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Tips for Preventing Sewer Backup

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 10:02am

When the overall volume of sewage and water that flows into a sewer system exceeds the sewer’s capacity, you will have what is known as sewer backup. The sewer water will flow back into your home through various drain pipes, causing a terrible mess and potential health hazard.

The most common causes of sewer backup are high volumes of rain from large storms, or high water volume from melting snow. Blocked sewer connections, collapsed pipes and failed sump pumps are some other causes. You can often prevent sewer backup from occurring by following certain steps.

Effective Sewer Backup Prevention Tips

Preventing sewer backup requires effort on the part of the homeowner, but it is possible for you make a difference. Some effective prevention tips you may want to consider include:

  • Stop disposing of cooking grease and fat down kitchen sink drains or garbage disposal because it can harden when it gets down there and form clogs.
  • Stop using water in the house during heavy rainstorms.
  • Take measures to ensure the flow of surface water is directed away from your home’s foundation.
  • Extend rainwater downspouts away from your home’s foundation.
  • Install a sump pump to discharge drainage onto your driveway or lawn.
  • Keep sewer caps on all the basement sewer outlets during rainstorms.
  • Disconnect rainwater downspouts from the basement sewer system and then take the time to cap the disconnected standpipes.
  • Install an automatic backwater flow valve.

Important Cleanup Information

If a sewer backup occurs despite your best efforts, it is important to take quick action when it comes to the cleanup phase. Professional advice and service is probably the best way to go, but here are a few tips that can help in the meantime:

  • Move any damaged goods to a dry area with adequate ventilation.
  • Stay far away from electrical panels and systems until you’re sure it is safe.
  • Take pictures and make lists of items that have been damaged.
  • Contact your insurance company when once the problem has cleared up.
  • Disinfect any items that have come into contact with sewer water.

These are just a few cleanup tips, but however you go about it, remember that safety should always come first and if you aren’t sure what to do, call your plumber, electrician, insurance agent or the most appropriate expert for the topic at hand.

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