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Plumber Washington DC » Articles » Sewer Problems

How to Detect Sewer Plumbing Problems

The Drain-Waste-Vent (DWV) pipes remove wastewater out of your home, through a sewer lateral and into the sanitary sewer. Also called a foul sewer, a sanitary sewer is connected to your home by a 6-inch underground sewer lateral pipe. Sanitary sewers are underground carriage systems transporting wastewater to the main sewage treatment facility. Sewer backups and offensive gas odors are the two most common sewer plumbing problems that homeowners call to repair.

Avail of Plumber Washington DC guide to the causes of domestic sewer faults:

Sewer Backups
Improper disposal of diapers, hygiene products and wet towels cause frequent clogs in sewer lines. Stubborn sewer obstructions prevent wastewater from flowing through the sewer lateral and into the sanitary sewer. Under such circumstances, sewage will reverse direction and backflow into homes instead. Apart from being highly unpleasant, sewer backups flood homes with dirty water and contaminate indoor spaces. Aside from sewer clogs, tree root intrusion also causes sewer backflows. Roots love water, and therefore tend to grow towards underground water sources like sewer pipes. Over time roots break into sewer lines and fill pipes with hairy root masses that trap debris flushed down the toilet. Unable to flow through hairy root and debris masses – sewage will change direction and backflow into homes.

Sewer Gas Odors
Every drain trap contains a water seal that blocks sewer gasses from penetrating the home. When you smell offensive odors in your home, most probably a drain trap has evaporated its water seal. This usually occurs in floor drains that are not used often and are located in the lower levels of the home. Pouring a gallon of water down the offending drain will generally rectify the problem.

Slow drainage of sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets is a clear warning sign that an obstruction has settled somewhere along the sewer line. Don't wait for slow drainage to turn into no drainage – call your local Washington DC plumber to flush away the clog and clean the sewer line from any other debris.

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