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Sewer Backup: Dealing with Odors and Blockage

Dealing with a pesky sewer backup or noxious sewer odor is no one’s idea of a pleasant afternoon. Sadly, they are an unfortunate but common household occurrence.

Will you be fully prepared to protect your family and property the next time you experience a sewer backup? Even if you think you are, you may still be missing some key elements for a lasting fix.

Keep reading to learn all about how to deal with any sewage backup issue. We have everything you need to know right here!

What is Sewer Odor?

Sometimes, the first sign of a possible sewer issue is a bad odor. Did you know that this odor is caused by a mix of gases that could put your safety in danger?

The combination of gases that occur when sewage decomposes can cause respiratory issues and other problems if left untreated. If you notice a bad smell (sometimes compared to rotting eggs) in your home, it is a surefire sign that you have a leak, clog, or crack in your plumbing.

What Causes a Sewer Backup?

One of three things usually cause a sewer or septic plumbing backup:

Busted Sewer Lines

Older properties can easily experience cracks and breaks in sewer pipes. Age and rust are the prime culprits here.

Tree Branches

Big trees and sewer systems do not make a good combination. The tree’s roots can crush or grow into your sewer pipes.

A Clog or Drain Backup

A clogged pipe can mean a backup in one area of your home. However, a clogged sewer line will cause a backup in every area of your home. Either way, the blockage needs to be removed immediately.

Tips for the Most Effective Sewage Backup Fix

The best way to deal with sewage backup issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This prevention is simple to achieve by performing routine sewer and drain maintenance.

However, if you do experience a sewage backup in your home, follow these tips to minimize damage:

  • Do not run any taps or flush any toilets.
  • If you use products to treat a clog, make sure they are enzyme-based. Harsh chemicals may cause further damage to your plumbing. (Plus, enzymatic cleaners are more environmentally friendly!)
  • Keep animals and kids far away from affected areas.
  • Turn off your home’s power if possible. If not, steer clear of electrical equipment.
  • Wear gloves, a facemask, eyeglasses, and rubber boots.
  • Open every window possible to provide your home with ventilation.
  • If you have chlorine bleach, add a tiny amount to any still water to promote some disinfection.
  • Call a professional plumber as soon as possible. Never attempt to fix a sewer backup issue on your own.

Wrapping Up

Remember the info and tips above to keep your family and property safe from harm or damage in the event of a sewer backup. The more proactive you can be about your sewer maintenance, the better.

If you do run into trouble, be sure to remain calm and to act as quickly as possible. Sewer gases and backups can be dangerous and need to be treated as such.

Have any questions about this article? Feel free to contact us anytime. We are here to help!

Proactive Plumbing has provided dependable plumbing services, installations and repair for more than 15 years. We service Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido and other areas of San Diego County.