Guide to Heating and Plumbing

Guide to Heating and Plumbing

What You Need to Know About Your Sewer Line
26.02.2016 20:22

Your home’s sewer line plays a very important role in transporting your home’s waste to the city’s sewer system.  Over time, sewer lines can get clogged and cause a series of problems to every homeowner.  Sewer systems can be clogged due to everyday use but it can also be clogged due to external factors such as growing roots that invade the space of your sewer lines.  When problems like this arise, it is imperative that the homeowner take a step to resolve the issue the soonest time possible.  There are several DIY steps that you can do to take care of the problem; however, it is recommended to seek professional help from your trusted plumbing company or commercial sewage company to ensure that the problem is addressed properly. 

Indications of a Clogged Sewer Line

If you see waste or sewage coming back from your drains, this is a common sign that your sewer line is blocked or clogged.  Other than the awful smell and the gross mess you have in your sink, this also means that your home could potentially suffer from more damages if this issue is left unaddressed.  There are also other warning signs that you should pay attention to so that a simple clog problem doesn’t blow up to be a huge concern.  For instance, if you notice a loud gushing or gurgling sound coming from the drain every time the sink is used, this may already be a sign of clog especially if the sound was never there before.  You may also notice small parts of roots that go with the water that comes from the drain, this could also mean that your pipes may have already collapsed or corroded causing the roots to create a blockage.  Lastly, a simple bad smell coming from your drains can also indicate a problem somewhere within your sewer lines.

How a Sewer Line is Cleared

A clogged sewer line doesn’t automatically call for a professional plumber.  There are many homeowners who choose to do the tough job of getting their sewer lines cleared using some of the usual tools that professionals use.  Whether you choose to do the dirty work yourself or have someone do the cleaning for you, your sewer line is usually cleared using a drain auger or a drain snake – something that even professionals use.  This cable is inserted down the drain and is flexible enough to go through curves and bends in your plumbing system.  If faced with a minor clog problem, the snake can easily break through the blockage in just a few minutes.  However, the snake doesn’t clean the sewer line.  All it does is break through the wastes that got stuck in the pipes allowing other materials to pass through the pipes.  Professionals rely on a high-pressure hose to remove any residue or material that has built up in the pipes causing the block.  This high-pressure hose or also knows as the water jetter, is a tool used by plumbing companies to clear out whatever gunk you may have in your sewer lines. 

Service Details and Additional Costs when Hiring Professionals

If you have opted to go the safest way and just decided on hiring a professional to clean the clogged sewer lines, you should be aware of what their services include and what additional charges you may incur depending on the issue handled.  Professional plumbers typically start by asking questions that are relevant to the clog concern.  After which, the plumber will do an inspection of your pipes and locate the clean out.  The clean out is a Y-shaped fitting that is located outside the home right before it connects to the main sewer.  The plumber starts the clearing up process in this spot as this is the best spot where a plumber can have access to both directions of the lines.  If this process has cleared out the problem, the professional reinstalls the clean out and inspects every drain to ensure that the issue has been properly resolved.  

If clogged sewer lines are a frequent problem, the process of clearing up could be more tedious; hence, the additional cost.  In cases where the issue is more serious, professionals may recommend taking a video inspection of the sewer lines.  This process, although it costs more, gives both the homeowner and the professional plumber a clear view of what might be causing the frequent clogs.  Depending on the results of the video inspection, the resolution could range from a simple clearing of clog or a replacement of your entire sewer.  Either way, always be ready for the service cost.  

How to Prevent Sewer Line Clogs

Fortunately, every homeowner can take the necessary precautions to avoid serious problems with their sewer system.  For example, getting a catch-all installed is a very easy step to prevent hair or other unwanted materials from going down the drain.  It is also a best practice to avoid flushing down other materials other than toilet paper.  When using the kitchen sink, it is also not advisable to put oil or coffee grounds down the drain.  These are very basic and simple steps but prove to be very helpful in preventing future sewer clogs



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