Nothing can be more frustrating than having a plumbing backup in your home. A clogged sink or toilet is a headache, but a clogged main sewer line is an absolute nightmare. Not only is it a nuisance, but it can cause big messes and significant damage to your property. But what causes a main sewer line clog, and how can you prevent it from happening?
In this blog, we’re going to explore the top causes of sewer line clogs and how you can keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

Tree Roots

Trees are one of the best parts of our landscapes, but they can also be the culprit of clogged sewer lines. The tree’s roots can grow towards the sewer line, seeking out moisture and nutrients, and eventually end up causing a clog. The roots will wrap around the pipes and cause a blockage that can prevent wastewater from flowing out to the sewer main. To prevent this type of clog, avoid planting trees or plants within ten feet of your sewer line, and have the sewer line inspected regularly by a professional plumber.

Flushing Non-Flushable Items

Flushing non-flushable items down your toilet or sink is the contributing cause of most sewer clogs. Items such as cigarette butts, wipes, paper towels, dental floss, and feminine hygiene products do not break down in water as toilet paper does, and even the smallest of them can get stuck in pipes and start building up into a significant blockage. To prevent clogging, ensure you only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet and throw all other waste into the garbage.

Grease and Oils

Grease, fats, and oils are some of the most common causes of sewer line backups. When you pour these substances down your kitchen sink, hot water or not, they can quickly solidify and begin to clog your pipes. Over time, the grease and oil buildup can harden and create a massive blockage that will require a professional plumber to remove. Avoid pouring grease, fats, or oils down your sink, and dispose of them in the trash.


Another factor in the likelihood of sewer clogs is the age of the sewer line itself. Older homes, especially those built before the 1970s, are more prone to sewer clogs than newer ones because their pipes were made of cast iron, clay, or other materials that are known to crack and deteriorate over time. If you live in an older home or have an aging sewer line, regular inspections and cleaning can prevent sewer line backups.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is another contributing factor to sewer line clogs. If the water pressure is low, the wastewater may not be able to move through the sewer line efficiently, leading to slow or clogged drains. To avoid this from happening, ensure you have adequate water pressure to push the wastewater through the pipes.


A clogged sewer line can be a nuisance, but it can be prevented if you take the right precautions. Avoid flushing non-flushable items, dispose of fats and oils in the trash, avoid planting trees near your sewer line, and ensure regular cleaning and inspection of the sewer line.
If you notice signs of a clogged sewer line, don’t ignore it, and call a professional plumber right away. By taking these preventative measures, you can keep your plumbing system running smoothly, avoid costly repairs, and enjoy a hassle-free home.

If you’re looking for a reliable, experienced plumber to inspect and/or repair your sewer line, look no further than Guardian Plumbers. With years of experience in the plumbing industry, our team of highly trained professionals can help you find a solution that fits your needs and budget. Whether it’s simple preventative maintenance or an emergency repair job, our team is here to get the job done. Contact us today for more information!

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