When it comes to plumbing health, a lot of homeowners tend to focus on maintaining their freshwater plumbing. That is, when the topic comes up at all. While it’s certainly important to keep your home’s plumbing system in good shape, you should also make sure that the drain and sewer system remains healthy as well.
Sewer issues can cause wide-ranging problems for the rest of your home, some of them quite serious. So, have a look at the sewer issues below, and what you should do to prevent them.
Leaks are never a good thing, regardless of where they occur in the plumbing or sewer system. Sewer leaks can be especially nasty, though. If a leak develops in your sewer line, the water from it can bubble up and form pools in your front or back yard. You really don’t want to find out what it’s like to have part of your property turn into a foul-smelling swamp in short order. So, the best way to deal with this is to have your sewer line inspected every year or two. This will allow your plumber to address any weakened areas before they actually start to leak.
The soil around your sewer line should be expected to shift over time. Sometimes, these shifts can be severe enough to actually bend the sewer line out of shape. When that happens, it’s called bellying. Bellying is an issue because it can prevent the water in the sewer line from flowing properly. Imagine putting a kink in a garden hose, and you have some idea of what this can do to the pipe. Occasionally, a plumber can straighten out the sewer line if the bellying isn’t too severe. Most of the time, though, this has to be fixed by running part or all of a new line to replace the damaged section.
This tends to be more of a problem in the home’s main plumbing system, but it can affect sewer lines as well. Hard water will cause limescale deposits to build up on the sewer line over time, restricting the flow of water and causing things like backups to become more frequent. The best way to deal with this is to have a water treatment system installed in your water line. If you already have limescale in your pipes, though, they’re going to have to be scraped out before the scale hardens.
Backflow is when sudden pressure changes cause water to flow in reverse through the plumbing system, occasionally siphoning water from other sources. This can even result in sewer water coming back up into the house, but that’s a more rare occurrence. Backflow prevention devices are a pretty standard inclusion for new homes, and have been for a while. It’s likely you already have a backflow prevention device in your home. Still, if you want to keep it functioning properly it’s a good idea to schedule professional maintenance on an annual basis.