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Sewer backup to the basement? When your home is at a lower level than the surrounding sewer main lines, you may be at increased risk for a sewer backup. Sewer backups can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in property damage from contaminated water, making it a serious risk for NJ homeowners on low-lying properties.
At A1 Sewer & Drain Services, we’ve seen our share of sewer backups at NJ homes and businesses. With helpful preventive measures and 24-hour emergency sewer repairs, we can help you prevent sewer backups and stop them when they happen. To find out more, or to schedule sewer repairs in NJ today, call us any time at A1 Sewer & Drain Services, at 201-645-0888.
How to Tell if Your House is Lower Than the Street
To figure out whether you’re at a heightened risk of sewer backflow, you need to figure out whether your home is lower than the sewer mains under the street. Ideally, your home should be at least twelve inches above the nearest upstream sewer manhole. Realistically, however, much of New Jersey isn’t completely flat, and houses built on a slope may be lower than the sewer mains.
To find out, go out to the curb near the street. You should find an “S” stamped in the concrete, possibly painted green. If you can’t find it, look for something marked “sewer.” This is your curb cleanout, which may look like a miniature sewer manhole. You may also have a cleanout near the edge of your home’s foundation. If you don’t have a cleanout, you should have one installed by a NJ sewer plumber.
Standing at your curb, find the nearest upstream manhole in front of your house. You can “connect the dots” to figure out where the lateral connects, about 5 to 10 yards out from the curb cleanout.
Is your basement or lowest part of the house at least a foot above the cleanouts, manholes, and sewer line? If not, your home is at risk for basement flooding and sewer backups. You may want to install a sewer backflow preventer valve to help protect your home in case of a burst sewer main line or another emergency.
Common Signs of a Sewer Backup in New Jersey
On properties where the lowest part of the house is further down than the elevation of the sewer pipes, the risk of sewer backflow is increased because your wastewater is already flowing against gravity. Sewer pipes can back up due to clogs, bellied pipes, or sewer pipe collapse.
It’s actually a relatively common problem that many NJ homeowners experience. If anything obstructs your sewer lateral, wastewater has nowhere to go. When it can’t get into the municipal sewer mains, it will flow back up into your pipes and drains, potentially flooding basements and bathrooms with fetid water.
- Clogs in more than one drain. Household sink and shower drains back up all the time, but if all of your drains are clogging at once, the problem is probably in the sewer line. This is especially true if it extends to drains and fixtures you don’t use often, like guest bathrooms or basement sinks.
- Water backs up in a different drain when you use a fixture. If your sewer line is clogged, bathtub drains can backup with water when you run the sink, and vice versa.
- Bubbles in your drains. Drains tend to bubble up when a sewer pipe is clogged. This is because air gets trapped in the pipes when water tries to make it past a clog.
- Toilets aren’t flushing. A sewer backup will prevent all of your household toilets from flushing.
- Sewage smells. You may be able to smell a faint sewer or hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg) smell near drains or in your sewer basement.
Sewer Cleaning & Sewer Repairs for Sewer Backups in NJ
If you suspect that you might have a sewer backup in your home, call us any time at A1 Drain and Sewer Services in NJ. We provide 24/7 emergency sewer repairs NJ and sewer cleaning throughout north NJ, including Bergen County, Morris County, and beyond.
For sewer backflow prevention, sewer cleaning, & sewer repairs in NJ, call us any time at A1 Sewer & Drain Services, at 201-645-0888.
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