When the Drainage System Backfires: Troubleshooting Sewer Line Blockages


A properly functioning sewer line is essential for a clean and healthy environment. However, when it is blocked, it can lead to major problems, such as sewage backup, unpleasant odors, and even property damage. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of sewer line blockages and discuss some troubleshooting tips to help you prevent and fix them in Stewartville MN.

What Causes Sewer Line Blockages?

Sewer line blockages can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Tree Roots: Tree roots can grow into pipes, causing blockages and damage.
  2. Grease Buildup: Grease and fat from cooking can accumulate in pipes, leading to blockages.
  3. Flushing Non-Flushable Items: Flushing items such as baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, and paper towels can cause blockages.
  4. Foreign Objects: Items that are not meant to be flushed down the toilet, such as toys or jewelry, can also cause blockages.
  5. Aging Pipes: Pipes can become corroded and break down over time, leading to blockages and leaks.

How to Troubleshoot Sewer Line Blockages?

If you suspect that you have a sewer line blockage, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem before calling a professional.

  1. Check for Multiple Drain Clogs: If multiple drains in your home are clogged, it could indicate a problem with your main sewer line.
  2. Look for Sewage Backup: Sewage backup in your home or yard is a clear indication of a sewer line blockage.
  3. Listen for Gurgling Sounds: If you hear gurgling sounds when you flush the toilet or run water, it could indicate a sewer line blockage.
  4. Inspect Your Cleanout: Your cleanout is a pipe with a cap that provides access to your sewer line. If you remove the cap and see standing water, it could indicate a blockage.

What to Do if You Have a Sewer Line Blockage?

If you have a sewer line blockage, it is best to call a professional plumber. They will have the tools and expertise needed to diagnose and fix the problem. Some common methods that plumbers use to clear sewer line blockages include:

  1. Hydro Jetting: Hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to clear blockages and clean pipes.
  2. Augering: Augering involves using a tool called an auger to break up blockages and push them through the sewer line.
  3. Video Inspection: Plumbers can use a video camera to inspect the inside of your sewer line and identify the location and cause of blockages.

Preventing Sewer Line Blockages

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to sewer line blockages. Here are some tips to help you prevent blockages from occurring:

  1. Proper Disposal of Grease: Instead of pouring grease down the drain, let it cool and then dispose of it in the trash.
  2. Flushing Only Toilet Paper: Only flush toilet paper down the toilet, and never flush items such as wipes or feminine hygiene products.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Have your sewer line inspected and cleaned on a regular basis by a professional plumber.
  4. Tree Maintenance: If you have trees near your sewer line, have them regularly trimmed to prevent roots from growing into the pipes.


Sewer line blockages can be a major headache for homeowners, but with a little bit of knowledge, you can troubleshoot and prevent them. If you suspect that you have a blockage, don’t hesitate to call a professional Stewartville plumber to help you diagnose and fix the problem. By taking steps to prevent blockages from occurring in the first place, you can save


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