How to Spot Common California Sewer Problems Caused by Rainy Winters
California is not a place typically associated with rain, at least not like the other West Coast states of Oregon and Washington. No, here in California, we’re associated much more closely with sunshine and nice weather than we are with rain. And that’s a pretty accurate description of places southern cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Up here in Northern California, though, we do tend to get our fair share of rain, especially in the winter and early spring.
In fact, in recent years in Sacramento, we have a history of getting so much rain that our sewers can barely handle it. With the rainy season soon upon us, I think now is an important time to discuss the problems that the rain can cause for our sewer system, i.e. how to avoid the common California sewer problems caused by rainy winters like ours.
As a residential plumbing expert, I have some unique insights into the types of sewer problems caused by lots of rain, how to spot trouble that might be a bit out of the ordinary, and also why it’s best to call in a pro as soon as you suspect something serious might be up. The fact of the matter is, sewer problems left unchecked can lead to sewer water backing up into your home, or, even worse, burst and broken pipes underground. And trust me, even when we’re facing a drought, nobody wants that kind of water in and around their homes.
Why Common California Sewer Problems Should Matter to Sacramento Homeowners
When it comes to taking care of your sewers in advance, I think the first thing that’s important to establish is why it matters. I’ve definitely talked to many homeowners out there who don’t give sewers a second thought, assuming that it’s something that the city they live in takes care of. The fact of the matter is, though, if you own a home, the part of the sewer system that connects your house to the larger municipal sewers is your responsibility, too.
…if you own a home, the part of the sewer system that connects your house to the larger municipal sewers is your responsibility, too.
The sewers that are part of your home are definitely vulnerable to problems caused by excessively rainy winters. We’ve talked about some of these problems in the past, specifically what to do when your sewer line backs up due to heavy rain. Sewers in Sacramento can just get so overworked by rain that it causes the sewers to back up into your house. Rain, however, can also make the ground so soft that rocks and roots that you don’t see can shift and hit your pipes, causing them to rupture, which can then cause additional flooding.
Signs of Common California Sewer Problems
Due to the severity of potential California sewer problems caused by rainy winters, getting ahead of them also involves knowing how to spot the early warnings of trouble. One of the easiest signs to spot is slow drainage. Is your toilet taking too long to flush, longer than usual? Do you find yourself standing in a few inches of water every time you shower? Does the kitchen sink stay full of water longer than it used to? These can all be signs of normal clogs, but they can also denote a problem with your sewer system that necessitates calling out a professional to prevent from becoming more severe.
One of the easiest signs to spot is slow drainage.
When it comes to other issues we mentioned above—broken or ruptured pipes—the early signs of trouble are often far more subtle. If you notice a steady climb in your water bill, this could mean that you have a leak somewhere that you can’t see—a leak that is very much likely to get bigger. Constantly soggy grass in your yard long after the rain has stopped falling is another potential early warning sign that you should keep an eye out for.
If you notice a steady climb in your water bill, this could mean that you have a leak somewhere that you can’t see—a leak that is very much likely to get bigger.
Remedies for the California Sewer Problems That Plague Sacramento Homeowners
This last section is the one that I suspect you’re most interested in: remedies for California sewer problems. When it comes to the small and subtle drainage issues that I touched on above, I definitely suggest trying some of the usual sewer remedies yourself first, like using a snake or a plunger, to see if you can clear up the blockage. We’ve all been there and done that. If that doesn’t work, though, it’s time to call in an expert.
I definitely suggest trying some of the usual sewer remedies yourself first, like using a snake or a plunger, to see if you can clear up the blockage…. If that doesn’t work, though, it’s time to call in an expert.
A professional plumber can likely tell right away if what you’re dealing with is more severe than a common clog. If, however, the cause is not immediately apparent, a professional plumber will have the right equipment to probe deeper into your sewers and find out if the excessive rain is causing a more severe blockage that can’t be addressed by a DIYer. They can also give you an estimate on how much work it will take to clear it up. If you suspect the rain is fouling up your sewers, I suggest calling an expert plumber out today.
If you’re the proactive type, like me, you can even make consulting with a professional plumber part of your normal fall home maintenance routine.
Now you know all the ways homeowners can work to avoid any California sewer problems caused by rainy winters. If you’re the proactive type, like me, you can even make consulting with a professional plumber part of your normal fall home maintenance routine. We’ve talked about fall plumbing tips before, but it always bears repeating.
Here at Bell Brothers, we’d be happy to help you and your home prepare for the rain. We have many years of plumbing experience and a local perspective. We can help you make sure your pipes are primed and ready for the deluge of water likely to come our way this winter. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
Wondering how to finance a new furnace, or maybe even new windows and plumbing? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.
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