Common Causes of Sewer Backups & Quick Fixes in Godfrey, IL

One of the most irritating problems that a Godfrey, IL homeowner can experience is a backed-up sewer drain. This is also one of the most important problems that need to be solved in order to keep your home running smoothly.  A backed-up sewer doesn’t always have to be an emergency though. They say that an ounce o prevention is worth a pound of the cure. Once you understand some of the common causes for your sewer system to backup, you can help keep your system from repeating this with preventative maintenance. Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing a backup.


If you start to notice that it takes longer than usual for your water to drain from your sink or you start to hear gurgling noises after flushing your toilet, these could signal that you have a clogged drain. Clogs develop over time and are created when something is blocking the free flow of liquid out of the drainpipe. This can then impact your entire home’s plumbing. Systems that will be affected in your home include skins, toilets, showers, bathtubs, dishwashers, washing machines, and even sprinkler systems.

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You could experience raw sewage push back up your drain pipe if you are dealing with a serious clog. This could get into your plumbing fixtures, leading to a messy situation.  Drain clogs typically are caused by the build-up of common objects including:

  • Non-Flushable Products
  • Cotton Swabs & Dental Floss
  • Extra-thick Toilet Paper, Facial Tissues, Napkins, & Paper Towels
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hair
  • Hardened Grease.

Sewer pipes are typically about six inches in diameter, which means that it takes a lot of material to build up in order to clog them. When in doubt, do not throw it down the drain, instead place it in the garbage.

Plant Roots

Root invasion occurs when plant and tree roots infiltrate your sewer system. They can grow right through your pipes or even wrap around them and crush them. This is because they are searching for water that flows inside the pipes.

This can happen over time and could increase in speed if your pipes are poorly maintained. A poorly maintained pipe system includes cracks and holes which can allow the roots to enter the drain.  In order to properly prevent the roots that are causing the damage, you need to plan for a plant’s root growth when deciding where to plant them on your property.

Main Line Sewer Backups

A blockage that occurs in your sewer main means that there is a blockage in the system that is owned by your city, town, or district. The blockage can be caused by objects that cause clogs in household sewer systems. It also can be caused by inadequate system capacity. If the community where you live is experiencing heavy growth, this can also affect the main sewer line. This problem can become prevalent if the community has issues with the sewers after there has been heavy rainfall.

A sewer main blockage affects most of your home’s plumbing all at once. In order to minimize the damage, shut off all water supplies in your house and try to cover any drain openings with materials that soak up liquids.

Solutions for Sewer Backups

Use a Plunger: The most available and easiest solution would be to use a toilet plunger. For small to medium-sized clogs, using a plunger can do quick work on most drains including sinks and toilets.

Buy Liquid Drain Cleaner: In order to unclog bathtubs or harder sink issues, utilize a liquid drain cleaner. However, do not use these on your toilets.

Release Pressure: In order to release pressure, turn off your water at the main supply first. After this, find the sewer cleanout line in your yard. It is typically a short, white pipe that is three to four inches around and sealed with a screw-on cap. Once the cap is removed, the pressure should then be released. This will force any water that has become backed up into your home to the drain.

sewer backups godfrey il

Chemical Drain Cleaning: Help remove tree root blockages by using chemical drain cleaning. Some people have suggested repeated flushing of copper sulfate in order to kill tree roots. However, copper sulfate is not safe for septic systems and some communities even prohibit its use. Instead, try using a root-killing foam containing herbicide dichlobenil down your toilet. This foam sticks to the pipes and kills the tree roots within just a few hours.

Call a Professional

If you are experiencing sewer backups in your home, don’t wait, call our team at Bland’s Plumbing, Sewer & Water. We are here to help you with all of your plumbing and sewer problems. Making sure that they get resolved efficiently and effectively.

We provide plumbing services to all commercial and residential buildings including sewer and water line repairs, fixtures, and appliances installed, and simple services like unfreezing and unclogging your pipes. We guarantee the quality of our work 100%, and back our work up with a 10-year warranty on main sewer lines and a 5-year warranty on main water lines. We’re dedicated to the offer the best for our customers and environmentally friendly products and services.

Our customers’ trust is a source of great pride and inspires us to keep improving our business. We use the industry’s most current technology, and our plumbing professionals undergo advanced training. We’re prepared to help you with any questions you may have or situations you may encounter. Call today to get expert advice from a professional plumbing company with over 40 years of experience in the area!