Drain Blockage – Its Causes and Repair Methods

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Finding a drain blockage can be more difficult than one might imagine when the blockage is all the way in the sewer drain line.

When detecting drain blockages that far down the line, the solution might be more extensive than expected.

Read below about four common ways that sewer lines become blocked and how trenchless drain repair can frequently resolve the problem without the need for major excavation!

Common Causes of Sewer Line Blockages

While it is fairly easy to dislodge a minor clog in an interior drain pipe, this is not always the case when finding a drain blockage that has made it all the way to the sewer line.

After detecting drain blockages in the sewer line, professional attention is usually necessary.

Among all of the reasons these clogs can form, there are four most common causes of sewer drain blockages to be aware of:

  • Hair - Hair flowing down the shower drain is responsible for a vast majority of blockages, both in the home and in the sewer line. Bunches of hair that knot up and get stuck inside pipes will slow and eventually block the passage of water as they become stuck with soap and other residues. This type of blockage can be easily prevented with a drain cap to catch hair, but a major repair like trenchless drain repair might be required if the blockage has made it to the sewer line.
  • Paper Products - The second most common cause of significant blockages, both in the home drain lines and further down into the sewer line, is flushable wipes, which technically should not be flushed because they tend to get caught in sewer lines. The use of too much toilet paper can also ball up in pipes, eventually causing a blockage.
  • Dirt and Mud - Heavily soiled clothing, washing muddy dogs, and flowing outside dirt down the drain can all result in blockages when that dirt gets mucky and sticky, then contributes to the grimy coating that can develop inside many drain pipes. Frequently, sewer lines end up partially or fully blocked by thick mud and dirt that has collected over time, sometimes worsening other blockages like hair and paper. Excessive mud and dirt on fabric going into the washing machine or even on pets, should be rinsed off outside first, away from drains, to reduce the amount of dirt flowing into them.
  • Tree Roots - Unfortunately, finding a drain blockage caused by tree roots is common, as it is hard to prevent them from growing into older clay sewer lines, especially when fine cracks are present. Because they seek out moisture, roots will grow right to and through sewer lines, breaking them or causing blockages. The only repair solution for this problem is replacing the sewer line.

Trenchless Drain Repair For Sewer Drain Blockages

Detected drain blockages within the interior pipes can usually be unclogged using chemical solutions, snaking, or hydro-jetting.

When the problem lies further down in the exterior sewer lines, the pipes must frequently be excavated at the point of the blockage and repaired or replaced altogether if the lines have widespread damage.

Alternately, trenchless drain repair can be a better option, as it can be performed without major excavation.

This method, which involves only opening a hole at either end of the underground drain line, unclogging it, and then using a technique like pipe bursting, slip lining, or CIPP (cured in place pipe) lining, can be done faster, more affordably, and without excavating the entire drain line.

Choose Trenchless Drain Repair For Major Drain Blockages

Detecting drain blockages can be frustrating, especially when they are all the way along into the sewer line.

These common causes of drain blockages can sometimes be prevented by being more careful about what goes down the drain in the first place, although some drain blockages are nearly unavoidable.

When a major blockage is detected in a sewer line, homeowners should look into trenchless drain repair and a local plumbing service.

They will save money, get a cleaner repair, and have their sewer line back in working condition in a fraction of the time as traditional sewer repair!

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