3 Common Causes of Basement Sewer Pipe Backups & How to Identify Them

If you own a home with a private sewer pipe under your basement, it's extremely important that you do your best to fix any backup problems you find as soon as they appear. While it's true that all types of sewer backups have similar characteristics, it's nonetheless important to identify the cause of your problem in order to find the most efficient solution. So when you're diagnosing what's wrong with your basement sewer pipe, keep these three common causes in mind.

Tree Root Blockage

It's surprising how easily tree roots can infiltrate modern pipes so much that a complete blockage is caused. If you live in an area with a lot of trees close by, it's especially important for you to make sure that they're not the cause of your backup.

The classic sign of a tree root blockage is a small but steady stream of water. This is a very reliable symptom because tree roots rarely block a pipe completely. Another sign to look out for is a very slow decline in water pressure from normal to drastically reduced levels.

Complete Pipe Collapse

While almost all homes built today come with very sturdy pipes, some older homes contain relatively flimsy plumbing materials. When you combine these flimsy materials with the effects of age, it's no wonder that complete collapses of pipe sections under particularly strong pressure are so common.

When your water pressure goes from normal to almost zero in a matter of days, pipe collapse is almost certainly the cause. Another telling sign of pipe collapse is when the little water that does come out comes in inconsistent sputters. This is a result of a tiny amount of water finding its way through the dirt around the wreck and into the other side of your pipe.

Faulty Backup Valve

In most sewer systems, a backup valve is a device that allows you to completely stop the flow of water. The purpose of stopping the water would be, of course, to diagnose any problems with your plumbing.

However, it's not uncommon at all to see this backup valve completely fail and lock itself halfway into the on position. If you find that your water pressure doesn't change at all no matter which way you turn your private backup valve, this is almost certainly what's wrong.

Your basement sewer pipe is an incredibly important and fundamental part of your home's plumbing system. Don't let some small problem with it go unaddressed because you can't even figure out what's wrong. Instead, ask professionals such as Alpha-Omega Plumbing Repair come and address the concern.