What to Do Before Your Sewer Backs Up

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Preventing Sewer Back Ups

Most homeowners with a sewer system realize that the biggest nightmare of all is the system backing up and overflowing. Of course, the disaster usually happens at the worst, most inconvenient time. Although not all emergencies can be 100% prevented, especially where natural causes (tree roots, severe rainstorms, flooding) are concerned, there are measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of your responsibility in case your sewer backs up.

Floor Drain

The most common method for preventing back up and flooding is by plugging the floor drain in your basement (the lowest entry level of a sewer system in the residence). Many home improvement stores stock a drain plug, composed of metal and rubber, specifically to keep outside sewer water out (but also, unfortunately, inside water in should a non-sewer-related flood occur within the house).

Install a Standpipe

Installing a standpipe onto the drain, as opposed to a drain plug, will keep the water in the piping system should the sewer become clogged and keep pressure from built up water the same on either side of the basement floor, reducing the risk of bursting pipes and thereby broken-up flooring.

Insert a Backflow/Backup Valve

In some cases, consulting a plumbing specialist about inserting a backflow/backup valve may provide helpful preventative measures to sewer flooding. The valve is usually placed at the lowest drain system of the residence and keeps any excessive water in the pipes themselves to prevent back flow. The valve is active all the time, held open by using counterweights to prevent any obstructions from sticking and lingering in the pipes. The valve itself is usually installed in the ground outside the residence and, should the sewer system attempt to back flow, closes automatically via floats.

Consistent Maintenance

As with things around the home that can break down over time when left alone, your sewer system should be consistently maintained. The lines can become clogged in unreachable places because of roots, leaves, grease, or many items put down sink drains or toilets that shouldn’t be. Not only inspecting the various components of your sewer system yourself but also by a plumbing professional regularly goes a long way in preventing emergencies that could have otherwise been avoided.

If you reside in San Diego or the surrounding areas and are in need of a sewer inspection or experiencing a plumbing emergency, the certified plumbing specialists at 1-800-anytyme are able to advise you on the most effective solution with your cost concerns in mind. In fact, we are available 24-7 every day (as well as holidays) for emergency and same day service. Call 1-800-anytyme today at 760-477-0072. We look forward to hearing from you!

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