Sewer Maintenance Tips

No one wants to experience a sewer backup or overflow. Unfortunately these things can happen. Below are some sewer maintenance tips to help make sure you don't get an unwanted surprise from your sewer line.

  • Careful where you put that grease - One of the most frequent causes of sewer problems is cooking grease or oil. Be careful not to pour any down the drain or garbage disposal. Even a little bit can congeal in your pipes and cause an unpleasant backup.
  • Watch your plants - Although you don't have much control over where your trees and other plans roots go, it's a good thing to keep an eye on. That way, if you notice roots are moving toward your sewer line you can address the problem before it gets too messy. Some signs of root invasion include odd gurgling in the pipes or black water oozing up from the sink, bath or laundry.
  • Don't flush that - Be careful what you flush down the toilet. It isn't made to handle everything. Diapers, sanitary napkins, paper wrappings, feminine products, etc. should all be disposed of in the garbage.
  • Mind your cleanouts - Cleanouts are a direct line to your sewer and need to be maintained. Make sure the traps are full of water, as water tends to evaporate. Also be sure all caps are on and secure to avoid odor.
  • Respect your garbage disposal - If you have a garbage disposal, treat it right. Run hot water through it for a few minutes before and after you grind up any food to help fatty products move through. It's a good idea to occasionally 'purge' your disposal as well. Fill the sink with water and then unplug the drain at once to help clear debris.
  • Be proactive with clogged drains - If you have a drain that you know clogs often, be proactive and prevent the clog. Pour one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar down the drain, wait an hour and flush with warm water. This combination will fizzle away most of the buildup. In the event that you do have a clog, use liquid drain cleaners instead of crystal drain cleaners. Crystal can solidify in your pipes.

Information courtesy Matt Mertz Plumbing.