Water from a faucet frozen in winter

Tips for Maintaining Your Sewer Lines Through Winter

Winter can be challenging for your home’s plumbing and sewer lines. Cold temperatures, ice on the ground, or snow can all take a toll on your sewer lines, leading to potential clogs, backups, and even damage. Also, outdoor components can be affected by the weather. Since your sewer lines are outside, they are more exposed to all types of weather conditions. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help maintain your sewer lines during the winter months.

Clear Debris From Your Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to back up and freeze in your sewer lines, leading to clogs and potential damage. To prevent this, clear debris from your gutters and downspouts before winter arrives. This will help ensure that water flows freely through your sewer lines and reduces the risk of clogs. Also, remove any leaves, twigs, and other debris hanging over your sewer lines. These items can easily blow into your sewer lines when it snows, potentially leading to clogs.

Insulate Your Sewer Pipes

Cold temperatures can cause your sewer pipes to freeze, leading to potential damage and costly repairs. To prevent this, consider insulating your sewer pipes with foam pipe insulation. This will help keep the pipes warm and reduce the risk of freezing. Be sure to insulate both the pipes inside and outside of your home. When properly installed, this insulation can be effective for many years.

Use Biodegradable Drain Cleaner

Many people use harsh chemicals, such as drain cleaners, to clear clogs in their plumbing. However, these chemicals can damage your sewer lines and should be avoided during the winter months. Instead, use a natural, biodegradable drain cleaner to clear clogs and prevent buildup in your sewer lines. Also, keep the temperature in your home above 50 degrees for at least a few days after the snow has melted, as this can help prevent water from freezing in your sewer lines.

Avoid Flushing Non-Biodegradable Items Down Your Toilet

During the winter, you must be mindful of what you flush down your toilet. Non-biodegradable items, such as wipes, cotton swabs, and sanitary products, can easily clog your sewer lines and cause backups. To prevent this, avoid flushing these items down your toilet and dispose of them properly. In addition, make sure the drain covers in your sinks and bathtubs are secure and won’t allow these items to enter your sewer lines.

Keep an Eye on Your Water Usage

Excessive water usage during the winter can stress your sewer lines, increasing the risk of clogs and backups. To prevent this, monitor your water usage and avoid running multiple appliances simultaneously, such as the dishwasher and washing machine. This will help reduce the strain on your sewer lines and prevent potential clogs. Also, only run the washing machine and dishwasher when full to reduce the risk of clogs.

Have Your Sewer Lines Inspected and Cleaned Regularly

Regular inspections and cleanings of your sewer lines can help prevent clogs and potential damage. Have a professional plumber inspect and clean your sewer lines at least once a year and more often if you notice any signs of clogs or backups. This will help ensure that your sewer lines are functioning properly and will reduce the risk of costly repairs.


These tips will help maintain your sewer lines through winter and prevent potential clogs, backups, and damage. You can also contact us at Viking Plumbing if you need plumbing inspection and other services in Boise, ID. We will be glad to help.