How to Plug Sewer Lines

What You'll Need
Inflatable sewer line plug
Hand pump (bicycle tire pump)
Wrench or pliers
Rope or string

Plugging your sewer lines is an important task you have to do to prevent any damages in your property. If the sewer line is not plugged properly, you might experience a back-flow wherein the liquid from the sewer line is flowing backwards up out of your drain.

Step 1: Prepare the Tools Needed

Before you start this project, it is important that you have bought an inflatable sewer line plug. These plugs are commonly 4 inches in diameter, but you have to check your main cleanout before getting one to be sure. You can buy these plugs in any hardware or plumbing store.

Step 2: Turn Off the Main Water Line

You need to turn off the main water line before you can start plugging the sewer lines. Before anything else, though, you need to inform the occupants of the house that you are turning off the water line to plug the sewer lines. Turning off the water line is to prevent water from running down on the drains. You must remember though, that once you have plugged the sewer lines, there will be no water coming and out of your household.

Step 3: Locate the Main Cleanout

Generally, the main cleanout is located along the lateral sewer line that connects the plumbing of your house to the main plumbing line. A cleanout is the capped pipe in your drain line that allows you access to the sewer line. The main cleanout is often situated in the basement, if there is one in your home. You may also need to check if there are any cleanouts after the main out. If there are any, you also need to plug those as well.

It is important that you have a sewer plug for each of the cleanout in your home. There are different sizes of plugs, so it is best to locate the cleanouts and buy the appropriate sizes of plugs prior to plugging the sewer lines.

Step 4: Removing the Cap of the Main Cleanout

Using a wrench or pliers, remove the cap of the main cleanout. Make sure that you tie a string or a rope to the sewer plug bracket. This is to allow you to retrieve the sewer plugs from the pipe after.

Step 5: Plugging the Cleanout

After removing the cap of the main cleanout, you can now insert the sewer plug into the pipe. Ensure that you insert the plug past the connecting pipes. It should be done towards the same direction as the normal flow of the liquid.

Step 6: Inflate the Sewer Plug

Once the sewer plug is in place, you then need to inflate it using a hand-operated pump. A bicycle tire pump will do the job. Once the plug is inflated then you have successfully plugged the sewer line. Repeat this process for all the cleanouts or drains in your home after the main cleanout.