Published On: Thu, Feb 23rd, 2017

What Causes Sewer Backups?

Sewer backups are a plumbing emergency that one dreads to even imagine. Modern cities are full of buildings, parking lots, and other construction, and slowing down the flow of water in heavy rain becomes difficult with lessening green spaces. As a result, it helps to be prepared for sewer backups.

Chicago is built over a swamp, and a high water table causes sewers to overflow regularly. However, it’s not difficult to find reliable plumbers in Chicago, such as Mike’s Chicago Plumbing Services, which offers 24 hour plumbing help in the city.

Here are a few common reasons why sewer backups occur.

Blocked Sewer Pipes

Something as trivial as a simple clog in the pipes can cause a really bad sewer backup. Signs that your main sewer line is clogged include sewer backups with every flush. Sewer clogs are easily preventable by following a few steps:

  • Avoid flushing napkins, diapers, and chewing gum down the toilet.
  • Do not dump large quantities of trash in the garbage disposal, since it could become lodged in the sewer line.
  • Never pour grease or fat down the drain, as it could harden within the pipe, creating stubborn clogs. Edible items like mayonnaise, coffee grinds, eggshells, and orange peels can coagulate with grease.

Flooding Photo/Sic Mic

Damaged Sewer Pipes

This is another reason why one could need an emergency plumber in Chicago. Broken or collapsed sewer lines often contribute to sewer line problems. Sewer pipes get damaged due to insufficient ground support or earth movement. Sewer gas odor is a tell-tale sign that your sewer pipe has a crack. This is especially common in clay piping belonging to older homes. In case of a backup, look for services offering 24 hour plumbing support for a quick solution to your problem.

Tree Roots

Backup problems caused by tree roots are quite common in Chicago too. Roots are drawn towards the sewer line for the water and nutrients found inside. As the roots grow, they create blockages in the pipes. Clay piping aggravates the problem, with its porous surface to which the roots conveniently cling. The problem is even worse in the dry season, when scarcity of water drives the roots to seek out alternative sources like your sewer pipes.

Mike’s Chicago Plumbing Services is one place you can look for 24 hour plumbing. They will clean the line mechanically to clear it as far as possible. This will usually be followed by using Root-X to clear any remaining vegetation.


Densely populated urban spaces often experience sewer backups in heavy rain. The reasons for this include vacant land under development, paved-over grassy areas, and even changes in the weather. Sewer backups caused by heavy rain present unmanageable situations and one must immediately look for emergency plumbers in Chicago. To prevent rainfall-related backup issues, get corrective work done on your plumbing, including installation of backwater check valves.

City Sewer Blockage

If the cause of your sewer backup cannot be found within your home, you can blame the blockage on the city sewer. Unless detected and treated in time, it can seriously affect the area’s residential/commercial sewer lines.

Author: Dharmendra

Flooding photo Vicpeters

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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  1. What Causes Sewer Backups? | mikes plumbing chi... says:

    […] Sewer backups are a plumbing emergency that one dreads to even imagine.  […]

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