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First in Service, First in Quality
First in Service, First in Quality

What Causes Water to Back Up Into Your Home?

Middle aged man repairing burst pipe
Like many homeowners, you likely do not think about your plumbing until you have a major problem. If you suddenly begin to notice water backing up into your home through the shower, sinks, and toilet, chances are you have a significant sewer line problem which requires immediate attention.
To say a blocked sewer line is an inconvenience is an understatement. Often, homeowners are unable to use any part of their plumbing until the problem is fixed. You may even have to vacate your home until your plumbing is moving again. If you know the cause of your sewer backup, you can inform the plumber and hopefully resolve the issue more quickly.
The following are some issues that can cause main sewer line clogs.
Clogged Sewer Line
The most obvious guess to a main sewer line problem is a clog. With constant flushing of toilet paper, hair in the drain, soap scum, and grease from the kitchen sink, it is understandable a clog can easily occur. If the water backup is in just one area of your home, you can attempt to remove the clog yourself. If water is backed up in all your plumbing, the plumber will have to intervene.
The plumber has to clear the main sewer line with a snake-like mechanism powered by a water hose. He or she has to go into the opening of the line which leads to the sewer and clear the clog.
To prevent any sort of clog, properly maintain your plumbing at all times. Never flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. Do not put kitchen grease down the sink, and thoroughly clean the shower drain and remove any hair and other buildup.
Tree Roots in the Sewer Line
Another common cause of a plumbing backup in your entire home is tree root growth in your main sewer line. Over time, tree roots can infiltrate the pipe and eventually crush it with the weight of the growth. Even if you do not have trees directly located near your pipes, tree root growth can still be an issue, as roots can grow yards away from the base of the tree.
The only way to repair this problem is to replace the damaged section of the pipe. A plumber has to use a special snake camera placed into the pipe to locate the exact area of damage. Once he or she finds the damage, the pipe needs to be cut and replaced with a new piece.
Collapsed Pipes
If you have an older home, your sewer backup can be the result of a collapsed pipe. Older homes still sometimes have the original plumbing, which was made from cast iron or even clay. As the pipes age, they will crack and not function properly. This situation requires a plumber to replace the entire antiquated and broken plumbing system to get your home in working order.
Issues with Your Municipality
In some cases, even if you don’t have a specific problem with your home's plumbing, water can still backup into your home. The main sewer lines leading to your municipality's sewer system can clog just like any other pipe, which can result in many homes having issues with water backup at the same time.
If this is the case, you cannot do much more outside of contacting your municipality and informing the proper authorities of the issue.
Water backup in your home is very frustrating. You cannot flush your toilets or use your showers until you resolve the problem. If you need assistance with any plumbing issue, please contact us at First Choice Plumbing Solutions. We are happy to help you with your plumbing needs.