Backed-Up Sewer Line? Here's How to Minimize the Damage

Backed-Up Sewer Line? Here’s How to Minimize the Damage

January 29, 2020

Sewer line backups are never fun to deal with. The first sign of trouble will generally either be a slow drain or a gurgling noise. If it’s just in a single drain, then it should be a fairly simple problem to resolve with a plunger or a drain snake. But if you have other drains backing up when the toilet is flushed, or the kitchen sink is draining into your basement, then the issue is likely the sewer drain backing up into your building drain.

The most common causes of sewer backups include clogs caused by tree roots, a proliferation of fats, oils and grease going down the drain, sump pump discharges and flushing items that aren’t meant to be flushed.

Here are a few steps to take if you have a backed-up sewer drain in Bay City, MI:

  • Know where the drain cleanout is located: Your sewer drain line is the primary drainage pipe that begins two feet outside your outer foundation wall and runs to the sanitary sewer main. Normally the drain cleanout will be located on the lateral line, between your house and the sewer main. Look for standing water in the cleanout. Take off its cap, and if you don’t see any water, the backup is somewhere between the house and the cleanout, making it your responsibility to deal with. If the cleanout is full, the blockage is most likely in the city’s main sewer line, which means you should contact the city immediately so they can repair the problem.
  • Consider shutting off electricity: There are some cases, depending on the severity of the backup, in which you should consider shutting off electricity to your home, or at least the breakers to affected areas. This is only if there’s a major risk to those affected areas and you’re experiencing flooding. In that case, you’d also want to shutoff gas and water supplies.
  • Get professional help: If you have any raw sewage that has backed up into your home, you may need to dispose of a lot of items. It also helps to contact professional flood and sewage remediation teams. If sewage came into contact with your forced-air furnace and central air system, you’ll absolutely need to call in professionals for cleanup. In addition, any time sewage has been in your home for more than 24 hours, you need to call in professionals to get the cleanup done safely and correctly.
  • Clean up yourself with proper precautions: There are some circumstances in which you can deal with some of the cleanup yourself, so long as you take the proper safety precautions. This is more likely to be an option when the backup is not severe. Make sure you take quick action if you’re going to deal with it yourself, because the longer the sewage sits in your home, the greater of a chance you have of water damage and illness.

For more information about the steps for dealing with a backed-up sewer in Bay City, MI, contact the experts at Thornton Brothers Sewer Service today.

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Thornton Brothers Sewer Service
2476 Larry Ln
Bay City, MI 48706

(989) 684-1400

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