Preventive Maintenance to Ward off a Clogged Sewer or Drain
Sewer and drain line blockages occur due to misuse, wear and neglect. Not much can be done to prolong the life of a sewer line when wear is the culprit for a failing sewer. However, we can address issues of misuse and neglect to prevent having a clogged sewer or a clogged drain.
“Misuse” is using the sewer system to dispose of objects or types and consistencies of fluids for which the sewer and drain lines are not intended to convey for disposal. (Grease, petroleum, cooking oil and dissolved fat).
“Neglect” is when we take the position of ‘my sewer is out-of-site, out-of-mind’ and it is autonomous and self-sufficient.
Both, ‘misuse’ and ‘neglect’ will result in a clogged drain or a sewer back up. Even if you do not abuse your sewer and drain lines, a video inspection of the sewer line should be done in order to provide the home owner with peace of mind and time to prepare if it appears the sewer is becoming unreliable due to root intrusion or wear.
- What can we say about the bathroom sink drain? A lot of unintended misuse occurs at the lavatory to create a clogged bathroom sink. Toothpaste, shaving cream, hair gel…etc. are hard on drain lines. Even if you use hot water to flush it passed the drain line to the sewer line, the water eventually cools and there sits the congealed paste, oil and gel. What we can do to provide maintenance to bathroom drains as well as the kitchen sink drain is introduce a bacteria or prepackaged selection of enzymes formulated for house hold drains. Ultimately, bacteria is the better option since bacteria will produce the correct enzyme to destroy buildup based on what elements the “sludge” is comprised. Bacteria will also destroy odor causing bacteria. See Bathroom Sink Odor.
- The bottom line here is, do not flush anything that is not intended to be flushed. Flushable wipes are not going to traverse a cast iron sewer. Anything is “flushable” to a point. Flushable wipes should not be disposed of by any other means than the bathroom waste basket. They will only flush to where they get caught or the water runs passed them. Then, the “flushable” wipes will sit in the line, trapping particulate matter and building sludge. Or, they will certainly trap any other non-flushable items such as feminine hygiene products, paper towels or napkins.
Root Intrusion use Root-X
- Root intrusion occurs where the sewer is not sealed and sewage leaks into the earth. During the winter months, it may appear the trees and shrubs are dormant and no growth occurs. However, cold climate produces an arid atmosphere. Trees and shrubs need to absorb water to ensure they do not dry out due to arid air. During the winter months, the ground temperature is a constant 56 degrees below the frost line. If sewage is leaking out, be certain that roots will find their way into your sewer in cold or warm temperatures. If this happens, the roots need to be cut out. However, a root destroying product such as Root-X should be used to prevent growth within and around the sewer after the sewer line is cabled. Even better, high pressure water jetting will be more effective at clearing the roots from the sewer and then follow up with Root-X. Some communities, such as East Providence, Rhode Island will pay to have a member of their community receive a Root-X treatment on a clogged sewer line where the blockage is due to root intrusion.