Most homeowners do not think about their plumbing systems until they have a problem. Many have to replace their sever at some point. In a recent Angie’s List poll, nearly 25% said they had replaced their sewer while only 3% said they were planing to do so. If your sewer is 40 years old or older, you may be in need of a sewer replacement. There are things you can do to extend the life of your sewer system.
8 Sewer Maintenance Tips:
- Consider a sewer video inspection service. It can be nearly impossible to know what is going on inside your plumbing lines without having a video camera inside. This may sound like an extravagance but can end up saving you a lot of money later on. This kind of sewer line inspection can save you a lot in sewer replacement costs.
- Find a good plumbing company before you need one If you wait until you have a major problem, you will end up paying more and you may not have the time to find the right company for your home’s needs. Talk to a few before you have problems and it will make your life a lot easier when you do.
- Watch your trees and bushes. Root damage from trees and bushes that are planted too close to the lines is a common cause of problems with your lines. Having your bushes and trees too close to your lines can also make routine maintenance hard to compete.
- Clean your lines often. At least once a month you should run a cleaner with biological enzymes through the lines. Experts recommend using enzymatic cleaners over those with harsh and abrasive chemicals because they are better and safer for your pipe systems and are very effective at cleaning out the pipes.
- Use a rooter on your pipes at leas once a year. If you are diligent with your monthly enzyme cleaning, you should be able to only do a rooter cleaning once a year but no less frequently than that. If you are not able to use an enzyme cleaner every month, you may want to look into doing the rooter cleaning more often.
- Be careful what you flush down the drain. Most people know to not toss sanitary products and other hygiene products. They can wreck havoc with your plumbing systems. The only things that should be flushed are human waste and toilet paper. Paper towels should never be flushed.
- Do not flush cat litter down your toilet. If you have cats, it may seem like an easy way to clean the litter box. Clay cat litter turns into cement in your pipes. Avoid really costly drain pipe repair by throwing your litter out (you can bury in the backyard, too). If you do get litter down the drain, pour in lemon dish soap and warm water. This can remove some of the problem.
- Buy a snake. If you call a plumbing service to come use a snake to fix a clog, it will cost you anywhere between $10 and $200 each time. If you have a drain snake of your own, you can save that cost.
- Consider replacing problem pipes. If you have parts of your plumbing that is a lot older than the rest, you may want to consider replacing those sections. A leak can lose 10,00- gallons of water a year. That adds to your bills. These older segments of pipe can also cause a lot of problems.
One thing that causes homeowners to pause before considering a sewer replacement is the inconvenience. Once the new sewer has been put in, there is the hassle and expense of dealing with the landscaping that has to be completely redone. Many homeowners do not know that trenchless sewer replacement and repair is available. These services can cost anywhere between 30 and 50% more than traditional methods but can be very cost effective because of the savings in redoing any landscaping.
Sewer maintenance and plumbing in general is not something most people like to spend time thinking about or working on. If you own your home, it is worth it to spend some time each month to keep your lines clean and clear.