Mistakes People Make that Cause Sewage Back-Ups

Sewage back-ups can be one of the worst things that happen to your home. Besides the inconvenience of not being able to use your toilets, you have to deal with the cleaning up a giant mess and paying to have the problem fixed. You may even need to look at mold removal services if there was a lot of water flushed back into your house.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to avoid sewage back-ups if you understand what causes them and take steps to prevent these things from happening. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make that can lead to sewage back-ups.

Overloading the Pipes

This can be done in a number of ways. Normally, it’s not that easy to put too much water down your pipes, but it could be done if you empty a very large amount of water down the drain. However, water is just one thing that goes through sewage pipes.

Toilet paper is often the cause of a blockage. Objects not meant to be flushed can also very easily block up the pipes. Most of the time, these objects are things like paper towels or wipes. However, it’s possible for food and other biodegradable things to cause a blockage if they’re large enough or if a large quantity of these items is flushed at once.

Older homes may have pipes that are actually too small to handle the flow of sewage from the house, which means they may back-up more frequently and easily. These pipes may need to be replaced in order to permanently solve the back-up problem.

A Blocked Main

If you live in a city, your home’s sewage lines are connected to the city’s main pipes. If one of these main pipes becomes blocked, it can lead to a back-up that affects several homes or an entire block of the city.

This type of back-up can be worse than normal because it means the entire main plus every affected sewage line has to be cleared. You can usually tell if this is happening because the blockage occurs over time rather than suddenly.

Illegally Connected Drains

It’s not legal to connect sump pumps, French drains, and other flood prevention systems to the city’s sanitary sewage line. Doing so can overload the system and may be one of the rare cases where too much water is forced through the sewage pipes at once, causing a back-up or a burst pipe. If you purchase a house with illegally connected drains, you’ll need to have a plumber fix the issue before it causes problems or before you’re fined.

No Backwater Prevention Valve

A backwater prevention valve is a valve installed in the basement of a building (either a business or a home) that can prevent back-ups. It may be installed onto either a sewer or a drain line, and it allows sewage to only move one way. Once the sewage passes through the value, it’s impossible for it to move backwards. You’re responsible for having one of these valves installed in your home, and while it’s not a requirement, it’s often a good idea. Most plumbers can install a backwater prevention valve.

Should you find your home or business becomes victim to one of these mistakes, contact Active Restoration today. The quicker we can remediate the problem, the less likely you are to have further issues down the road from mold and bacteria.

Written by Elise
on February 23, 2015