Ack! The sewer line is backing up! Here’s what to do.

Since the average American sewer line is 30 years old, you or someone you know is bound to have their sewer line back up on them once in their lifetime. There are a few things you can do to prevent this, but if it happens, we’re only a call away!

In all honesty, if your sewer line is starting to back up, there is probably an underlying issue that needs to be addressed by a professional as soon as possible. If you want to prevent a plumbing emergency like a flooded bathroom, there are a few things you can do to avoid a sewer line from becoming clogged, before calling in a pro to assess the overall health of your pipes. 


  • Check your roots

Tree roots can grow into older sewer lines. You can prevent line damage from roots by installing better drain lines outside your home or trimming tree roots.

  • Clear easier blockages

Check drains for blockages right beneath the surface. You may see hair, grime, or rust that has started to form in the drain. Unwrap a clothes hanger or use a drain snake to clear any debris from your kitchen and bathroom drains.

  • Dispose of grease, oils, fats, and “flushable” products properly

Fats, oils, and greases solidify as they cool, forming large globs that create physical blockages in your drain line. Never pour grease or cooking oil down the drain. Also, do not put anything in your toilet other than toilet tissue and waste. Do not allow paper towels, wet wipes, or sanitary napkins to go down the toilet. Even if these products claim to be flushable, they can still clog the system.

  • Replace old piping

As durable as they seem, pipes will not last forever. If you have older sewer lines leading from your home made of clay or cast iron, the age of the pipes makes them more susceptible to breaking from wear over time. Replacing your piping with plastic pipes will prevent age-related issues and tree roots from entering your line.

If you keep up on these preventative measures, you’re doing all you can to avoid a sewer line catastrophe, but there are a few things that are out of your control. If the worst-case scenario does happen and you have a sewer line back up and flood your home, turn off your main water valve ASAP and give us a call. Plumbing emergencies don’t care about evenings and weekends, so we’re here for you, 24/7, 365. (509) 535-3447 for service in Washington, or (208) 649-9991 for Idaho.

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