We all know that the worst toilet problems is a clogged main. The panic that sets in as the water rises and the trying to remember where the plunger ended up after the last time it became clogged and the trying to decide if you should call in the middle of the night or wait until morning. Everything about it is unpleasant, so here are some tips to help keep the main clear.
Keeping Your Main Sewer Clean
First, do not plant trees in the path, on top of, nor in close proximity to your main. With newer pipes this is not as much of an issue, but in an older home, the main is ceramic. With age, normal wear and tear, and the shaking from little and big earthquakes, cracks and breaks will occur. Newer pipes are made of sturdier, more reliable plastic materials, but it is always better to keep areas around pipes free of roots.
These openings which can happen in ceramic pipes are prime territory for roots to creep in, cause more damage, and plug the main. Toilet paper and anything else not small enough to pass through tangled roots will get caught. How long it takes to back up to the house is never predictable, but it will happen.
If you have large trees which you wish to keep, it is advisable you replace the main pipe leading from your home to the street. If you are not prepared to do this in the immediate future, it is also a good idea to install a clean-out at the front of your house. A clean-out is a pipe leading up to the surface connecting to the main which allows easier access for a large snake to clear the main. It avoids having to remove toilets and make mess in the home.
When large trees are an issue, we strongly recommend maintenance of your pipes by doing a snake now and then to clear the roots and avoid a massive back=up to the house. We can assess your plumbing system and advise as to how often you should take this action.
Other recommendations are that you not use bum wipes as they are thick and end up being culprits in clogs. Do not use toilet scrubbing brushes that use flushable scrubbers as they may perhaps not dissolve as quickly as necessary to keep the line clear. If these are must haves in your home, we are happy to provide the regular snaking maintenance to help prevent clogs.
Avoid using toilet paper that is ultra thick. This is especially true in an older home. Old pipes are struggling to stay intact and any extra pressures to the system will eventually cause problems. There are some wonderfully soft one-ply and septic safe products on the market these days and they are much more suited to a difficult plumbing system.
Of course, the usual advice is to never flush facial tissue, make-up remover pads, cotton balls, paper towels, diapers, infant cleaning wipes, feminine hygiene products, nor condoms. These are all notorious clog makers.
If you are ready to replace your sewer line, we are happy to do the work for you and we are expert in replacing the main sewer line to your home. We recommend replacement of your old main, but if you can’t do so immediately, please contact us to check out your system so we can help you make a plan to do regular line clearing with a snake, (particularly if you have trees near the pipes.)
In the event the water starts to rise and won’t stop, turn the water to the toilet off immediately and contact us. We provide service 24 hours a day and remember, WE DO NOT CHARGE EXTRA FOR EMERGENCY AND OFF-HOUR CALLS!