Common Causes Of Sewer Drain Clogs And How To Prevent Them

Sewer Drain Cleaning

Clogged drains are a common problem that can be both annoying and costly. It’s important to understand the causes of clogs so you know how to prevent them before they happen.

This article will explore some of the most frequent culprits behind sewer drain clogs and provide advice on how to stop them from occurring in the future.

Clogged sewers not only cause inconvenience but can also damage pipes over time if left unchecked. Luckily, there are ways to identify potential problems early on and take steps to avoid clogging your drains completely.

By understanding common causes of sewer drain clogs, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to keep your drains running smoothly.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are often a major cause of blocked sewers. When trees are planted near the sewer pipes, their roots can grow towards and into the pipe network in search of nutrients and water. The tree’s root system then causes an obstruction by clogging up the interior of the pipe with its tangled mass.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to ensure that no trees or shrubs are planted too close to the sewage lines; they should be kept at least 10 feet away. Additionally, homeowners should have their sewer line inspected annually for any signs of damage or blockages so that if there are any issues, they can be addressed quickly before further problems arise.

Regular maintenance will go a long way toward keeping your sewer drain clear and free-flowing. In order to avoid grease buildup, proper care must be taken when disposing of cooking oil down drains.

Grease Buildup

Tree roots are an unfortunate cause of sewer clogs, but fortunately, there are ways to prevent them.

One way is to be sure that tree and shrub roots don’t come in contact with buried pipes. If you have trees or large plants near your plumbing lines, it can be a good idea to trim the roots away from them regularly.

Another option is to use root-killing chemicals like copper sulfate around those areas to discourage any potential growth.

Grease buildup is another common issue for sewers, which can often occur if grease accidentally enters the system by being washed down sink drains. To avoid this problem:

  1. Never pour hot cooking oils or greases down the drain; instead, let them cool off before disposing of them properly in either a garbage bag or compost bin.
  2. Be mindful of what goes into the kitchen sink; make sure only food waste gets swept up and carried away when washing dishes instead of letting scraps escape through the drain grates.
  3. Clean out the kitchen sink strainer on occasion so that it doesn’t become clogged with debris over time and allow more food particles to enter the drainage system than normal.

This will help keep your drains clear and running smoothly without having to deal with future blockages caused by oil or fat accumulation inside your pipes.

Next, we’ll discuss one other major factor behind blocked sewage systems – debris buildup.

Debris Buildup

Debris buildup is one of the most common causes of sewer drain clogs. With everyday activities such as washing dishes, running the dishwasher, and taking showers, small bits of food and soap can easily enter your drains and accumulate over time. To prevent this from happening you need to make sure that these items don’t end up in your sink or shower drains by being mindful when disposing of them.

Additionally, having a mesh strainer in all kitchen sinks will help catch solid particles before they get into the pipes.

Grease build-up is another major contributor to clogged sewers. Grease enters your pipes when oils, fats and other greasy substances are washed down the drain with hot water during cooking activities like boiling eggs or washing pans. This grease can start to harden inside your plumbing system as it cools off and eventually lead to a complete blockage if not removed regularly. To avoid this issue, be conscious about what goes down your drain while cooking; make sure any leftover oil is wiped out onto paper towels instead of rinsed away with water.

Keeping an eye on trees near sewage lines is also important for preventing potential backups. The roots of trees have been known to grow into drainage systems which can break through pipe walls creating cracks and holes leading to clogging issues throughout your home’s plumbing network. Keeping vegetation trimmed back at least five feet away from where underground piping exists should help reduce blocking problems caused by tree roots encroaching on pipes.

Moving forward, broken pipes must also be taken into consideration when dealing with blocked sewer drains…

Broken Pipes

Broken pipes are an unfortunate and often unavoidable cause of clogged sewers. A broken pipe can be caused by a number of things, from age to wear and tear to extreme weather conditions or other accidents. It’s important for homeowners to regularly inspect their plumbing systems in order to identify any potential issues before they become too serious. If you suspect your home may have a broken pipe, it’s best to contact a professional plumber as soon as possible.

