Your home has many different systems you rely upon every day to keep a clean and efficient living environment. Along with your home's electrical and HVAC, your home's plumbing is an important system you need to keep your family healthy. When problems arise from specific conditions in your plumbing system, you will need to remedy them and prevent them from occurring in the future. Here are some plumbing home maintenance tips to keep your plumbing system working properly so you avoid backups and drainage failures.
Know Your Plumbing's Condition
If you have just moved into a home or are considering buying a home, it is a good idea to find out the condition of the plumbing in the home, especially if the home is older or is not newly built. Over the decades, construction companies and plumbing professionals have installed a variety of plumbing pipes as home waste drainage pipes and sewer main lines.
For example, Orangeburg pipe was a common sewer main installed and used from the 1860s to the 1970s because it was inexpensive, as it is made from wood fiber pulp combined with tar pitch. Unfortunately, over time this type of pipe material collapses and breaks down under the weight of soil over top, resulting in your home's sewer drainage backing up and your sewer main needing replacement.
A plumbing professional can inspect your home's sewer main for any damage and clear out clogs to check and inform you of its condition and to remove any existing blockages, like sewage waste or tree root intrusion. Using a camera on the end of their sewer snake line, they can look at your sewer line from its interior below the soil. For example, your sewer pipe may be clogged due to tree root intrusion from your yard's landscaping or from a buildup of corrosion on cast-iron pipes, leading to an interior blockage or a point for sewage waste to snag and build up upon. After you know your pipe's condition and age, you can best make a decision about sewer line replacement in the future, especially if you begin to experience repeated sewer clogs.
Landscape Your Yard Sewer-Smart
As you make plans and begin work to add new or change existing landscaping, it can be helpful to consider your home's sewer line when beautifying your yard. If your home is connected to the local city's sewer system, you need to consider where your home's main sewer line runs below your yard. In many homes this runs from the front of your home out to the street, where it connects to the city's underground sewer waste main. Other homes may be connected into the city's sewer line through the side or back of their yard.
Once you know where your sewer main runs, plan to plant smaller types of vegetation in this location. Trees and other larger-sized vegetation can grow large enough that their roots can cause problems with the sewer line. Tree roots will seek out moisture and nutrients that are found within a sewer line, entering into a small opening in your pipe, where they will grow and clog its interior or crack the pipe. You can call your city sewer company to have them mark the sewer line's position within your yard so you know where to not plant any trees. And this can help you determine if you need to remove or manage any trees from your yard.
When you have a tree in your yard with roots that threaten your sewer line, you may not need to remove a tree to protect it from root damage. You can keep your sewer line clear with a treatment of rock salt to stop the root's growth but without killing your tree. Flush one cup of rock salt into a toilet of your home every couple of weeks. As the rock salt dissolves in the water, it will eliminate tree roots growing around or into your sewer line.
Contact a plumber for more information.