Is My Sewer System Backed Up?

When a sewer gets backed up, the cost to repair it can wind up being thousands of dollars in total for damages. Often times the surrounding areas, such as: floors, walls, electrical systems, and other items can be damaged during a back up.
What causes sewers to get backed up? How can this issue be detected? You have questions… and good news! We have answers.


One of the top reasons for a clog in your sewer lines is a result of solid materials building up from the sewer pipe connecting your house to the municipal sewer line. Sewage will get backed up anytime waste cannot push through pipes and the sewer line.
While there are various reasons for sewer issues, there are some common occurrences for you to be aware of:
  1. Older Sewer Systems – Many sewer lines across hundreds of thousands of miles are typically decades old. Connecting more homes to older sewage systems ages them at a quicker rate. With older sewer systems, backups can be commonplace in the form of basement flooding and overflows.
  2. Damaged Sewer Pipes – Similar to aging pipes, homes that are older can experience problems with pipes that were made of PVC, clay, and cast iron. These materials are intended to hold up for long periods of time, but they are not invincible. Often times, deterioration as the pipes age can lead to cracks or a total collapse.
  3. Sanitary Sewer Overflow – This condition occurs when sewage is flushed out from a sanitary sewer into the environment before it reaches sewage treatment facilities. This will block sewer lines, and create issues in the sewer lines during heavy rainstorms. When this arises in a city sanitary main and is not immediately fixed, the sewage backs up into surrounding homes and buildings via floor drains.
  4. Tree Roots – One might think nature and plumbing are two separate issues, but in specific cases, they are strongly intertwined. Small tree roots and shrubs that are in search of moisture can actually find their way into cracks in sewer lines and service pipe joints. As you may have guessed, when the roots continue to grow, the damage can be much more extensive than just a sewer backup.
  5. Combined Pipelines – Systems that run rainstorm water and sewage into the same pipeline run the risk of getting filled up with more waste than the pipes can hold. Too much volume in an inadequate space will naturally backup and fill drains and basements with the excess waste.


Using your eyes and nose is a quick way to detect issues with sewage. Smelling waste or actually seeing substances bubbling in drains or gurgling in toilets are clear prompts that there could be more problems to come.


If you are experiencing a sewer backup emergency, we encourage you to contact your local plumber as soon as possible. Overtime, sewer backups can not only destroy your valuables, damage your home or place of work, but it can also lead to disease if it’s not properly resolved.
At Graydon Faulstick Plumbing, we are prepared to answer your questions and assist you in your plumbing needs. You can reach us at 570-992-0447 or 610-381-4171 for more information.
By |2019-10-10T13:25:19-04:00October 10th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments