708-298-9133 - Terry's Neighborhood Plumbing and Sewer Service
 Local Plumber Chicago
DEALING WITH SEWER BACKUPS
 Sewage backing up through the drains in your home or business is a very unpleasant situation, however, there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening to you.For starters, if an overflow occurs, you should discontinue your inside water use until the problem is corrected.  If you continue to use water and the sewer line is already blocked, the water has no where to go but back up through your drains and toilets and into your home or business.Any number of causes could be responsible for the sewer backup.  Some of the causes include:• Kitchen grease, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, and even the accumulation of some  types of cleaning materials and detergents can lead to a blockage.• Tree roots are a big problem, especially with older sewer lines, as they will grow through  cracks in the line to seek moisture.• Illegal hookups to the sewer system will allow excess water into the lines.  Items such as   rain gutters and sump pumps should never be hooked into the sewer system.  The City's   sewer system is only designed to accommodate a certain amount of water, and rainwater,  particularly during periods of heavy rain, would overload the system and cause problems.Do you have a clean-out?A clean-out is a pipe that rises to ground level from the sewer line and is normally capped.Many times, clean-outs become hidden or buried over the years, and are not readily accessible.In the case of an older home, a clean-out may not have been installed when it was built.  If your property doesn't have a clean-out, it would probably be a good idea to contact a licensed plumber to install one for you.If you have a sewer clean-out available, our personnel will be able to remove it and end the back-up.  If the blockage is in your sewer line, you will have to contact a plumber to clear the blockage for you.  .Hopefully, you will never have a problem with a sewer backup.  However, if you do, you can minimize any damage to your property by taking the following preventative measures:
DON'T• Put diapers or sanitary napkins in the toilet.• Dispose of kitchen grease down the sink drain.• Plant trees near sewer lines Q: What is a sewer clean-out?A: A sewer clean-out is a point of access at the property line where the sewer lateral can be serviced. It usually is 4" in diameter and has a steel or plastic cover over it. Normally, this clean=out is found in the basement of your home.
Q: How can I tell if my home has a sewer clean[out?A: Search your basement for a capped 4" diameter pipe. If you don't find one, check outside, in or around your house.Q: I can not locate my sewer Clean-out. What can I do?A: If you are unsuccessful in locating one, you either do not have one or it may be buried under dirt or concrete. A plumber can assist you in locating it.Q: Can I get my town or city to install a sewer clean[out if I do not have one?A: No. Sewer clean[outs belong to the property owner. It is the responsibility of the property owner to install a property line clean[out.High Water Bill?There are several ways to find out if your water bills are higher than they need to be. 1. Check faucets for dripping water.2. Fix a leaky faucet promptly. Be sure to check under sinks for moisture or leaks.Periodically check your toilets for leaks by:1. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank-not the bowl. A couple of tablespoons of instant coffee or Cool-Aid will work too. Check the toilet after about thirty minutes. If the water in the bowl has some color in it, the tank is leaking and the stopper and valve seat may need to be replaced.Check for underground leaks or undetected leaks in the home:1. Turn off the main water valve inside your home and then go outside and check your water meter. If it is still turning you may have an underground leak. 2. Alternatively, write down the numbers on your water meter at the beginning of a period when your home is going to be unoccupied for a few hours. Check the meter when you return; if the numbers have changed, there may be a leak somewhere inside the home.Keep your drains in working order!Place a strainer over kitchen and bathroom drains if they do not already have one; this will prevent hair, pieces of soap, and other debris from clogging drains. Clean the strainer as needed.Unclog a drain mechanically rather than chemically when possible.Use chemical drain cleaners sparingly, especially if your pipes or traps are brass, steel or cast-iron; some chemicals may corrode metal pipes. Try this instead: pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down your  drain every month. The drains in showers and in bathroom sinks typically need extra care; pour two or three gallons of boiling water down each bathroom drain about once a month to clear out hair and greasy particles. Every week or two, remove sink and tub pop-up stoppers and rinse them off. Every three or four months, remove the overflow plate on the tub- then pull up the pop-up assembly to reach the spring or rocker arm. Remove accumulated hair and rinse thoroughly.Out of Control Disposals!It is best to use COLD water- not hot water- when you run your disposal. Let the cold water run as long as the motor is running, and be sure to avoid overloading the disposal. Corn husks, artichokes, onion skins, celery, and other high-fiber material can clog your disposal. Do not pour fats or cooking oils into your sink. Liquid fats can solidify in cold drainpipes, trap food particles, and clog the drains. Do not put coffee grounds down the drain. Food particles which remain in your disposal can cause odors. Put a combination of ice cubes and lemon peel in the disposal, run it for about thirty seconds, and then run cold water through the disposal. Disposal cleaner or de-greaser my help too.