Some home repairs may be okay putting off for a bit, and then some repairs exponentially worsen the longer you wait. The amount of time it takes to notice and repair a plumbing issue can be the difference between paying a couple of hundred dollars versus thousands!
Cleaning your sewer lines is one of them.
Avoid major issues by scheduling routine sewer line cleaning and maintenance. In Edmonton, there's no other company more dedicated than Mr. Rooter.
We'll break down the entire process for you, so you know what to expect during your next scheduled cleaning or repair.
Wait, So Sewer Line Maintenance Is MY Responsibility?
YES. Most homeowners are surprised to find out that they are responsible for the portion of the sewer line that runs from under their house to their property line. From that point it is the city’s responsibility to the main sewer line under the street.
Your sewer line is just as important as your water line, yet you probably only recently found out your property's sewer line is your responsibility (let's say, one sentence ago perhaps?)
How Sewer Line Cleaning Can Save You Money
Because sewer lines are hidden underground, out of sight and out of mind, they are often forgotten about by property owners. When you can't see the problem, how would you know something needs to be fixed?
Unseen damages to your sewer line will eventually manifest in very obvious ways in your home. Think foul odors, sewage backups, and flooding.
We're going to let you know all about the importance of sewer line cleaning, repair, and maintenance so you can prevent potentially costly damage done to your property.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
What Can Cause Sewer Line Clogs and Blockages?
Sewer lines can get clogged and blocked with all sorts of debris and gunk. Knowing which items or debris that cause blockages can help you from making an accidental and expensive mistake that you may regret later on.
Here is a list of items that can cause those clogs and blockages along with ways to prevent them:
Tree roots are the primary cause of sewer line damage. All they need is a source of moisture to continue growing, and the rate is rapid, thus causing damage to your sewer line at an alarming rate. Tree roots will affect different sewer materials differently. Modern materials are usually unaffected, while older materials can be seriously damaged by tree roots.
Most of us know not to toss grease down the kitchen drain, but remnants of oil and fat from our dirty dishes and sometimes even the brand of soap we use can still harden and build up, causing a blockage.
Mr. Rooter's prevention tip: Do not pour grease down the drain. Bacterial products like Mr. Rooter Total Drain will consume grease and organic matter in your drains over time keeping them functioning as they should.
Large(and Surprisingly Small) Pieces of Food
Certain food breaks down over time, and others do not. Just because the piece of food goes down the drain doesn't mean it will get past the sink's trap or down the drain. Even if you have the faucet cranked up to send water flowing down as fast as possible, that pressure may still not be enough to push down a large chunk of food.
On that note, small pieces of food can cause build-up as well. Food that expands when moist like quinoa, rice, oats, and grains can clump together and eventually create a blockage.
Mr. Rooter's prevention tip: This one is easy and straightforward. Throw away every last piece of leftover food debris on your plate into the garbage before placing it into your sink.
Flushable wipes… We’re not sure who decided they are flushable, but we respectfully disagree. These cause lots of problems because they don’t break down like toilet paper does. These wipes cause lots of sewer blockages in Edmonton, both in private sewers and in the large city sewers.
Mr. Rooter's prevention tip: Um, don’t use them. Please.
Other Physical Objects
The most obvious example would probably be toys. We hope you never have to go through the panic of listening to your child tell you the tale of all the legos he tried to flush down the toilet.
Sanitary napkins and wads of premium toilet paper and paper towel can quickly clog a sewer line.
Mr. Rooter's prevention tip: Only flush down human waste and closely associated items. Toilet paper is okay but avoid flushing down large clumps and wads. Even premium toilet papers can cause blockages because they are so thick. Ugh, is nothing sacred?!?!
How Do I Know My Sewer Lines Need Cleaning or Repair?
Spotting and being able to recognize the signs that your sewer line needs cleaning will prevent additional blockages and more expensive damage from happening.
Here are some of the signs you need to have your sewer lines cleaned or a sewer line repair done:
Your Sinks Drain Very Slowly
This is one of those home repairs that is best left to the professionals. When we see a sink drain slowly, we often think dumping chemical drain cleaners down the drain will clear up the clog.
These chemical drain cleaners sound great in theory, but they actually risk damaging the rest of our plumbing system, and they often don't even work.
If you're dealing with a minor clog, your plumber should be able to remove it easily. If we're talking about something a little more major, you will be thankful when you call experienced professionals for help instead of attempting a DIY fix.
How Mr. Rooter Can Help: We will first assess the situation and determine whether your clogged drains will require sewer line cleaning or a simple drain cleaning.
We have two methods when it comes to drain cleaning. One is using a high pressure jetting of water into the clogged drain. The second method is if there is an obstruction and will require physically removing it from the pipe.
Take a look at our Drain Cleaning Services page to learn more about our process.
If you hear strange sounds coming from your toilet like gurgling or bubbling, chances are your sewer line is backing up.
The gurgling and bubbling sound often precede a sewage backup. So if your toilet is making any odd noises after flushing, contact your plumber right away.
Foul Odors That Smell Like Sewage
A sewer line in tip-top shape should contain the scent of sewage. However, sewer systems are designed to not allow those smells into your home, so smelling sewage is a sure sign that something is wrong. If any off-putting or foul scents make their way into your home, contact your plumber ASAP because this is a sign of sewer backup.
You'll know it when you smell it. The smell can vary from a slight musty scent to a sharp pungent one that can be compared to the scent of wet garbage.
How Mr. Rooter Can Help: Our team can schedule you an appointment for any time of the day or night. A backed-up sewer system can be smelly and inconvenient and something you would rather deal with right away than later.
Our plumbing specialists will get to work right away first, assessing the issue, then resolving it efficiently for your convenience and peace of mind.
Toilets Backing Up
Your toilet is one of the most frequently used fixtures in your home, so a clogged toilet is bad enough, but it’s even worse when there's only one bathroom in your household.
This could be a sign of something easy to fix like a blocked toilet trap (hello, plunger, dear old friend) or something more serious like a blocked vent or damage to your sewer line.
If you see your toilet backing up with raw sewage, turn off the water supply at the back of your toilet right away. It's best to call your local professionals to tackle any sewer-related issues.
How Mr. Rooter Can Help: We offer Emergency plumbing services because we know how frustrating it is when you can't get a hold of a plumber or find one that will try to charge you hundreds of dollars for overtime.
We have customer service representatives ready 24/7 ready to take your call because a plumbing emergency can strike at any time of the day.
Pools of Water in the Yard
When you see pools of water and soft or low spots throughout your yard, there may be a problem with your sewer line. This could be water from your sewer line making its way up through your soil.
Take a moment to walk around your yard and look for puddles or pools of water and listen for sounds of moist soil when you take each step.
How Mr. Rooter Can Help: If you notice slow drainage in your yard, this could mean a collapsed sewer line. An effective way we have of checking would be running a plumbing video camera so we can determine the exact cause and location of the issue.
We also offer trenchless sewer line repair that uses high-tech equipment and no-dig techniques. We know how expensive landscaping can be, and the last thing we want to do is to turn your beautiful lawn into a construction zone.
Mold on Your Walls
A sewer pipe with cracks can lead to water leaking into the walls. This increases the humidity inside your home and can lead to mold growth.
Sometimes you don't even have to see the mold to know it's there. You may already be able to smell it. Inhaling mold is dangerous and can cause health problems, so this is a problem you need to focus on and fix right away for the sake of your health and your family's.
How Mr. Rooter Can Help: Cracks in your sewer pipes means your sewer pipes either need to be repaired or replaced. This is a serious job and you can trust our plumbing experts to get the job done right the first time.
Here at Mr. Rooter we recommend that you keep a water alarm, also known as a leak detector at your floor drain so you’ll be alerted right away when you have a backup, long before damage to your basement is done.
Many of us don’t spend much time in our basements, so when there is a backup it can make an enormous mess before it is noticed. Unless, there is a water alarm that goes off as soon as it gets wet. You’ll wonder for a while what the heck that noise is, but you’ll soon figure out that your sewer is backing up, BEFORE it has made a mess! Yay!
What to Expect When You Call Us for Help
Our priority is to offer you the highest level of customer service you will find in the Edmonton area.
We treat your emergency as if it was our own emergency, scheduling service as quickly as possible to resolve your problem. Our plumbers will treat your home with the utmost respect and consideration and clean up when they're finished with your service.
We also offer upfront pricing, so you don't have to worry about surprise costs or a growing bill as the job goes on.
Our Core Values
Our core values shape everything we do:
Respect - We believe in treating others the way we would like to be treated
Integrity - Making only agreements we are willing, able, and intend to keep
Customer Focus - Continuously striving to maximize internal and external customer loyalty.
Having Fun in the Process! - Looking for opportunities to make work fun and spread joy.
Did We Help You Learn Anything New? We Hope You Did!
We hope after reading this post, you have a better understanding of sewer line cleaning, repair, and maintenance. It may all sound daunting, but it doesn't have to be if you have the right help!
If your home needs any of the services we mentioned above or other services or repairs, contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton by calling (780) 429-3600 for prompt service!
We are available and ready for you at any time.