3 Ways to Avoid Sewer Clogs (And the Messy Aftermath!)

Anything you can do to avoid sewer clogs is easier and more pleasant than cleanup after one happens. Few plumbing problems are more disruptive to normal household life than a blocked sewer. It can also be a major cause of property damage as well as a health issue — raw sewage is a biohazard and professional treatment may be required to decontaminate the premises and restore a safe indoor environment. While a sewer pipe backup typically strikes without warning, it’s not usually an inevitable event. Here three ways to avoid sewer clogs and their messy aftermath.

  • Stay “flush aware.” Be careful about what goes down the toilet. Realize that virtually any paper products other than toilet paper will not disintegrate inside your sewer pipe and may form a clog. Also “disposable” products such as baby wipes and cotton balls should be disposed in your outgoing garbage, not flushed down the toilet. In the kitchen, don’t pour liquid grease down the drain — it doesn’t stay liquid very long and will harden into sludge in your sewer.
  • Landscape smartly. Don’t plant trees or large shrubbery close to the underground path of your sewer pipe. These plants send feeder roots into sewer pipes, particularly in older pipes with joints. Tree root infiltration is a major cause of sewer clogs. Certain species of trees and shrubs have more aggressive root growth and are likely to invade a sewer pipe while others are considered “sewer safe.” Before planting, consult a local nursery to determine the best type.
  • Eliminate the element of surprise. What you don’t know about what’s going on inside your sewer can cause problems. Since the sewer pipe is underground, you won’t see any visible signs of trouble until it happens. Schedule a sewer evaluation every three to five years. A qualified plumber can thread a video camera into the pipe and visually inspect the entire span to detect clogs, tree root infiltration, collapsing pipe segments and other common problems.

For more ways to avoid sewer clogs in Cincinnati — as well as fast professional service if they occur — contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.

"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
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"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
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