Lutz Plumbing, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Emergency Plumbing’

How to Protect Your House From Sewer Backups

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

A sewer backup can spell disaster for your home. If your sewer line becomes clogged, wastewater will not drain properly. The sewage will flow backward and into your house. Not only does this create a health hazard, but it’s also very costly to clean up. Read on to learn more about what causes sewer backups and how you can avoid them.

plunger next to white toilet and toilet paper roll on light blue tiles

Signs of a Sewer Backup

The following warning signs indicate a sewer backup. If you notice any of these signs, call a plumbing expert right away.

  • Multiple drains in your home are clogged simultaneously.
  • Your toilets are not flushing properly, even after plunging.
  • You notice a foul odor coming from your drains.
  • Your sewer cleanout is full of water.

Causes of Sewer Backups

A sewer backup has several possible causes, including:

Damaged Pipes

No pipes will last forever. Especially if you have an older home, it’s possible your pipes are aging and beginning to deteriorate. An old pipe may become cracked or even collapse, leading to a sewer backup.

Tree Roots

Tree root invasion is one of the most common reasons for a sewer clog, especially if your home is older. Tree roots will seek moisture as they grow. The roots will enter the sewer pipe and can cause extensive damage as they grow larger.

Flushing Non-Flushable Items

Flushing anything non-flushable down the toilet can clog your pipes and lead to a sewer backup.

Improperly-Routed Gutters or Sump Pumps

Downspouts, gutters, and sump pumps should not be connected to your sanitary sewer. During a heavy storm, a large amount of water can flow into your gutters. If the gutters are connected to your sanitary sewer line, the volume of water can cause a backup. Ensure that your gutters are connected to a storm sewer, or that they discharge water above ground, away from your home’s foundation.

How to Prevent a Sewer Backup

Here are several steps you can take to protect your house from sewer backups.

Dispose of Grease Correctly

Cooking grease can solidify inside your pipes if it’s poured down the drain. Instead, let your grease cool down and solidify, then scrape it into the trash can. Also avoid pouring food waste, starches, or coffee grounds into the drain.

Be Careful What You Flush

All that should be flushed down the toilet is bathroom tissue. Avoid flushing wipes, feminine hygiene products, or paper towels. Even if a product says it’s flushable, it may not really be safe to flush. Flushing improper items will clog your toilet and lead to sewer backups.

Install a Backflow Valve

A backflow valve (also called a backwater valve) allows water to flow out of your home. If water starts to flow backward, the valve will close. This can help protect your house in the event of a sewer backup.  You’ll need a licensed plumber to install a backflow valve for you.

Trim Tree Roots

If you have a large number of tree roots in your yard, the roots may start to grow into your sewer line. Have a professional inspect your trees and trim the roots to prevent them from damaging your sewer line.

Clean and Maintain Your Sewer Line

Preventative care is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of a sewer backup. A plumbing expert should inspect your sewer pipe once a year for any signs of damage. You should also schedule an annual sewer cleaning to keep your pipes flowing smoothly.

If you need assistance with your drain and sewer system, Lutz Plumbing is here to help. We can take care of whatever your sewer line needs, whether it’s installation, repair, maintenance, or replacement. We’ve served the Kansas City area since 1920. Contact us now to learn more.

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Got a Plumbing Emergency? Follow These Steps

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Ruptured-PipePlumbing systems can generally be divided into two different categories: emergencies and problems that can wait for an appointment. For the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to ignore problems of the eldritch and otherworldly variety, like tentacles coming from a portal to another dimension located in your drain. Although, to be honest, that sounds like kind of an emergency. Not one we’re going to talk about here, though. Anyway, plumbing emergencies!

When a plumbing emergency happens, the number one thing you need to do is keep calm. If you panic, you’re just going to make things worse. So, if you have a burst pipe spewing water into your hallways or some other kind of plumbing emergency, keep calm and follow the steps below to get it taken care of as quickly as possible.

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What Qualifies as a Plumbing Emergency?

Monday, November 27th, 2017

pipe-leakPlumbing problems come in a variety of types, some of which are little more than minor annoyances, and some of which are complete disasters waiting to happen. When you have one of those latter problems come up, sometimes you can afford to wait a couple of days for a plumbing appointment. Sometimes you can’t. If you’re not sure whether to try and schedule an appointment for your plumbing issue, or whether you should call for emergency plumbing services as soon as possible, have a look at what qualifies as a plumbing emergency below.

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Steps You can Take During a Plumbing Emergency

Monday, September 18th, 2017

pipe-leakPlumbing problems are always frustrating. Even a relatively minor issue has the potential to cause quite a bit of damage if left alone. Some plumbing problems need to be addressed more urgently than others, though. If you have a plumbing issue come up that cannot wait for an appointment, you’re going to need emergency plumbing services.

You can take some steps to limit the damage while waiting for your plumber to arrive. Even emergency plumbing services involve commute times, after all, and that means there is still potential for damage between when you call for repairs and when help arrives. Follow our tips below to help mitigate things in the interim.

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What to do During a Plumbing Emergency

Monday, August 29th, 2016

The first instinct that most people have when confronted with an emergency, any emergency, is to panic. This holds true for plumbing emergencies, as well. Water is pouring out of your walls or up from under your floor, and it can be an overwhelming thing to deal with. The first and most important thing you need to do in a situation like this, though is: don’t panic! If you know what to do beforehand, you can prevent a lot of water damage and make dealing with the situation a lot easier. Read on to find out how.

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