Frequently Asked Questions about Sewer Maintenance

Q: What might be causing my water to look dirty?

A: If you water doesn’t seem to be clear, you may have a broken water pipe or a broken sewer line near your tap water line that is dirtying the water. These openings are allowing dirt to get into your water line. Fischer Sewer can help you identify the problematic piping and repair or replace it so that your family is sure to have access with clean and safe drinking water.

Q: What are the most common causes of sewer line blockages?

A: Buildup of common household substances like kitchen fats, oils, and grease (F.O.G.) is one of the number one causes of sewer line blockages. Sometimes soap buildup, clay, sand, and mud can also clog lines. When children are living in the home, another common cause is toys or similar debris that the children accidentally lose down the toilet.

For these reasons, regular maintenance of both your water and sewer systems is necessary to guarantee proper functionality and longevity. A Fischer Sewer representative can help you clean your pipes or replace ones that have been damaged in addition to installing vertical clean-out vaults or pipes along the water system to permit easy cleaning.

Q: What strange things can clog a sewer line?

  • False teeth
  • Disposable diapers
  • Toilet paper and cardboard holders
  • Jewelry, money, and other valuables
  • Food scraps, egg shells, banana peels
  • Gasoline

Q: How do I know whose responsibility the plumbing problem is?

A: Depending on what the plumbing problem is, it may be your responsibility or that of the city. If the drains in your home are backing up, it is most likely a city problem in which case you should contact your utility company. Most other drain problems noticed in the home are due to blockages caused by inhabitants, however.

For problems on the lawn, sidewalk, or street, you may want to contact your municipality or community head to find out if others are having problems and whose responsibility it is to take care of a repair. The sidewalk is the most general dividing line between your responsibility and that of the city, including sewer lines.

Q: What are common plumbing problems found in older homes?

A: Most homes built after the 1980s created water and sewer systems using sturdy PVC piping, while before that most waterlines were made of clay or concrete. These older pipes are liable to shift and fall out of place, be punctured by tree roots or animals, or succumb to environmental circumstances over time. Sluggish drains in your home can be a sign of any of these issues.

Q: When should I have my side sewer inspected?

A: Your side sewer pipe is important for the proper functioning of your property’s entire sewer system. Leaks in these pipes can cause severe health issues that affect everyone on the property and should be taken very seriously. Fischer Sewer recommends getting a maintenance check on your side sewer if it is more than twenty-five years old or not made of PVC piping.

Q: How do I locate my sewer lines?

A: Unfortunately, while city sewer lines tend to be well-mapped, many private properties have no record of where sewer lines lay. If you cannot find a map of your property’s water system, your City Engineering Office may have a sewer permit on file with information about your property. If you still can’t find your sewer lines, the experts at Fischer Sewer can help you trace your piping through GPS locating services.

Q: How does a vapor trap prevent sewer odors inside the house?

A: All sewers will emit some odors, but vapor trap doors can mostly prevent these odors from seeping into your home by holding back water and gases that are traveling up the pipe in a “U” shaped device underneath the sink. Odors can be due to the evaporation of this water, especially in bathrooms where the water is rarely used. Periodically pour water through the sinks to change the water and eliminate the odor.

Q: Why is the root vent important?

A: Homes need a plumbing vent that extends onto the roof to allow air to flow through the plumbing system and aid in the passing of water. Gases from the sewer also escape through this vent. Sometimes these vents can become clogged with bird nests or other debris, so make sure the space is free around the vent is free.