How to maintain a sewer line

Home Improvement

Low Areas (Sags and Bellies)

Low areas can, depending on their severity, slow down the movement of debris or stop water from flowing through a sewer pipe. If there is enough solids or debris in a low area it can block the flow of water and cause a blockage. This can lead to a costly, often inconvenient, and sometimes expensive backup. Yes, there can be more than one low point in a sewer line.


Knoxville Plumbing is committed to providing the best plumbing services possible, ensuring that you, as our client, and we as professionals have peace of mind. In addition, we strive to exceed your customer service expectations. The buildup occurs when food waste material sticks to the pipe walls and then hardens inside. This is most common in cast iron. This condition is most commonly caused by high protein materials such as fats and oils, as well as grease. The pipe’s ability to pass through the blockage is affected by how thick it becomes.

Tree Roots

Because these connections are not always sealed like pvc pipes, tree roots can get into the pipes at joints of concrete and clay pipes. Cast iron may contain tree roots, which is a sign that the pipe is deteriorating and is rotting.

Roots will grow and multiply as long as they are present. The risk of a blockage occurring is low if the root web does not expand to the extent that it covers the entire pipe.

Tips for maintaining your sewer line

These tips will help you maintain your sewer line and drains in your house and office, if any of the conditions described above are present. We are not plumbers but we can help you maintain the secondary lines (e.g. kitchen drains, floor drainages, etc. The environment and health of the mainline sewers can be affected by water rushing into them.

Keep food down the kitchen drain

This is a great HABIT to use for all kitchen drain lines, regardless of whether you have any problems. Food waste, which is typically heavier than other waste intended for the sewer lines, flows slower and can collect in the line.

As much food waste as you can into a trash container. Do not allow any crumbs or small pieces to be left behind.

Properly dispose of non-food items

You should not flush small items down the toilets or drains such as rubber bands, twist ties and cigarette butts. These items are not able to be completely flushed through the plumbing system. These materials are not flexible and can become stuck in the pipe, accumulating on other debris, and eventually causing a blockage.

Extra-thick toilet paper for toddlers and adults, extra-thick baby wipes, toilet cleaning pop-off pads pads, tampons and baby wipes, sanitary pads and other items labelled ‘flushable’ can get caught up in the sewer pipes.

Toilet paper one-ply

One-ply toilet tissue dissolves faster than other brands, even though it might not feel as soft on the “tush”. One-ply toilet paper is more affordable and clears pipes faster. Look for a brand with the symbol “septic and safe” if you are choosing a two-ply brand. This will ensure that the lines are not blocked by roots and helps to maintain low areas.

Flush the Plumbing System

Fill all water holding devices, including the washer and dryer, with cold water once a month. As these drain, flush all toilets as fast as possible. This is a simple and inexpensive solution that will not last forever.

To flush high volumes of water, set toilets

If you have identified significant low areas or a slope with a good camera system, it is not always advisable to use newer low-volume toilets.

The slope of the waste drains from the toilet should be between 1/8-in. 1/4-in. Per foot for water to transport solid waste to the sewer. The flow of water may cause clogs if the slope is too steep, or too low.

A slope that is negative is caused by shifting soils, age, or construction error. Water will collect in the pipe, and the force of a larger, more powerful toilet is what will remove the waste.