When’s a Good Time for a Toilet to Backup? Never.

When a sewer or drain gets clogged, sewage or raw effluent can back up and cause a real mess. Backups can happen at anytime, but they’re most likely to occur when your system is overloaded by repeated use in a short span of time.

So how do you keep backups from ruining your day (or night)?

Backed Up Toilet


Most major sewer back-ups are typically caused by:

1. ROOT INTRUSION: A break in the pipe, a separation of pipe sections, or other openings in the pipe can let roots in. The roots then destroy the pipes as they search for water.

2. OFF-SETS: It is very common for older homes to have clay piping. Clay piping was typically installed in 2′ and 4′ sections that become misaligned due to settling and seismic activity. This creates ridges that damaging debris can attach to.

At Big Blue Plumbing, we recommend that all our clients have their sewer lines inspected with our state of the art fiber-optic camera to ensure the lines have no root intrusions or off-sets. Some companies sell a root killer, a toxic pesticide that is poured into the toilet, to “deal” with the roots. Root killer is not only bad for our environment, it can also be fatal to your pets.


Don’t be persuaded by root killer or toxic drain cleaners like Drain-O or Liquid Plumber. They cause more damage to pipes and to the environment than they do to invasive roots or clogged drains.