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What Causes a Main Sewer Line to Clog?

It’s never a good day when you realize that there’s a problem with your home’s plumbing — especially when the main sewer line is involved. But what causes a main sewer line to clog? It’s a question that many homeowners find themselves asking, often when they’re ankle-deep in water or faced with plumbing fixtures that refuse to drain.

Understanding the causes of main sewer line clogs is essential. Not only does it help you pinpoint the root of the problem, but it can also prevent costly repairs down the line. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the primary reasons your sewer line might be backing up.

Tree Roots

Believe it or not, tree roots are one of the leading causes of main sewer line clogs. They’re attracted to the moisture and nutrients inside the sewer pipes, especially the human waste that provides a steady source of nourishment.

How to Identify and Prevent Tree Root Clogs

Signs of a clogged sewer line due to tree roots include slow-draining sinks, toilets, and tubs. If you suspect tree roots are the culprits, it’s essential to seek professional assistance. Also, it’s beneficial to plant trees at a safe distance from your sewer lines to avoid future problems.

Flushing the Wrong Items

While toilet paper is designed to break down quickly in water, not all types are created equal. Some thicker varieties might cause line clogs, especially if used excessively. Also, while some wipes claim to be “flushable,” they often take longer to disintegrate than standard toilet paper. Flushing foreign objects, even ones labeled “safe for sewers,” can result in a clogged sewer.

What Should You Avoid?

Apart from toilet paper and human waste, almost nothing else should go down your toilet. Always dispose of flushable wipes, diapers, sanitary products, and other foreign objects in the trash.

Grease and Fats

It might seem harmless to pour grease and fats down your kitchen sink. However, these substances solidify as they cool, sticking to the walls of your sewer pipes. Over time, this buildup can lead to severe sewer drain clogs.

Avoid Costly Repairs: Tips to Prevent Grease Clogs

Never pour grease down the drain. Instead, collect it in a container and dispose of it in the trash. If you’ve accidentally poured grease down the sink, run hot water immediately to help dilute and flush it away. Routine drain cleaning can also help keep your pipes free from greasy buildup.

Damaged Pipes

Over time, pipes can corrode, crack, or collapse. A damaged pipe will restrict the flow of wastewater, leading to backups and blockages. Such issues can arise from the natural aging of the pipes or external pressures, like heavy construction or ground shifts.

Seek Expert Assessment

If you suspect your sewer line is clogged due to damaged pipes, it’s crucial to contact professionals to assess and repair the damage.

Buildup Over Time

All sewer lines, regardless of how well-maintained, will experience some buildup over time. Sediment, minerals, and debris can accumulate and cause partial or complete line clogs.

Routine Maintenance Is Key

Regular drain cleaning and professional inspections can help identify and resolve buildup issues before they become severe. Routine care can extend the life of your plumbing fixtures and prevent sudden, unexpected issues.

Drain Away Your Worries — Book Your Sewer Services Today!

So, what causes a main sewer line to clog? As you can see, there can be more than one answer to this question. Overall, understanding what causes a main sewer line to clog is your first defense against troublesome and potentially expensive plumbing issues. By being proactive and addressing potential causes of main sewer line clogs early on, you can save yourself the hassle and costs associated with more significant problems.


If you’re in Houston and suspect you have a clogged or damaged sewer line, don’t wait. Contact Aberle for all your needs, whether that’s sewer line repair or drain cleaning service in Houston, TX, or the surrounding areas. With our top-quality, hassle-free services and upfront pricing, we strive to be the go-to solution for all your plumbing needs.


Now that you know what causes a main sewer line to clog, why wait to take action? Don’t let clogs ruin your day! Schedule your sewer line repair in Houston with Aberle today. Contact us now for a service you can count on!