Preventing sewer drain clogs due to broken pipes is mostly about staying proactive and being aware of the condition of your plumbing system. Regularly inspecting all visible piping can help alert you to any changes that could indicate damage, such as cracks on the surface or bulges along the length of the pipe.

Make sure also that downspouts and gutters around your house are clear and functioning properly so water doesn’t back up into them and potentially leak through weak spots in the walls or foundation into your basement or crawl space.

By taking preventative measures like these and having regular inspections done on your sewage system, you’ll hopefully be able to avoid costly repairs due to blocked drains caused by broken pipes – not only saving yourself time and money but avoiding unnecessary stress as well! With this knowledge in hand, let’s move on to what happens when people flush items that don’t break down easily…

Flushing Non-Biodegradable Items

Moving on from broken pipes, another common cause of sewer drain clogs is items that don’t break down.

Flushing non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, paper towels, and sanitary wipes can lead to blockages in the plumbing system.

These objects do not disintegrate like toilet paper does, instead, they form a bond with other debris in the pipe creating an obstruction.

This can cause severe backups both inside and outside the home.

To avoid this type of problem it’s important to only flush biodegradable material such as human waste and toilet paper.

It’s also best practice to keep any foreign objects out of the drains altogether by disposing of all trash properly – either through recycling or throwing them away into designated containers.

Keeping kitchen sinks free from food particles is also essential, since these bits often get washed down into the main sewage line.

It is possible to avoid clogging your sewer lines by being mindful about what goes down them and regularly inspecting pipes for potential damage or leakage.

If you ever notice strange smells or slow drainage then call a professional plumber right away so they can assess the issue before it becomes more serious.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Have My Sewer Drains Inspected?

It’s important to have your sewer drains inspected regularly in order to ensure that any clogs are identified and taken care of before they become a bigger problem.

Depending on the size of your property, it is recommended that you get your drain inspection at least once a year.

If you live in an area with frequent heavy rain or have multiple family members using the same system, then more frequent inspections may be necessary.

What Should I Do If I Suspect A Clog In My Sewer Drain?

If you suspect a clog in your sewer drain, the first thing to do is not attempt to plunge or use chemical cleaners.

This can cause serious damage and even create more blockages down the line.

The best course of action is to contact a professional plumber who can inspect the drains and determine what’s causing the issue.

They’ll be able to provide advice on how to proceed and recommend any necessary repairs.

Are There Any Natural Products I Can Use To Unclog My Drain?

If you suspect a clog in your sewer drain, there are several natural products that can be used to unclog the drain.

Baking soda and vinegar is one of the most popular methods; pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar.

Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before flushing it with hot water.

You can also use boiling water to help break up clogs or even snake out any blockages using an auger or plumbing snake.

Are There Any Chemical Products That Are Safe To Use In My Sewer Drain?

When it comes to unclogging your sewer drain, chemical products can be a safer alternative than natural-based solutions. However, you should always use caution when using any type of chemical cleaner as it may contain harsh ingredients that could damage your plumbing system or cause other issues if not used properly.

It’s best to look for a product with non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients that are safe for the environment. Additionally, make sure to follow all instructions on the label in order to ensure proper usage and maximum effectiveness.

Can I Use A Drain Snake To Unclog My Sewer Drain?

Yes, you can use a drain snake to unclog your sewer drain. The device is designed for clogs caused by hair and other debris that accumulate in the pipes over time.

A drain snake is inserted into the pipe and then pulled out with any blockages attached to it. If done correctly, this should successfully remove any existing clogs from your drains.

Be sure to take safety precautions when using a drain snake, as they can be dangerous if not handled properly.


It’s important to be proactive and inspect your sewer drains regularly. This will help you spot any potential issues before they become major problems.

If you do suspect a clog, there are several natural or chemical solutions that can unclog the drain. Additionally, using a drain snake is an effective way to break up stubborn blockages.

By staying on top of maintenance and being aware of common causes of clogs, you’ll protect yourself from costly repairs in the future.

I hope these tips have been helpful!