Backups are perhaps the worst experience most folks will encounter when it comes to plumbing problems. When wastewater starts flowing up through the tubs, drains, and out of toilets – well you KNOW something is wrong. When this happens you’re dealing with a backup (the water is back flowing ‘up’ into your home).
How Plumbers Clear Backups
When you experience a backup the first thing to note is you need to call a plumber right away! Even if the water goes down and seems to ‘clear’ on its own, the next time you run a washing machine or shower it’s liable to flood right back up. When you call a plumber out here’s how they’ll clear that backup problem.
Drain backup problems are caused by a clog down the line, the cause of that clog can be a few different things including a clog from things that shouldn’t have been flushed down the toilet to a problem in the sewer line pipe itself, or even intruding roots (you might be surprised how often that is the case).
Locate the Cleanouts
The first thing the plumber is going to do when they get to your home is to look for the cleanouts. A plumbing cleanout is an easy access point for a plumber to gain further access to your plumbing drain lines to clear clogs and debris. These are often a simple black pipe with a twist-off on top sticking up in the front yard. Plumbers can remove the cap and begin running their snake down the line.
If you can, make sure you know where your cleanouts are to save some time, and be a huge help in a tough situation, such as if the call is at night, or if your yard is a bit overgrown.
Run the Snake
We have talked about snaking pipes a ton on here. With the cleanout access, the plumber can start running the snake down the drain line to clear whatever the source of the clog is. The snake will be pushed down the line, then the snake, if it’s able, is twisted to spin and push through the blockage, breaking it apart. In some cases, this is all that needs to be done to clear the line!
Replace Sewer Lines
Sometimes backups are caused because of a break down in the sewer line. The pipe might be breached, or even collapsed. To diagnose this problem a plumber will find the clean out and run a camera line down the pipe. They’ll be able to find the clog (if its still in the line) and see what might be causing the problem. There might be ovaling in the pipe, suggesting that the material has failed, the ground has shifted around the pipe, or most likely, a tree is growing nearby and the root system has penetrated the pipes.
Whateve the cause, if your sewer lines are damaged they need to be repaired or replaced so that the backup is cleared and doesn’t come right back. It’s often the most expensive option, but it will fix the issue – so long as the issue isn’t caused by flushing things down the drain that shouldn’t be!
If the drain line is damaged or old and breaking down, the other good news is you’ll be getting newer, better-made materials installed in their place. Longer-lasting durable pipes that are designed to keep working for years to come!
With the line replaced, your backup troubles should be completely taken care of! Hopefully you weren’t without water for long, that can be a headache all it’s own.