A sewer back up never makes your day better, whether there is damage or you have to take time off work for the plumber, it really isn’t convenient.
When a back up occurs, it may cause a bit of stress, and an urgent call to find a plumber ASAP. Before calling every number in the yellow pages, there are some options you can try depending on how bad the back up is.
Before attempting anything, you will need to figure out if the back up is isolated to one drain, one area of the house or is it the whole house. If the back up is for the whole house, stop flushing toilets, head back to the yellow pages and get a plumber out to investigate and solve the problem (if you live in an area with natural gas, be sure to ask if they will be getting a sewer lateral inspection or if they are required).
If the blockage is for an isolated area, there are a few things you can do. For those that don’t like chemicals or for a minor blockage, try pouring baking soda followed by vinegar in the drain. Flush with warm water.
Should the blockage be more stubborn than what vinegar and baking soda can handle, try a drain treatment. Follow the instructions on the bottle, let the solution sit in the drain for a while and then flush with warm water.
If this doesn’t solve the issue, and if you feel comfortable, try running a small snake down the drain.
If your drain(s) still aren’t clear after this, time to call a plumber. Be sure to ask what caused the blockage, so you can prevent a similar one in the future.
Ways to prevent future back ups
– Don’t pour grease down your drains – let it cool in a jar and throw out.
– Don’t flush feminine hygiene products, wipes, paper towel or toys down the toilet
– Start treating drains with drain treatment or baking soda and vinegar when they start slowing down
– Keep hair from going down the drain