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The Ins and Outs of Outdoor Plumbing Blockages

How to Deal With a Plumbing Blockage

If you own a home, chances are you’ve had to deal with a plumbing blockage. If you haven’t yet, you probably will at some point. Even with diligent maintenance sometimes pipes can become blocked. Blockages can occur in indoor plumbing, drain lines, sewer mains, septic tank lines, and landscape drains.

Depending on the severity of the blockage, it will need to be handled in different ways. In this article, expert plumbers will cover some of the risks associated with your outdoor plumbing system and what you can do to prevent damage in your home.

What Does Your Outdoor Plumbing Entail?

outdoor plumbingOutdoor plumbing is the most neglected part of your home’s system. Whether it is your sewer main, landscape drains or septic system, chances are slim that homeowners consider maintaining these components.

Because they’re outside, you likely worry less about them. However, they are just as susceptible to damage as your indoor plumbing system. For example, your home's sanitary sewer lines can become clogged with grease, hair, debris flushed in toilets and even tree roots.

Septic tank lines can fill in with silt over the life of the system. Landscape drains can clog with leaves and soil runoff. All of these problems can leave you without a working plumbing system in your home.

Why Are Outdoor Pipes Clogging?

The cause of outdoor plumbing blockages is simple: foreign objects block the flow of water. The most common outdoor blockage is a backed-up sewer main. Sewer main blockages are almost always caused by flushing products down the toilet that are not flushable. Despite how products are advertised, only fecal matter and toilet paper should be flushed.

Upon flushing, these items break up and flow through pipes easier. No other products are designed to break up as completely as toilet paper, and thus will lead to major blockages. Tree roots are also a major contributor to outdoor plumbing blockages.

outdoor pipes

Landscape drains become blocked with leaves and silt that wash down into the lines. All landscape drains should be fitted with screens to catch big debris. Sumps are low spots in a drain system that should also be installed to catch soil and debris. To protect your outdoor drains make sure to keep screens clear and sumps empty.

If your home is on a septic system it can still become blocked. Having the system pumped on a regular schedule is the most important thing you can do to prolong the life of your system. Over time, debris can end up in the lateral lines. Given enough time, the debris can clog up the lines, preventing the whole system from draining properly.

To protect your system as a whole, never pour grease down sinks. Even with a garbage disposal, most food should be discarded in the trash can. Also, installing hair traps in showers and sink will prevent hair and other foreign objects from ending up in your drain system, preventing clogs in your entire house.

When All Else Fails, Try Hydrojetting

hydrojettingFortunately, there are processes available to remedy most blockages. The most popular technique is called hydrojetting. During the hydrojetting process, a hose with a special tip is pushed into the blocked pipe.

Water is pumped into the hose at high pressure. The pressure blasts the blockage loose and cleans the walls of the pipes. Hydrojetting is safe on your pipes and one of the most effective drain cleaning methods used by expert plumbers.

Not only does it remove the blockage completely, but by cleaning the walls of the pipes, future blockages are prevented as well. Of course, this method must be done by a professional plumber, so it’s always a good idea to have a trusted company you can call.

About Dutch Enterprises

Dutch Enterprises has been providing drain cleaning services in Cape Girardeau, MO for over 50 years. Offering both plumbing and HVAC services, their expert staff always has a solution. Take advantage of their award-winning services, and keep your indoor and outdoor plumbing working at its best.