Dealing with a sewer backup can be one of the most frustrating and distressing experiences for any homeowner. Often, you may notice that an individual fixture in your home, such as a sink or toilet, is backed up.

However, a more serious scenario occurs when multiple fixtures are affected simultaneously, particularly if the backup originates from the basement floor drain. This is a tell-tale sign that the main sewer line running beneath your basement floor is blocked.

Common Causes of Sewer Backups

A common cause of these main line blockages is tree roots infiltrating and obstructing the pipes outside your home, although other debris can also create clogs.

It’s crucial to understand that there is no effective DIY solution for homeowners to clear a main line blockage. Under such circumstances, the best course of action is to call a professional plumber who has the right tools and expertise to tackle the problem efficiently.

Fixing a Sewer Backup

A professional plumber will typically use a large power snake to address the blockage. Here’s how it works: the plumber will insert the power snake into a point in the basement called the cleanout.

Once the snake is activated, it navigates through the pipe, reaching the clog. The snake’s powerful mechanisms then chew up the clog and push the resulting debris into a larger sewer pipe in the street.

After the clog is cleared, the plumber flushes the pipe with plenty of water to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned.

Tree Roots and Sewer Blockage

In cases where tree roots are a recurring cause of blockages, it’s advisable to have your pipes cleaned every two years or so as a preventive measure rather than waiting for another backup to occur. Regular maintenance can save you from the hassle and potential damage caused by unexpected sewer backups.

St Paul Pipeworks: Sewer Backup Experts in St. Paul and Minneapolis

If you are currently experiencing a sewage backup, wish to take preventive measures to keep your pipes clear, or are in search of a reliable plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, look no further than St Paul Pipeworks.

Our team is ready to assist you with high-quality plumbing services tailored to your needs. Little backups can turn big quickly, leading to flooding and messy sewage backups inside your home. Don’t hesitate—give St Paul Pipeworks a call today and ensure your home’s plumbing is in top condition!


Q: Can I prevent sewer backups from occurring?

A: While some causes of sewer backups, such as tree roots, may be out of your control, regular maintenance and proper disposal of materials can help prevent blockages.

Q: How often should I have my pipes cleaned to prevent backups?

A: It’s recommended to have your pipes cleaned every 2 years as a preventive measure. However, if you notice frequent backups or have trees near your sewer line, more frequent cleanings may be necessary.

Q: Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners to clear a sewer backup?

A: No, using chemical drain cleaners can potentially damage your pipes and are not effective in clearing main line blockages. It’s best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

Q: What should I do if I am experiencing a sewer backup?

A: If you are experiencing a sewer backup, turn off your water main and call a professional plumber immediately for assistance. Do not attempt to clear the blockage yourself as it can cause further damage.

Q: How do I find the cleanout point in my basement?

A: The cleanout is a visible, capped pipe typically located near your home’s foundation and close to where the main sewer line exits your home. If you are unsure of its location, a professional plumber can help locate it for you.

Yours Truly, 

Matthew Dettwiler 

Social Media Manager 

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