The Most Common Causes of Sewer Clogs

There are many ways a sewer can become clogged.  Sometimes the culprit is easy to identify and fix.  Other times it can be a bit tricky and more intensive.  There are even times when a problem may persist no matter how much effort is put in to fix it.  But, that’s why you have your trusty plumbing team at Tritan available and ready to address all of your needs and concerns.  

So, for curiosity’s sake, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of persistent sewer clogs:

  • Tree Root Intrusion – Tree root intrusions are one of the main reasons for sewer line clogs.  You see, tree roots grow seeking water. And the moisture around your pipes, especially if your pipe is leaking even the tiniest bit or has a crack, can create an ideal environment for them to thrive.  So, over time roots may surround a pipe, eventually breaking it down, and start to grow inward to fill the width of the pipe. This inevitably leads to a blocked line.
  • Toilet Misuse – Unfortunately, some people think they can put anything down their toilet, treating it like a trash can.  But, if you want to maintain working pipes, you just can’t do this, as it will result in a sewer line clog.  Flushing anything other than what’s actually supposed to go down your toilet drain will cause messy harm. Some of the most common offending items that people flush that don’t belong down your toilet include wipes (even those that say “flushable” aren’t actually flushable), baby tissues, hair, napkins, feminine products, plastic bags, coffee grounds and other similar products.  
  • Grease – Pouring grease down any drain is always a no-no.  Not only will this clog your drains and pipes, it can clog your home’s main sewer line.  Though you may see it in liquid form while cooking, you must remember that grease is not in fact a liquid; it hardens and will harden inside of your sewage line creating tough clogs.  So, be sure to dispose of grease properly.
  • Sagging Sewer Line – Most people aren’t aware that their sewer line can clog due to a “belly” in the pipe.  Sagging sewer lines are unfortunately somewhat out of your control. They can happen over time as the soil shifts, particularly those that are under the weight of your home.  Sometimes, they can even sag if they’re surrounded by excess moisture that can cause sinkholes. When a line sags, wastewater is unable to easily exit due to the misaligned slope.  It forms a “U” shape from which waste is unable to make its way back up the other end once in the belly, thus sitting in your line, clogging the flow.

While there are other causes, these are the most common reasons why sewer lines clog that homeowners need to be aware of.  If you start to notice signs of a clog or any potential problem with your plumbing system, be sure to contact our team of professionals.  We’ll come out and diagnose the exact reason for your clog and get you back up and running in no time.


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