Just down the road in Mesa this past December, raw sewage began bubbling up out of the ground. Residents of the affected apartment complex noticed the smell and saw human waste and toilet paper floating down the stream of water. And where did it all end up? In a children’s playground.
A Stinky Situation
Over time, the pipes under your home can become corroded, deformed, or weakened by seasonal ground conditions. As backups occur, the pipes flex, and if weak enough, can burst from the pressure.
As ground conditions change or deformities occur, the pipes can simply collapse from a weakened structure. When a situation like this does occur, you get what the residents of Mesa got last December, a raw sewage leak.
If your home was built before 1950, you could have another serious issue with your plumbing system: tree roots. Older homes used clay pipes for their plumbing system, and to join different sections of pipe, cement was used. As the cement erodes, tree roots find their way into your pipes to leech nutrients from the waste running through. The roots can end up causing clogs, or in a worst case scenario, growing right through the clay, causing leaks.
Enter: The Snake
A common tool in the plumber’s truck is a plumber’s snake, or a mechanical auger. The auger is made from a long coiled metal cable that your plumber feeds through your pipes. As he rotates the cable using a hand crank, or the motor in a motorized model, the tip corkscrews its way through the debris and corrosion in the pipe. When your plumbing gets backed up, a snake is powerful enough to either grab the clog so your plumber can pull it out, or, in the case of tree roots, cut through the blockage.
When Do You Need A Snake?
If you have a sewage leak, you needed a snake a year ago!
When you start to notice minor issues with your plumbing, it could mean you already have a serious problem you simply can’t see. A raw sewage smell without surface leakage could indicate a crack in your pipes, or sewage coming up into your bathtub could indicate a severe tree root clog.
Most plumbers will recommend an annual snaking of your drains and pipes in ideal conditions. If you have a large household, a multiunit building, or trees growing along your sewer line, it may be a better idea to schedule bi-annual sewer snaking. By performing routine maintenance, you can keep your existing pipes clear, ensuring they last as long as possible without failure.
Performing routine maintenance is easy, and when compared to fixing a severe problem requiring digging and pipe replacement, is easy on the pocketbook. Snaking your drain and sewer pipes is not a long process, and most plumbers can perform a full inspection of your plumbing system to ensure no issues might arise in the future.
As with most things in life, a good preventative maintenance plan can go a long way to keeping your sewage from becoming a stinky situation! That is where Mr. Rooter Phoenix can help.