Outdoor Plumbing Clogs 101
An underground plumbing clog can cause problems both inside and outside the home. Although the blockage may be inside the sewer line, outdoor plumbing clogs can cause toilets to overflow. This eventually reroutes dirty water into other parts of the home.
Homeowners May Have a Problem If…
Outdoor plumbing blockages are difficult to detect because they are near the yard. Fortunately, homeowners do not need to dig a trench just to determine if there is a problem.
Bathroom and kitchen sinks will no longer drain properly if the sewer line is damaged. This is not an isolated issue. Backed-up sinks are likely to occur in multiple areas of the house simultaneously. Even though the clog only blocks one pipe, water that cannot flow freely will stream into different branches of the sewer system. This affects toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
Unusual odors are another sign of clogging. Because underground plumbing includes sewage, this smell can permeate throughout the house. It is especially noticeable when faucets are first turned on and may also emanate from the floorboards.
Nutrients from the sewer often cause sudden green patches in the yard. These nutrients create lush spots where plants grow faster and larger than in other lawn areas. If the ground is damp despite the lack of rain, this is likely due to a problem in the main line. A trained professional will have the right diagnostic tools and skillset to locate the blockage as well as eliminate it.
How Does an Underground Plumbing Blockage Form?
Outdoor plumbing clogs can still occur even if a homeowner has never touched the outside drain. This is because the plumbing system is interconnected with indoor piping used daily. The same kind of clogs that end up in bathroom drains can also manifest underground.
Outdoor factors that influence the sewer system include tree roots and broken piping. Old piping that is not insulated may need to be replaced if pipes are beginning to crack. Putting this off can lead to a burst pipe which is much more expensive than maintenance.
Tree roots are one of the most common issues with outdoor blockages. Aggressive roots will naturally gravitate toward the sewer system because of its nutrients. Roots will widen the gap if there is already a small break in the structure. Homeowners should know where their sewer line is located before planting trees so outdoor clogs can be avoided.
To prevent outdoor plumbing issues, certain lifestyle habits can be improved. For instance, flushing feminine hygiene products or baby wipes should be avoided regardless of the brand. Pouring excessive grease down the kitchen sink is also not recommended unless the drains are cleaned regularly. It is possible to prevent underground plumbing clogs if homeowners keep their plumbing system well-maintained.
How To Get Rid of Outdoor Clogs
Clearing tough clogs requires a certain skill set. Because specialized tools are dangerous, homeowners should consider hiring a licensed technician.
Drain snaking is a process designed to break down blockages. The auger is carefully lowered into the drain until the clog is located. By using a drill, electric drain snakes will destroy heavy clogs.
Hydro jetting is often considered a more efficient way to get rid of clogs. This involves using highly pressurized water to blast away tough particles. Hydro jetting will eliminate cooking grease, unlike using a drain snake.
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