Sewer Line Maintenance Tips for Homeowners  


Sewer lines play a critical role in ensuring a clean and healthy living environment for homeowners by carrying their domestic wastewater to the street. Naturally, any issues related to the sewer line can make lives extremely difficult. Some of the most common problems faced by sewer lines include broken sewer lines, tree roots infiltrating the line, and clogs. The only way to avoid these problems is to perform sewer line maintenance and cleaning activities on a regular basis.  

Before discussing these maintenance activities, it is important to understand the most common conditions that may lead to sewer-related problems.  

Low Areas: The movement of debris gets slowed down considerably in low areas. This may also obstruct the flow of water through a sewer pipe. If a large amount of solid particles accumulate in a low area, a blockage is created. This eventually leads to a nasty and expensive backup. There can be more than one low area in a sewer line.  

Buildup: This is formed when certain food waste material sticks and hardens inside the wall of the pipe. The factors responsible for buildup are protein materials such as oil, grease, and fat. When the buildup becomes thick enough, it can reduce or completely block the passageway of the pipe.  

Root Infiltration: In concrete and clay pipe joints, tree roots often grow into the pipe. Roots can also infiltrate into cast iron pipes that have started rotting and softening.  These roots tend to multiply over time and eventually cover the entire pipe.    

Maintenance Tips  

Discussed below are some simple tips to maintain the sewer line and drains by avoiding the pipe conditions explained above.  

  • Try to avoid discarding food waste down the kitchen drain lines. Instead, scrape as much food waste as you can into a garbage container. Food particles that should never be allowed to run down the kitchen drain include fibrous food such as potato peels, corn husks, and celery, egg shells, starchy foods such as rice, beans, pasta, and potato, and fats, oils, and grease (FOG).   
  • Non-food items such as rubber bands, baby wipes, paper towels, sanitary pads, tampons, cigarette buds, dental floss, pull tabs, hair, plant clipping, etc should not be flushed down the toilet.  
  • Instead of extra thick toilet tissues, start using one-ply toilet papers that dissolve much faster and reduce the probability of blockage. Septic and sewer-safe two-ply tissues can also be used.  
  • Fill all your water-holding devices including sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines to full capacity and drain all of them at once. Also, flush all the toilets while these are draining. Continue this process once every month.  
  • If your drainage line has significant low areas, low-volume toilets are not advisable. Instead, set all your toilets to high-volume flush.  
  • If roots have grown in your sewer line, hire a professional drain cleaner once every year to clean the line mechanically.   
  • Clean your sewer line regularly using an environmentally friendly drain cleaner capable of getting rid of organic wastes such as paper, grease, hair, food particles, etc.  

If you notice any serious issues with your sewer system, immediately get in touch with our expert technicians at Austeck.