Four Common Practices That Lead to a Sewer Line Backup

Sewer Service
July 6, 2015

by David Balkan

Sewer Line Backup Drain Strainer

A sewer line backup occurs for a variety of reasons. Old clay sewer lines collapse, there are invading tree roots, soil shifts. However, a major cause of sewer line backups are often caused by user error or bad habits. More precisely, it is the common daily practices that people do at home, often without thinking. Although unintentional, the following can often lead to a sewer line backup, drain lines that require drain cleaning or in some cases, sewer replacement.

Sewer Line Backup Drain Strainer

Removing Drain Strainers

Drain strainers limit the size of solid matter that can enter drain pipes and ultimately your sewer line. People may remove them so that their sinks or bathtubs drain faster, or they may leave them off because the drain seems to work fine without them. Hair that is not stopped by your bathtub strainer snags on piping or partial blockages and builds up. Food matter can go down your kitchen sink drain unimpeded and contribute to the blockages forming in your sewer line.

Flushing Disposable Diapers Down The Toilet

Disposable diapers are something of a dilemma. They contain human waste, so they do not belong in the trash. Filling up landfills with this waste potentially contaminates the ground water and endangers the health of landfill workers. On the other hand, the diaper does not belong in the sewer system despite what its labeling says. The solution is to dispose of the human waste down the toilet, and the diaper minus the waste into the trash. Odor proof containers are available for this purpose.

Pouring Fats, Oils, And Grease Down The Drain

Whether you pour them down the drain or the garbage disposal unit, the destination is the same. These materials solidify over time in the sewer. Using hot water does not help because the water cools down again. Soaps and detergents only break up fats, oils, and grease temporarily. Pour these materials in a container and dispose of them in the trash.

Using The Toilet As A Garbage Disposal

The thought here is that if it is small it will do no harm. Another rationale is that since human waste is biodegradable, then other biodegradable things such as food are fair game. Still another thought is that since toilet paper is paper, then other paper products such as paper towels can be flushed too. While this thinking seems to make sense, the truth is that sewers are designed only to handle human waste, toilet paper, and water. Anything else sent through it is an experiment that almost always causes problems.

For more sewer line backup information, please contact Balkan Sewer And Water Main. A knowledgeable representative is standing by to answer your questions or make an appointment to address your sewer line backup problems.

Get A Free Quote
David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Ready to Get Your Sewer or Water Main Issue Fixed?

Get An Instant Quote
  • We manage every project from start to finish
  • We work quickly with instant quotes & rapid responses
  • We are licensed as a Master Plumber
  • Our GPS fleet ensures we are on time, every time
  • We are available 24/7 for emergencies
  • We back all replacements with a 10-year unconditional guarantee