3 Step Guide To Diagnosing And Cleaning Out Your Clogged Main Sewer Line

Construction & Contractors Blog

If most of the drains in your home have slowed down considerably, you may suspect that you have a clog in your main sewer line. If this is the case, use the following guide to diagnosing the problem and cleaning out your main sewer line, if needed.

Step 1:  Diagnose the Problem

This first step involves diagnosing the problem and confirming your suspicions that your home's main sewer line is clogged up. You can do this by looking for signs other than slow drains.

When your main line is backed up, your drainage system will start acting strangely. For example, when you flush your toilet, you may see sewage back up into one of your sinks. Or, when your washing machine drains at the end of a cycle, your toilet may overflow.

This strange behavior occurs when the sewage and gray water is unable to exit your home fully and into the sewer. Because the drainage is unable to get past the blockage, the wastewater will come back up into your home's drains through the minor drainage pipes.

If you have noticed that your drains are not operating properly, you most likely have a clog in the main sewer line. If you feel this is the case, go to the next step.

Step 2:  Locate the Main Line Clean Out

The next step involves locating the main sewage line's main clean out. The clean out is typically found on the outside of your home in line with your neighborhood's sewer drain. You will see a capped off pipe with a large nut in the center of the cap.

After finding the clean out, inspect it closely for any sign of leakage. When the sewer line is running properly, the wastewater does not leak out from this extension of the pipe. However, if you do see leakage, this is another indicator that your line is blocked.

If you discover that the clean out is leaking, use a wrench to loosen the bolt, and remove the cap. Be careful as you remove the cap, however. If there is a blockage, the sewage water may be under pressure and could spew out all over you.

Once you have removed the cap, look into the hole to see if you can visualize the clog. If so, try to remove it with a gloved hand and putty knife. If not, go on to the next step.

Step 3:  Use a Plumber's Snake

Now that you have determined that the sewer line is clogged, it is time to try to clean it out. Whether the clog is caused by something that was flushed down the toilet or roots invading your sewer pipe, you can try to remove the blockage yourself using a plumber's snake.

While using the snake, do not force it when you encounter the blockage. Instead, let its rotations work into the clog and loosen it up. Every few minutes, remove the snake to see if the wire has captured anything.

If you find any roots in the end of the snake, look carefully for broken pieces of pipes. If any are present, there is a good chance that the roots have busted up the sewer line.

If this is the case, you should have a professional assess the damage to see if the pipe needs to be replaced.

After completing the steps above, you may either find that you are unable to remove the clog or discover that the sewer pipe is broken. If so, contact a sewer repair service, such as Aurora Plumbing and Electric Supply, Inc, so they can send someone to inspect your main sewer line and make the necessary repairs to get it flowing once again.


24 October 2017

inspecting the roof on your home

When was the last time you really looked at your roof? I had no idea how important yearly inspections of my roof was until I found myself footing the bill for a full roof replacement and interior ceiling replacement. Since then, I have learned how to inspect my own roof twice each year. I always inspect it each spring after the harsh winter elements have gone away and again in the fall before winter weather sets in. You can use the information compiled on my website to inspect the roof on your home and make the small repairs that will save you from full roof replacement.