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What to Do If Your Sewer Drain Backs Up

What to Do If Your Sewer Drain Backs Up

Quick action is usually required if your sewer drain backs up into your house for any reason. When you consider the possible contents, you definitely want to minimize the flow and get it sorted out in a timely fashion. Seeing household wastewater emptying into your living space can be unsettling, but it’s important to try and remain calm so you can get help and find a solution as soon as possible.

Initial Safety Tips

There are many steps to take if your sewer drain backs up into your home, and like any serious plumbing issue, it begins with safety. Make sure your family members are safe and away from any electrical fixtures or appliances that have come into contact with sewer water. If the sewer water has come into contact with gas powered appliances like stoves, furnaces or water heaters, call your local gas company to come and shut off the service.

The water that comes into your home during a sewer backup may contain serious bacteria and viruses that can affect the gastrointestinal tract or the liver, so don’t touch any water or items that have been in contact with the water, unless you have full safety protection on. When it seems like it is under control and everyone is safe, call your plumber for help.

Household Appliances and Fixtures

While you wait for help to arrive, make sure you don’t use the toilets or sinks unless it is an absolute necessity. It is important to keep in mind water you send down the drain will likely end up in the basement, so only use them in an emergency. It is also wise to turn off your central heating or air conditioning system to protect them and for safety.

It may be tempting to try and move furniture and other items out of the sewer water to try and save them, but it is important to leave them right where they are. You may end up hurting yourself, and moving things around will affect any insurance claims.

Document Everything

If your sewer backup is at a level that household repairs or renovations will be necessary and items in the house will be damaged, make lists and take pictures if possible, to present to your insurance company. Safety is always a big aspect of a sewer backup, but recovering the items you lost and getting your home back to normal is also important. Insurance providers always want as much documentation as possible, so give them as much as you can and you’ll get as much as possible when it comes time to file a claim.

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