Common Causes of Sewer Backup

There’s nothing worse than a sewer backup in your home or yard. While the issue may start with something small, it can quickly turn into a huge problem. Septic tanks can often be a big problem, especially in this part of the country. Learn the common causes of sewer backup, as well as the ways to identify a problem with your septic tank. Identifying these problems early on will help minimize the damage and cleanup to follow.

Sewer Backup Causes

Depending on the specific cause, it may be an easy or extremely difficult fix. Learn to not only identify, but prevent or mend these issues:


  • Clog - Similar to the drains in your home, the sewer lines can clog, leading to sewage backup. If every toilet flush you make creates a backup throughout your home, the clog is most likely not just in the drain, but in the main sewer line.
Sewer Backup Causes

  • Tree Roots - Depending on the tree, roots can spread quite a distance. Even your neighbor’s tree can creep in, affecting your sewer line. These roots can grow into the pipes causing holes, or wrap around the line, breaking them.
  • Collapsing Lines - This could be caused from a number of different factors, including the material used.
  • Aging Lines - Over the years, the pipes of your sewer system will begin to break down. This can be manifested in the collapsing lines, or an inability to handle a large load.
  • Combined Lines - There are some sewage systems built that combine the drainage system with it. These are often newer systems. While they are generally fine, during times of heavy storms they can be overloaded, causing them to break.

Protecting Your Septic Tan

While certain things can’t be avoided, there are steps you can take to protect the septic tank and lines of your sewer system. Follow these steps to better protect your home, better preventing a problem with sewage lines:

  • Don’t throw things down your toilet - While it may seem natural to throw tissues or napkins down the toilet, don’t do it. These materials aren’t designed to break down like toilet paper is, leading to clogs.

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  • Don’t abuse the garbage disposal - The garbage disposal is nice, but don’t abuse this appliance. Avoid putting large quantities or difficult to break down foods.
  • Never put grease down the drain - Grease will enter your drain a liquid, but quickly clog up as it goes down, creating problems further down the line.
  • Take a shower, not a bath - The surge of what is known as “greywater” can displace bacteria essential to your septic tank.
  • Choose the right trees - Some tree’s roots are much more extensive than others. Avoid trees with deep uncontrollable roots, instead sticking to other varieties that will not interrupt the lines of your sewer.
Protecting Your Septic Tan
  • Have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis - Your septic tank should be pumped about every three years.

Take care of your sewage lines and septic tank. Be diligent in identifying the problems that may be caused here. Attend to these issues sooner rather than later. If these issues are left alone, more extensive water or mold damage may result. Take care of your home by taking care of your septic tank.

Take care of your sewage lines and septic tank