. Cast iron, however, typically lasts up to 60 years. Regardless of the kind of pipes you have, corrosion and deterioration can become a problem.

To identify these problems early, regular inspection will be necessary. If there are signs of corrosion, professionals will replace the affected section of the pipe to prevent further damage.

Trenchless Sewer Repair Methods

If you’re looking for a less invasive method to your repair method, there are trenchless options available. The most common methods used are the pull in place method, and the inversion method.

The pull in place method requires two access points on both sides of the damaged area. The inversion method requires only one access point, and is used when the damaged pipe is difficult to access on both sides.

These methods can be beneficial to Chicago homeowners for many reasons.

  • Less Invasive and Costly: Trenchless methods are less invasive than traditional methods and help to save time and money.
  • Can Be Done In Any Weather: They’re also able to be done in any weather, making it a great repair method for immediate assistance.
  • Suitable for Most Pipes: These methods can be used on clay, iron, and PVC pipes. However, the specific condition and layout of your pipes will determine the kind of method being used.
  • Can Repair a Wide Range of Damage: While it may be able to fix all damages, trenchless methods can be used to repair cracks, holes, and minor collapses.

It’s important to note that this solution may not be suitable for severely damaged pipes. To determine what’s best, a plumber will need to assess the damage and the pipes.

How to Choose a Sewer Line Maintenance Service

hire a local sewer cleaning company

When it comes to optimal sewer line health and safety, you’ll want the best of the best working on your plumbing. To ensure you have the support you need, you’ll want a plumbing company with:

  • Certifications
  • Licensed plumbers
  • A good reputation
  • Modern techniques and equipment
  • Written contracts, warranties, and guarantees

Also, be sure to consider environmental impact. You’ll want a company whose methods are eco-friendly by using biodegradable cleaners and minimizing waste.

Remember, maintaining a healthy sewer line is important for the functionality of your Chicago home. Be sure to take care of it with regular inspections, preventative care, and timely repairs—doing so will save your wallet and your home.

Schedule Your Chicago Sewer Line Service Today

At Grayson Sewer & Drains, we’re dedicated to providing homeowners the support they need with their sewer lines. Our commitment to your sewer health and customer satisfaction means that our team of licensed and highly trained plumbers is ready to exceed expectations.

Get the service you, your sewer line, and your home deserve. Schedule your sewer line service today to get started.

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Jeremy Starnes

Jeremy Starnes brings over 20 years of expertise in the plumbing industry to Grayson Sewer & Drain. Leading a team of licensed plumbers, Jeremy is dedicated to providing reliable and professional plumbing services to the Chicago community and surrounding areas.

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