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How to Prevent Sewer Line Damage

Sewer and Drain Cleaning — Working on Pipe Connection in Santa Rosa, CA
 Your home's main sewer line connects your house's plumbing to the municipality's sewer system. Problems with the line are often difficult to repair because they can be hard to access and can cause extensive damage. Here's what you can do to prevent sewer line damage, so you hopefully don't have to worry about repairing a problem with the line.

Keep Heavy Machinery Off of the Line's Area

First, figure out where your home's main sewer line is and never let anyone drive heavy machinery over that line. Heavy vehicles, such as construction equipment and big RVs, can put excessive pressure on a line and crush it.

If you don't know where your home's sewer line is, ask the city or a plumber to show you. They'll be able to identify where the line leaves the main sewer infrastructure and where it enters your house.

Vehicle damage most often occurs during landscaping and remodeling projects, when contractors use heavy equipment on your property. If you have any major landscaping or remodeling work done, show the contractor where your home's sewer line runs and ask them to drive around that area. They'll understand the importance of sewer line safety.

You should also generally keep in mind where the line runs on your property. Anytime you have unusual traffic in the area, such as a major party that requires putting up a tent or a camper for relatives to sleep in, you should avoid putting pressure on the line.

Know Where the Sewer Line's Shutoff Is

Your home's main sewer line will have an emergency shutoff somewhere on the line. This might be near where the line leaves the rest of the sewer system's infrastructure, or it could be closer to your house.

When you figure out where the line runs, you should also check where the emergency shutoff is and make sure you know how to operate the shutoff. In the event that your sewer line is damaged, you need to know where this is.

When a sewer line is damaged, it can release a powerful stream as water exits the sewer system. If you're able to close the emergency shutoff, you won't minimize damage to the line itself but you will prevent this stream of water from causing further damage.

Keep Tall Trees Away from the Line

Although trees look beautiful and increase a home's value, you shouldn't plant tall trees near your home's main sewer line. As these trees grow, their roots can bore into lines, where they create holes and cause clogs. This type of damage can lead to further damage if it's not promptly repaired.

To prevent root damage to a sewer line, plant only shrubs and flowers near where the line runs. Restrict tall-growing trees to other areas of your property where they can provide shade and increase the property value without causing sewer line problems. 

Flush the Sewer Line

Over time, sediment in your home's water can collect in its main sewer drain line as wastewater leaves the house. While not common, this sediment can sometimes cause blockages that themselves are problematic and may lead to other damage, such as in-home flooding if the blockage is too severe.

You can easily prevent this from happening by having your home's sewer line flushed occasionally. Forcing water at high pressure through the line will clear any sediment that has built up.

Have the Sewer Line Checked

Even if nothing causes direct damage to your home's main sewer line, the components in these lines wear down over time and eventually must be replaced. To prevent routine deterioration from causing a major problem, have your line checked by a qualified plumber regularly and ask them to repair any issues they find. 

If your home's line shows signs of a problem, contact Action Heating & Plumbing for sewer line repair.