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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

How to Tell if Your Sewer Needs Cleaning


Homeownership is hard! While it’s lovely to avoid negotiating with a landlord or worrying about whether you can put a hole in your wall to hang a picture, it also means that everything about your home is up to you. The roof leaks? Your problem. An appliance breaks down? Your problem. And some of the parts of your home can be pretty much invisible until something goes wrong. Your sewer line is out of sight and, as long as all goes well, out of mind. But sometimes it needs help. How can you tell that it’s time for sewer cleaning?

Like any home system, the key is knowing what signs to keep watch for. Once you know what would indicate a sewer line problem, you’ll be able to catch it right away, before anything terrible happens.

Your Sewer Line

All the drains in your home empty out in one place: the sewer line. It carries all the waste away from your home and to your sewage tank or municipal wastewater system. Many years ago, these sewer lines were constructed of hardened clay! Cast iron became the go-to material after that, but it’s susceptible to corrosion. Today, sewer pipes are made of PVC, but depending on the age of your home, you could still have a sewer pipe made of older materials. 

Sewer Line Problems

Even with an extremely resilient PVC sewer line, breakage does sometimes happen. It’s rare for it to be caused by ordinary digging, such as while doing lawn care, though you should be sure you know where your sewer pipe is located so you won’t strike it accidentally while gardening. Most sewer lines in colder climates are buried quite deep, so they won’t freeze. But breakage can be caused by naturally occurring issues. Tree roots are the most common offender. 

The problem that is the most likely to occur to your sewer line, though, is clogging. This can happen because of a single specific item going down the drain and causing a blockage all by itself. (A small child with a toy car and a fascination with flushing toilets can wreak a huge amount of havoc!) It can also be caused by gradual buildup of a variety of substances: mineral scaling from hard water, soap scum from the shower, or cooking grease from the kitchen sink.

Signs of a Sewer Line Problem

If you spot any of the following symptoms, it’s time to get a qualified plumber to come take a look. It’s likely that you need sewer cleaning in Short Hills, NJ, and if there are any other issues, such as sewer gas venting improperly or sewer line breakage, your plumber will be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

  • Slow drains
  • Frequent drain clogs
  • Multiple clogged drains at once
  • Unpleasant drain odors
  • Burbling sounds from drains
  • Sewage backing up from drains
  • Wet, smelly patches of lawn
  • Unusually green grass in part of the lawn

Keep in mind that the worst-case scenario here involves your home being flooded with backed-up sewage, so don’t delay! Get the help you need right away.

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for reliable drain and sewer cleaning and repair. Reach out to us today.

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