preparing for plumbing emergencies
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preparing for plumbing emergencies

Do you have a plumbing repair kit in your home to make emergency repairs quickly? Having everything you need in one bucket or box can help you eliminate some of the stress that comes with plumbing emergencies. On this blog, you will find out what you should have in your kit and some basic tips about making these repairs to avoid further damage to your home. It is my hope that you will find more than enough information to keep your home dry, your drains draining, and a peace of mind and lack of stress to tackle these dreaded household occurrences.

preparing for plumbing emergencies

How Can You Avoid A Surprise $5,000 Bill For Sewer Line Replacement?

Veronica Torres

No matter how well you budget your money, a surprise $5,000 bill can rock your world in an unpleasant way. One of the most common surprise, expensive home repair bills is that for sewer line replacement. The main line that runs from your home to the street-level sewer system can become clogged, blocked, or collapsed, and at that point, your only choice might be to have it dug up and replaced. You can't really say "no" to this repair when it becomes necessary -- because if you do, your toilets won't flush and your sinks won't drain!

So, is there anything you can do to make sure you don't have to cough up an emergency $5,000 (or more) for a new sewer line? Thankfully, there is. 

1. Don't flush unusual items.

Flushing a single tampon or wet wipe won't cause your sewer line to clog. If you flush one or two and don't have a problem, you might assume that flushing these items is therefore okay. But the problem you should be worried about is not an immediate one. Rather, these items can slowly catch on and get stuck on debris or mineral buildups on the interior of your sewer pipe. As more and more items get caught, the blockage grows, until one day, it blocks the sewer line completely. 

Don't flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. The package might say "flushable," but that is just included for marketing purposes. It's not the truth. Wet wipes, tampons, cotton swabs, paper towels, and cotton pad belong in the wastebasket, not in the toilet.

2. Never put grease down the drain.

Grease is a common culprit in clogs that eventually block sewer pipes. You probably know better than to pour a whole pan of bacon fat down the drain, but little bits over time are bad, too. Scrape fatty drippings and sauces into the trash rather than letting them go down the drain. Never put meat trimmings or salad dressing down the garbage disposal. And if you use hot oil treatments on your hair or coconut oil as a face mask, dispose of oil used for rinsing outside in your lawn, rather than down the drain.

3. Don't plant trees near the sewer line.

Locate your sewer lines. If you cannot figure out where they are, check your home's blueprints or survey, or contact the local sewer service and have them come to mark the line with flags. Once you know where the sewer lines are located, avoid planting trees or even large bushes within 20 feet of the lines. Tree roots grow in search of water, and your pipe is a great source of water. If trees are planted too close, their roots grow into the line, which will definitely lead to the need for replacement.

4. Call the sewer company at the first sign of trouble.

Many homeowners notice that their drains are slow or that there are weird odors coming from the drain, but since things are still working overly well, they don't call the sewer service quite yet. Don't make this same mistake. Call your sewer repair company at the first sign of drainage issues. If you do, they might be able to clean the sewer pipe out with a hydro jet or other equipment. But if you wait, the damage might become worse and warrant a full pipe replacement, which costs a whole lot more.

While there is nothing you can do to 100% guarantee that you don't have to replace a sewer pipe, you can take steps to reduce your risk. Talk to a sewer line repair company in your area to learn more.