Safety Tips in Avoiding Plumbing Overflow

clogged sink

Maintain and Repair Sewer Laterals

A sewer lateral, also known as a building’s sewer, is the waste disposal pipe connecting a home or business in the street. Blocked and collapsed sewer laterals can lead to sewer backups into a property. Have your sewer lateral inspected for blockages, breaks, and leaks. If a problem is detected, repairing, replacing, or relining your sewer lateral can help prevent sewer backups.

Keep Drains and Sewers Clear of Fats, Oils and Grease

Fats, oils, and grease can cause blockages in sewer pipes and lead to plumbing overflow. Grease should never be poured down sink drains or into toilets or garbage disposals. Instead, pour grease and oil into a covered disposable container and put it in the trash. Food scraps, meat fats, dairy products, and butter and margarine should never be put down the drain or into a garbage disposal.

Consider planting trees away from lateral drain lines to prevent roots from damaging piping.

Keep Wipes out of Pipes

There are many new disposable wipes that claim to be “flushable” and “sewer safe.” However, these wipes do not break down as they travel through pipes and into the sewer system. Wipes can create clogs in both household plumbing and the public sewer system and result in overflow.

Wipes that should be disposed of in the trash, and not flushed down the toilet, include:

  • Bathroom wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Towelettes

Properly Install Sump Pumps

Install sump pumps to help keep your home dry by pumping ground water away from your foundation. Sump pumps must drain to your lawn or other yard area. It is illegal to have the sump pump connected to the sewer system. Such connections allow a tremendous amount of water to enter the system which, in turn, causes the sanitary sewer to exceed the pipe's capacity during wet weather and sewage can overflow into nearby ditches and streams or backup into downstream homes.

Properly Install Backwater Valves

Heavy rainstorms can cause overland flooding and sewage backups into homes or businesses in low-lying areas. While overland flooding cannot always be prevented, sewage backups can be avoided if your property is properly equipped with a backwater valve.

A backwater valve is a fixture that is installed on a sewer line or drain in the basement. A properly installed backwater valve prevents the reverse flow of water, keeping sewage from entering your property.

Disconnect Your Downspout

A downspout, also known as a roof leader, carries excess stormwater from roofs and gutters away from homes to yards and grassy areas. Some downspouts are improperly connected into the sewer system. Improperly connected downspouts need to be disconnected. Improperly connected downspouts can overburden the sewer system during heavy rain events and result in sewer backups onto streets and into properties. Disconnect downspouts from sewer system and redirect to drain into the yard or other landscaped area. This removes excess flow from the sewer system and greatly reduces the chance of plumbing overflow.

Washing Machine Failure

Washing machine claims in the study averaged more than $5,300 per incident after the deductible was paid.

Ways to Reduce Damage

  • One burst inlet hose, and your laundry room is flooded in a matter of minutes. Replace rubber hoses every three years and consider upgrading to sturdier braided steel hoses.
  • When leaving the house for an extended period of time, turn off the hot and cold water supply valve to reduce failure risks.
  • Don’t try to cut corners by overloading the machine, and use it only while someone is at home.

If you are living in the surrounding areas of Colorado Springs or Leadville, Colorado, and need help with plumbing overflow or similar problems, don't hesitate to call: 719-301-3737 and we, at KW Construction & Restoration, will immediately send aid. We're sure to help you solve problems caused by water and fire damage. We also include mold remediation and other restoration services, sure to bring your home back to its pre-damaged condition, if not better.