What causes a sewer backup and how to fix it

what causes a sewer backup and how to fix it

Are you experiencing a sewer backup in San Diego? Are you tired of dealing with the unpleasant smell and the potential health hazards that come with it? It’s time to take action and call a professional plumber to fix the problem. A sewer system backup can be a major problem for any homeowner. It can cause unpleasant smells, dirty water and even damage your San Diego home. The causes of a sewer backup can be varied, ranging from a clogged drain to a damaged sewer line. However, to fix a sewer backup, it is essential first to identify the cause and then take the appropriate steps to address it. In this article, we will outline the common causes of sewer backup and provide solutions for how to fix them.


What is a sewage backup, and why is it dangerous?

A sewage backup is a situation in which sewage flow in the pipes is blocked, causing the sewage to back up into the home or property. This can happen in the main sewer line, the pipes leading to and from home, or the individual drains within the home.

So far, sewage backups are dangerous because they can cause significant health risks to the people living in the home or using the property. The sewage can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can cause serious illnesses if they come into contact with humans.

Additionally, the sewage can cause damage to the home and its contents and lead to unpleasant odors and unsanitary conditions. It’s essential to address sewage backups as soon as they occur, as they can cause serious health risks to the inhabitants of the home or property.

They can also cause damage to the home’s structure, contents, and even the environment if not treated properly. In order to avoid this kind of issue, it’s essential to be aware of the common causes of sewer backup and take steps to prevent it from happening.

Signs of sewage backup

Sewage contains harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illnesses, and it can also cause damage to the home’s plumbing and foundation. For this reason, it is essential to be aware of the following signs of sewage backup to address the issue immediately.

Foul Odor

A foul odor is one of the most common signs of sewage backup. A strong, unpleasant smell from the drains, toilets or other home areas can indicate a problem with the sewer line. This odor is caused by sewage and other pipe waste buildup, which can happen due to blockages, cracks, or further damage to the pipes. The smell can be particularly strong in the basement, where sewer lines are often located. It is essential to address the issue immediately if you notice a foul odor in your home. In that case, a San Diego professional plumber should be called to assess the situation and determine the cause of the smell.

Gurgling Sounds

Gurgling sounds in the pipes can also indicate a sewer backup. This sound is caused by air trapped in the pipes and forced through the blockage. As the air struggles to pass through the blockage, it creates a gurgling sound. This sound can be heard in sinks, toilets, and other areas of the home where there are pipes. It is essential to address the issue immediately if you notice gurgling sounds in your home. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also indicate a significant problem with the sewer line that needs to be addressed.

Slow Drainage

Slow drainage in sinks, toilets, and showers can indicate a sewage backup. This can happen when there is a blockage in the pipes, causing water to flow slowly. Blockages can occur due to a buildup of grease, hair, and other debris in the pipes, tree roots, and other external factors. Slow drainage can also indicate that the sewer line is blocked or damaged. It is essential to address the issue immediately if you notice slow drainage in your home. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also indicate a significant problem with the sewer line that needs to be addressed. Get in touch with a San Diego plumber near you to assess the situation and determine the cause of the slow drainage.

Visible Backup

Visible backup of sewage in the pipes can indicate a severe problem. This can happen when there is a blockage in the sewer line, causing sewage to overflow into the pipes. Visible backups can occur in toilets, sinks, and other areas of the home where there are pipes. This can also happen in the yard or street if the blockage is in the main sewer line.

Causes of sewer backups

Understanding the causes of your residential or commercial building sewer backups is essential to prevent and address them effectively. So, what are the causes of sewer backups?

Blockages in the sewer line

The buildup of grease, soap, and other debris in the sewer line can cause blockages, leading to sewer backups. These substances can clog the pipes and prevent the proper flow of wastewater. Also, foreign objects, such as wipes, sanitary products, and toys, can get stuck in the sewer line, causing blockages and backups. These items are not meant to be disposed of in the sewer system and can create problems if they are not properly disposed of.

Aging or damaged sewer lines

Deterioration of the pipes due to age or corrosion can cause leaks, cracks, and other damage to the sewer line. These problems can lead to backups and spills of wastewater and sewage. More to this is the damage to the sewer line from construction, or natural disasters can cause blockages and backups. For example, a piece of heavy equipment can accidentally damage the sewer line during construction, or an earthquake can cause the pipes to shift and crack.

Additionally, the lack of proper maintenance and repairs adds to this aging or damaged sewer line. Besides, if pipes are not inspected and repaired regularly, minor problems can turn into bigger ones, leading to backups.

