Top 3 Sewer Line Maintenance Tips to Prevent Drain Repairs

Residential main sewer lines can be one of the most overlooked maintenance tasks, yet it has the potential to cause nasty water damage with expensive cleanup costs. In this short post, we’ll cover 3 top sewer line maintenance tips to prevent drain repair. Read on!

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Clean Clogged Drains Carefully
Cleaning clogged drains isn’t as easy as dumping a chemical drain cleaner down and waiting. Did you know that there are separate waste removal lines that feed into a larger main line carrying waste water away from your house into the sewer system? Residences have a “soil line” which carries kitchen sink and toilet waste to the main line. They are also equipped with a “waste line” which handles showers and bathroom sinks. This means there are two opportunities for clogs before the main line, which itself can be clogged. Part of sewer drain cleaning is discovering what part of your system has the problem.

Use liquid drain cleaners instead of crystal drain cleaners. Crystal drain cleaners may solidify in your pipes.
Experts say you should never use a chemical drain cleaner to fix a “total blockage”. You’ll need the aid of a sewer jetter, which blasts away the blockage and restores the pipes to a more pristine condition. After using a sewer jetter, it’s a good idea to test the integrity of your sewer systems using a hydrostatic line tester. If there are existing leaks in the pipe system sealed up by debris, that temporary seal was washed away by the sewer jetter. The hydrostatic line tester will help you identify such leaks so you can repair and prevent further damage.
Try preventing the problem altogether:
Once a month, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar down the drain. Wait an hour and flush with warm water. The combination fizzles away most of the buildup. This typically works for showers, tubs and kitchen sink drains. Source: Lpud

Keep Trees, Bushes and Other Plants Away From the Sewer Line
When tree roots have made their way into the sewer line, it is difficult to control how fast they grow and the damage they do. The problem starts when roots find a crack or hole in the pipeline; they find a source of water and moisture to keep the tree growing and nourished. Until the crack or hole is repaired, tree roots will be continuous and a recurrent problem.

Prevention:Removing trees planted anywhere near the sewer line is good idea, but even the roots of far away trees can reach the pipeline. The best way to prevent this issue is to use copper sulfate crystals to create a poisonous zone around the pipe. Roots cannot penetrate the chemicals.

A truly preventative measure is to only plant trees with a shallow root structure. Some of the trees with shallow root structures are:

Ash trees
Maple trees
Willow trees
Oak trees

Trees with shallow roots have their own drawbacks. Trees with shallow roots are more easily blown over by strong winds, and tend to do more damage to paved area such as sidewalk cement. So following a proper sewer line maintenance tip can have it’s drawbacks as well. Source: BalkanDrainCleaning

Perform a Maintenance Rooter Cleaning Once a Year
An annual rooter cleaning can help keep your sewer line clear of debris and anything else that could cause a serious clog. Depending on how old your pipes are or how many clogs you have had in the past, you may need to perform these rooter cleanings more often, but most homes will be fine with one cleaning a year. Source: SimplySewersDenver


Kerrisdale Roofing & Drains
8279 Ross St, Vancouver, BC V5X 4W1
(604) 360-2114

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