How to Protect Your Sewer Line

A main sewer line exposed in a trench with a water line beneath it.

How to Keep Your Sewer Line Clean

It may sound impossible, but keeping your sewer clean and clear of obstructions is the key to avoiding a headache down the road. A clogged or broken sewer could mean a backup or pipe burst — and that usually means digging up your lawn and expensive repairs. Keeping your sewer lines clean can also prevent backup waste that you can find in your home, usually in your sink, shower, toilet, or bathtub. 

Don’t fear, though, because there are simple ways you can keep your sewer line flowing.

Know Your System

As a homeowner, you should know how your system works and where it runs under your lawn. This is important because it allows you to know exactly what problems may arise, and it can help a plumber diagnose or solve a problem in an emergency.

When moving to a new home, ask the homeowner or the homeowner’s real estate agent where the line is. If they don’t know or can’t provide any information, you can connect with the local municipality that runs the sewer plant. They should be able to tell you where the connections are and where the line was created under your lawn. If that doesn’t work, call a local plumber to use different methods to find the pipes underground.

As for the pipes themselves, know how sensitive they are. If you’ve had one or more clogs, make sure to be extra careful with what goes down your drains.

Manage Tree Roots

Trees are one of the most common enemies of underground pipelines. This is when knowing where your line runs come in handy. Once you have that information, you can see if any trees grow near the path.

How to Prevent Roots In Your Sewer Lines

Once tree roots enter your pipes, it’s only a matter of time before they become a major issue, so it’s best to opt for prevention. If you can avoid having trees directly on top of or close to your sewer line, that is the preferred way to go. If you already have a tree there, you should get a camera inspection to ensure no roots have entered the pipeline.

You can also manually trim back roots on trees that are closing in on your sewer line. This usually requires help from a professional plumber or landscaper. 

Prevent Clogs

Just because sewer lines are relatively large does not mean they can’t clog. Clogs of this size are usually caused by an accumulation of items that shouldn’t be put down drains. Here are a few ways to keep your sewer line from clogging: 

  • Avoid flushing “flushable wipes” down the toilet, as they are not flushable and don’t break down like toilet paper.
  • If you have children, make sure they aren’t flushing toys down the toilet, which are sometimes small enough to make their way down but will undoubtedly contribute to a sewer line clog.
  • Don’t flush non-liquid items like food, coffee grounds, oils, produce stickers, and more in the kitchen.
  • In the bathroom, invest in devices that aim to catch hair before it goes down the drain.

Get an Inspection

Your local plumbing company likely provides a camera inspection service. The plumber will send a camera down your drain and into your sewer pipe, looking for any abnormalities. They’re generally looking for tree roots, broken pipes, and clogs. It’s usually a live feed, so you can know right away what is going on.

Having occasional camera inspections is recommended if you have any impending threats like trees or old pipes. Catching an issue early will help prevent costly repairs in the future. Also, if you just moved into a new home, this is an excellent way to get familiar with your sewer system condition.

Sewer Services in Levittown

J&M Plumbing & Drain Cleaning is the go-to sewer line expert in Levittown, PA, and the surrounding area. For over 20 years, we’ve been providing top-notch service and solutions for homeowners and businesses. Call us today at (215) 987-4607 to schedule an appointment.