Overloaded sewer system

An overloaded sewer system can cause backups due to excess water and waste flowing through the pipes. This can happen when heavy rainfall or snow melts, causing an influx of water into the system. Also, grease, debris, or tree root blockages can contribute to an overloaded system. Improperly connected plumbing, such as from illegal sump pumps or downspout drain connections, can also overload the system by directing excess water into the sewer system.

Root intrusion

Lastly, root intrusion is a common cause of sewer backups. Trees and other plants have an extensive network of roots that can infiltrate and damage underground pipes, causing blockages and backups in the sewer system. These roots can also crack and break pipes, allowing debris and waste to leak into the surrounding soil and contaminate groundwater.

professional plumbers to fix sewer backup

How to fix sewer backup?

As seen above, sewer backups can be a major inconvenience and a health hazard. They can cause unpleasant odors, damage your property, and even contaminate your water supply. But how can sewer backup be fixed?

Whether you are a homeowner or a property manager, the following guide will provide the information you need to keep your sewer system running smoothly. From identifying the cause of the backup above to knowing what you should do, we will cover everything you need to know to get your sewer back to working correctly.

What should you do first?

The first step a San Diego homeowner should take to fix a sewer backup is to identify the cause of the problem. This can often be done by checking for blockages in the main sewer line, inspecting the property’s plumbing system, and determining any issues with the San Diego municipal sewer system. Once the cause of the backup has been identified, the homeowner should take appropriate action to address the issue, such as contacting a plumber or a professional sewer cleaning service to clear the blockage or making repairs to the plumbing system. The plumber or contractor can determine the cause of the backup and provide a solution to fix it. They may also recommend preventative measures to avoid future backups. However, it is essential to avoid attempting to fix the issue on your own, as it can be dangerous and may cause further damage to the sewer system.

Additionally, you can contact the municipal sewer department if the issue appears to be caused by a problem with the public sewer system; they will help you with the issue and guide the next steps.

How does a plumber fix sewage backup?

A plumber can fix a sewage backup by first identifying the cause of the problem. This can be done by visually inspecting the sewer line, using a camera to inspect the inside of the pipes, or using a plumbing snake and hydro-jetting to clear any blockages. Once the cause of the backup has been identified, the plumber can then take the appropriate course of action to fix the problem. This may involve drain cleaning, repairing or replacing damaged pipes, or installing a backflow preventer to prevent future backups. Additionally, the plumber may also recommend regular maintenance to prevent future backups.

How to prevent sewer backup?

Preventing sewer backups can be achieved by implementing the following measures:

  • 🔹 Proper maintenance of the sewer system: Regularly inspect and clean the sewer lines to ensure they are free of debris and blockages.
  • 🔹 Use drain strainers: Install strainers in sinks, bathtubs, and showers to catch hair and other debris before it enters the sewer lines.
  • 🔹 Dispose of grease properly: Do not pour grease down the drain, as it can solidify and cause blockages in the sewer lines.
  • 🔹 Do not flush non-biodegradable items: Do not flush items such as baby wipes, paper towels, and personal hygiene products down the toilet, as they can cause blockages in the sewer lines.
  • 🔹 Consider a backwater valve: A backwater valve is a device that prevents sewage from flowing back into your home in the event of a sewer backup.
  • 🔹 Be aware of heavy rainfall: Be mindful of heavy rain and take action to prevent a sewer backup. This could include diverting water away from your home or ensuring your gutters are properly functioning.

Implementing these measures can greatly reduce the risk of a sewer backup in your home.

choose almco plumbing for sewage backup repair

Call Almco Plumbing to fix the sewer backup in San Diego

Don’t let a sewer backup ruin your day. Call Almco professional plumber today and get the problem fixed quickly and efficiently. Our experienced plumbers are equipped with the latest tools and techniques to diagnose and repair any sewer backup issue in San Diego. Our professional team of plumbers understands the urgency of the situation and will work quickly to get your sewer system back in working order.

Don’t wait any longer. Call us today to schedule an appointment. Our plumbers are available 24/7 to address any emergency. We help you keep your home or business safe and healthy. Don’t let a sewer backup disrupt your life any longer. For booking sewer backup repair, contact us now and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. Together we can keep San Diego’s sewer system running smoothly.

Vlad Khorenko

He started working at Almco Plumbing in January 2016. In 2018 became the owner of Almco Plumbing. He has built a great team – 10 people in the team, 9 of them are plumbers. According to Vlad’s words, the team is his greatest treasure. Vlad and his wife have three sons and are building a family owned business. Their mission is to be honest and fair with the great people who live in San Diego. Vlad has a plan to expand plumbing services to other cities in California by building an Almco plumbing franchise network.

Published: 31.01.2023

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