Unblock Your Drain

5 Sewer Line Maintenance Tips to Avoid Damage

Your sewer lines are your home’s arteries. They are vital to the healthy removal of waste from your kitchen and bathroom, and require some attention and maintenance to function effectively. Here are 5 tips to help you avoid damage to your sewer lines and keep your drains and pipes working properly.

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Be aware of how your plants might affect your sewer lines

A lot of sewer lines, particularly those installed before the 70s, are susceptible to damage through root growth. Tree roots target sewer lines as a source of water and nutrients, finding their way into the drains and pipes through joins or cracks, and begin to grow, doing significant damage to the structure of the sewer.

The easiest way to prevent this common problem is remove trees that are near the pipe itself and replace them with trees that have a shallow root system that are less likely to penetrate your sewer lines. You might also consider using slow-release chemical solutions that inhibit the growth of roots near the pipe.

Install a grease receptor to prevent blockages

Grease build-up is another common drainage issue as oil and fat from cooking makes its way into the sewer and begins to accumulate, eventually causing severe blockages.

A simple way to prevent grease blockages is to install a grease receptor under the sink. Grease receptors trap waste that floats on the surface of water like fat, oil and grease and settles it into a separate container. The most obvious way, however, to avoid grease blockages is to avoid pouring any fatty substance from cooking down the drain, instead storing it in a receptacle that you can later throw away with your regular rubbish.

Do not allow large pieces of food or foreign objects to make their way into the sewer

Large pieces of food and objects that are difficult to flush such as cigarettes, female hygiene products and hard objects, are often found to be the cause of drain damage.

It is important to be extremely careful with what you allow to flow down the sink or flush down the toilet. Sewers are designed to accept liquids and human waste, anything else might cause severe issues for your system. Even wet wipes and diapers which are marketed as flushable have been found to cause blockages.

Recognise slow drainage as an early warning sign

Slow drainage when you flush the toilet or unplug the sink can be an early warning sign for issues somewhere along your sewer line. It can be a pipe that has become blocked, a collapsed sewer line or accumulation of sediment or rust.

The best way to treat this is call in a professional to inspect the sewers with a camera. Acting early can fix the problem while it is still repairable and hasn’t yet become a serious, and costly, issue.

Make a habit of regular inspection and maintenance

Finally like any vital part of your home, in order to prevent serious damage it is a good idea to regularly inspect and maintain your sewer pipes. This might involve removing the rust from iron cast pipes, inspecting the joins of clay sewers or using a high pressure hose to remove tree roots before they damage the underlying structure.

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