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Tips for Preventing Sewer-Drain Problems

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It's vital to your health and well-being that the sewer line from your home is clear and draining well. The sewer lines can be difficult to tend since they are typically buried underground and can extend well beyond your property line. You are generally responsible for the entire line until it hooks up with the municipal sewer main. The following tips can help you avoid major problems and the expenses that digging up the line can entail.

Tip #1: Know the location of your sewer line

Knowing the basic area of your sewer line can help you avoid issues. You can sometimes find this information at your city offices. Simply look up your lot drawing, which should detail the basic location of all the utilities that run underground and connect to your home. Unfortunately, these details may not be available for some older homes. In this case you can get a rough idea of where the line runs by finding where the sewer pipe connects to your home and tracing the line out to the sewer-access cover in the sidewalk or street in front of your home.

Failing this, the other option is to rent a sewer-pipe camera that also provides mapping capabilities. These are placed down the pipe inside the home. You then use a second device above ground to locate the camera below ground, which will allow you to trace the underground camera's path so you know where the pipe is at.

Tip #2: Manage trees

Once you know where the sewer pipe is, you can more effectively manage the trees and shrubs in your yard. This is because root encroachment on sewer pipes is one of the more common causes of major issues. The best defense against roots is to avoid planting near the pipe or to remove any trees that are growing over the pipe.

Another option is to install a root barrier on either side of the sewer pipe. This barrier extends several feet underground so that roots can't grow through it and reach the pipe. You must know the exact location of the pipe to install this barrier without causing damage.

Tip #3: Perform regular inspections

Another reason to rent a sewer camera is to perform inspections annually. This allows you to catch small issues before they become expensive problems. A camera will allow you to find areas where clogs are forming as well as track root growth into the pipes. You can also see whether any section of the pipe is deteriorating so you can begin setting aside money for a replacement.

If the camera reveals an issue, act quickly. Most small clogs or early root encroachment can be handled easily with a rooter, which you can rent for a DIY job or hire out. You can also change behaviors, such as what you are putting down the drains, if you notice a pattern to what is causing the clogs.

For more help, talk to a drain servicer or a drain-camera rental provider.