Understanding Sewer Backup Causes

Why does my sewer keep backing up?

An individual fixture in your home can get backed up, or the main sewer line that goes underneath your basement floor can be backed up. If you are having multiple fixtures in your house backing up at the same time, especially backing up down in the basement floor drain, it is most likely the main line that is blocked.

Identifying Main Line Blockages

Often it is caused by tree roots or other debris blocking the main line, and you’ll need to call a professional plumber to clear the line. There is no solution for a homeowner to clean out a main line on their own. A professional plumber will insert a large power snake down the pipe.

Professional Solutions for Clearing Blockages

Once the snake is turned on, it pushes itself all of the way to the clog, chews up the clog, and pushes the debris into a larger sewer pipe in the street. Once the clog is clear, the pipe is flushed out with plenty of water to fully clean out the pipe.

St Paul Pipeworks’ Approach

St Paul Pipeworks starts at a point in the basement called the cleanout to access the pipe and push the clog from there. If you have had this issue multiple times where tree roots in your yard have clogged a pipe, it is good to have your pipes cleaned biannually.

Taking Proactive Measures

Don’t wait until you have another backup. Get ahead of the problem. If you are having issues with your sewer line frequently backing up, it may be a good idea to schedule regular cleanings to prevent future backups. Regular inspections can also help identify any potential issues before they become major problems.

Preventing Clogs in Your Main Line

There are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid clogs in your main sewer line. First, be cautious about what you flush down your toilet. Avoid flushing large amounts of paper products or feminine hygiene products, as they can easily cause blockages. Additionally, be mindful of what you put down your kitchen sink and garbage disposal. Grease, oil, and food particles can build up and lead to clogs in your main line.


Sewer backups are a common and frustrating issue for homeowners. They can be caused by various factors, including tree roots, debris buildup, and flushing inappropriate items down the drain. It’s important to understand the potential causes of sewer backups so that you can take preventative measures to avoid them in the future.

Regular maintenance and inspections from a professional plumber can also help identify and address any issues before they become major problems. By being proactive and taking care of your home’s main sewer line, you can prevent future backups and ensure the smooth functioning of your plumbing system.

Contact St Paul Pipeworks

If you are having a problem with a sewage backup, are looking to preventatively flush your pipes out, or are looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.

Yours Truly,
Matthew Dettwiler
Social Media Manager


Why does my sewer keep backing up?

Sewer backups can occur due to various reasons, including blockages in individual fixtures or the main sewer line. If multiple fixtures in your home are backing up simultaneously, especially through the basement floor drain, it’s likely a blockage in the main line. This often happens due to tree roots or debris obstructing the pipe. Professional plumbers utilize specialized equipment like power snakes to clear these blockages efficiently.

Can I clear a main sewer line blockage myself?

It’s not advisable for homeowners to attempt clearing a main sewer line blockage on their own. Specialized equipment and expertise are required to effectively clear the line without causing damage. Professional plumbers have the necessary tools and experience to safely and thoroughly remove blockages, ensuring proper sewer system functioning.

How does St Paul Pipeworks clear sewer line blockages?

St Paul Pipeworks employs professional plumbers who utilize advanced techniques to clear sewer line blockages. They start at a point in the basement known as the cleanout to access the pipe and use a large power snake to push through and break up the clog. Once the clog is dislodged, the debris is flushed out with water to ensure the pipe is thoroughly cleaned.

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

If you’ve experienced recurring issues with tree roots or debris causing pipe blockages, it’s advisable to have your pipes cleaned biannually. Regular maintenance helps prevent backups and ensures the smooth operation of your sewer system. St Paul Pipeworks offers preventative cleaning services to help you avoid potential problems in the future.

How can I address a sewage backup issue or schedule preventative maintenance?

If you’re experiencing sewage backup problems or wish to schedule preventative maintenance for your pipes, contact St Paul Pipeworks today. Their team of skilled plumbers is ready to assist with any sewer-related issues in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area. Don’t wait until a backup occurs again – take proactive steps to address the problem and maintain the integrity of your sewer system.

My Sewer is Backing Up – Help! – Ask a Plumber