How to Clear Out a Sewer Line
A sewer line can get clogged for a couple of reasons. Some of the most common include having trapped food particles or debris, grease build-up, and tree root expansions. The third one is only possible when there are trees or shrubs growing around the sewer line. It is quite expensive to hire a plumber to clear out a sewer line. However, there are instances when their professional services are required. In other cases, the sewer line can be cleared out without the help of a plumber. Before calling in a plumber, consider the steps below.
Step 1 – Determine the Location of the Clog
The sewer is clogged when water in the drain resurface or when they have a difficulty draining. Very slow draining means that there is something wrong with the drainage pipes or the sewer line. If this occurs on only one part of the house, the clog may only involve the drain pipes on that particular location. Try using a plunger. If it does not work, perhaps the clog has to be cleared out in other areas where access to the sewer line is possible.
Step 2 – Try Hot Water
During very cold weather, the sewer lines may get clogged due to grease build up. Try boiling a pot of water and flushing it down the drain. This may work in some cases, but not when something else is clogging the sewer line.
Step 3 – Manual Cleaning
Find an access point to the sewer line that is the closest to the clog. The cleanout can be found at the outside of the home, at the basement, or on the floor. Other access points include the roof vent stack and an open septic tank. There are a couple of machines designed to clear the sewer and some of them can be rented. Power drain snakes and sewer augers can be rented at a local plumbing center.
Insert the cable from the machine into the opening of the access point. Allow the cable to run through the pipes until it hits a resistance. When there is resistance, it means that there is something clogging the pipes. Use the device accordingly to pull out the trapped debris.
Step 4 – Flush with the Pipes with Water
When the clog has been cleared out, flush the sewer line with water in order to push other materials into the main sewer line.
Step 5 – Call a Plumber
If the sewer cannot be cleared even with numerous attempts, it is best to call a plumber. Professional service may be needed when the sewer has been broken or damaged, or when a large tree root is obstructing the flow of waste water.
Step 6 – Preventive Measures
When the sewer lines are cleared, it is best to ensure that it does not get clogged again. Never flush solid debris into the drain and install a grease and food trap to prevent waste and grease buildup.