Tips for Preventing Sewer Line Clogs

Tips for Preventing Sewer Line Clogs

Keeping your fixtures, drains, sewer cleanout, and main sewer line in top condition ensures that unsanitary waste successfully drains away from your commercial building. But rather than wait for clogs to occur, maintaining good plumbing habits helps prevent them for as long as possible. That saves on unnecessary repair, maintenance, and cleaning costs, and lets you continue providing excellent hygiene conditions for staff and customers.

What causes your main sewer line to clog (and how to prevent it)

Flushing debris down the toilet

The problem

Toilet drains are only designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. Disposing of other debris such as baby wipes, menstrual products, paper towels, chewing gum, or any other item down a toilet will lead to a clogged drain. This includes so-called “flushable wipes” which despite the name are in fact NOT flushable. Flushing these items can cause water to back up when the toilet is flushed, causing a major risk to sanitation and health.

The solution

Even if you train your staff not to flush unsuitable materials, there’s always a risk that your customers will. Make sure to put appropriate signage in your toilets asking them not to flush debris, and provide bins that you empty regularly for them to use.

If you still experience toilet drain backups, close the facilities off immediately and contact a commercial plumbing company to solve the problem. DMC Service provides 24/7 emergency plumbing near Kansas City, MO, to fix and clear clogged drains in record time.

Oil, grease, and food waste

The problem

Commercial buildings that feature a restaurant or kitchen often encounter clogged sink drains caused by oil, grease, and food waste. Water-absorbent foods like bread or rice are a particular issue, as these swell up and create blockages.

Many people believe that food disposal systems are enough to break up large materials, or that running hot water will prevent grease from sticking to your pipes. In reality, any solid materials can block a drain, and hot water eventually causes rapid cooling that makes oil and grease incredibly adhesive.

The solution

The best way to prevent sewer line clogs caused by oil, grease, and food waste is simply to never allow these substances to enter drains in the first place. All food should be placed in the trash before dishes and crockery are cleaned, and oil and grease should be poured into a container before being thrown away. You should also install (and regularly empty) drain traps or mesh screens to keep your drains clear of debris. Hiring a licensed plumber to regularly jet your sewer lines will also help ensure your drains stay unclogged.

Of course, small amounts of these substances will still end up in the drain. To ensure they don’t become a problem, clean your sink drains every month using a powerful enzyme cleaner. These don’t corrode pipes in the same way as chemical-based cleaners, and they’re much safer for you, your staff, and the environment.

Tree roots

The problem

Tree roots are constantly searching for sources of water. Since the main sewer lines of commercial buildings transport high volumes of liquid, nearby roots might latch onto your pipes. As they continue to extend, the roots might penetrate inside, causing your pipes to clog or break.

The solution

One option is to remove any trees that grow near your main sewer line. But this can be extremely expensive, and you risk ruining the aesthetic appeal of your building that customers enjoy. And if you’re situated in a large urban area, you might not have the right to remove trees at all.

Instead, it’s recommended that you regularly pour a root-eliminator such as Root-X down your main drain. This kills any wayward roots that have made their way inside, keeping your drains free of blockages.

If the problem continues, contact a commercial plumbing expert to perform a more thorough root removal service. They will inspect your main sewer line using a video camera and either auger or jet it with specialized equipment to ensure your issue is properly resolved.

Old lines and poor connections

The problem

When sewer lines get old, they become more prone to cracking, breaking, and collapsing, and the plumbing connections can wear. High water flow also causes corrosion over time, which speeds up pipe degradation.

The solution

The best way to prevent your sewer lines from collapsing and clogging is to schedule regular inspections and maintenance from a commercial plumbing company. This highlights early signs of potential blockage or failure, and allows you to avoid the high costs and lengthy downtime of sewer line replacement.

Signs of main sewer line clogs

Maintaining good plumbing habits lets you prevent clogs for as long as possible. But it’s also important to recognize signs of main sewer line clogs so that you can resolve potential issues before they impact your business.

Signs that you might be experiencing clogged drains and pipes include:

  • Drain backups: this is when an obstruction causes water to rise up out of a pipe rather than drain away through it.
  • Slow drainage: if water is draining slowly, there’s likely a blockage that’s preventing optimal water flow.
  • Strong and unpleasant smells: sewage and germs might be entering your building through your pipes, putting staff and customers at risk.
  • Water in the sewage cleanout: unscrew the lid of your sewage cleanout to check if it’s holding water, and contact a professional plumber immediately if it is.
  • Strange noises: such as bubbling or gurgling from flushed toilets, sink drains, and nearby fixtures.

Contact DMC Service for commercial plumbing services near Kansas City, MO

At DMC Service, we provide 24/7 commercial plumbing repair, maintenance, and installation to midsize businesses in Kansas City, Olathe, Lenexa, Overland Park, and North Kansas City. Our team of highly trained plumbers are available to inspect your pipes and drains, and to fix any symptoms of clogging.

Contact us today for a fast and efficient commercial plumbing service.

diamond strong dedication

Founded in 2004, DMC Service, Inc. is proud of our decades-plus service to the Kansas City Metro and beyond. Based out of Olathe, we are a 100% woman-owned business with Karen Crnkovich at the helm as President and “Chief Hand-Shaker.” Karen leads the DMC Service team with unwavering passion and enthusiasm to fulfill our purpose: To keep people comfortable, safe and healthy.