Protecting Your Home’s Sewer Line Inside and Out

Have you ever thought about what it was like to live way back when indoor plumbing wasn’t in every home? Having to trudge out in the mud and snow in the dark to get to the outhouse that the family shared couldn’t have been much fun. Now, think about your home plumbing system—specifically the sewer line that carries all of that nasty waste and water away from your home into the city sewage system. Are you taking care of that crucial part of your comfortable living environment?

Although the sewer lines are out of sight, they should never be out of mind. These lines can become damaged and need repair if you don’t take the time to consider what you are flushing down your toilets and running down your drains, as well as the condition of your home’s foundation, the trees that are growing around your sewage line, and even the sewage line itself.

What shouldn’t you flush down a toilet or dump into a drain?

To protect your sewage line from blockages, there are several things that you should never flush or dump into the drains in your home.

  • Grease and oils—both cooking and automotive.
  • Food—even with garbage disposals, egg shells, coffee grinds, and bones should never be introduced to the sewage system.
  • Diapers and feminine hygiene products—even if the label says that they are flushable.
  • Paper towels, wet wipes, stickers, or food wrapping.
  • Cat litter—even the flushable litter.
  • Acidic and caustic substances.
  • Medication
  • Condoms
  • Paint, nail polish and remover, or turpentine.

How do you protect the line from outside of your home?

First, know how old your sewage lines are. If they are very old, they may be made of clay. If they are, act now before the clay cracks and crumbles, causing you serious problems. A new sewer line can be inserted into the existing pipe without even having to mess up your yard.

Inspect your home’s foundation. If the foundation sinks or becomes damaged, it could cause the sewer lines that come through or go under the foundation to break.

Lastly, watch the trees. Tree root damage is the most common cause of sewer line damage. Once the roots begin to penetrate the pipe, damage is going to occur.

Keeping your sewer lines clean will help you prevent and catch problems before they become serious and costly to repair. Talk with your local sewer cleaning specialist, such as Tierra Environmental & Industrial Services, for help.