Steps to Help You Remedy a Clogged Sewer Line

Construction & Contractors Articles

As a homeowner, it is your own responsibility to repair and replace any sewer problems in your home's sewer system, including the sewer main running beneath the soil to the city's sewer line connection in the street. Here are some steps to help you solve and resolve what is causing a sewer clog and important details, such as getting the proper construction permits, to help you be successful with the repair.

Hire an Inspection

When you first encounter drains and toilets that flow slowly in your home, it can indicate a clog further down in your home's main sewer line. In a situation where one or two drains are flowing slower, it can usually be caused from a blockage directly in the pipe connected to that drain. When sewer begins bubbling up from basement drains, it is important to hire a professional plumber to determine where the clog is. 

Your plumbing professional can use a camera to inspect the interior of your sewer line to find where the blockage is. This can also help you determine if the clogged sewer line has been caused by debris in the line, invading tree roots, or a crumbling or collapsing sewer pipe. Many plumbers have a GPS on their camera so they can determine where along your sewer main's length the blockage is located, which can be helpful in digging up and repairing the sewer pipe, when necessary.

Remove Line Clogs

While the plumbing professional is completing your line inspection, they can use their snake or high-pressure water sprayer to remove the debris in the line that is causing your blockage. When your sewer pipe is still in good condition, clearing the blockage and cleaning any build-up on the inside of your sewer line can allow your sewer to flow freely from your home. Often, the debris and waste water from rinsing dishes in your kitchen can cause oils and fats to coat the interior of your sewer line and slowly cause blockages. 

When tree root growth within your sewer line is causing the blockage, simply clearing them from the line will not solve the problem. The tree roots will regrow inside your sewer line and can cause the pipe to break apart or collapse. You may consider removing the trees from your yard, which will stop the tree root growth. Keep in mind you may need a construction permit to remove a tree, so check with your local building office to find out.

Using a sodium chloride treatment in your sewer line is a good way to stop the tree root growth without killing the tree, as long as you repeat the treatment every six months. Complete this treatment by pouring one-half pound of sodium chloride into your toilet and flushing it down. Repeat this until you have flushed down two pounds of sodium chloride, then do not flush your toilets or run any water down your home's drains for twelve hours. This allows the sodium chloride time to remain in the sewer line to kill tree roots.

Replace Sewer Line

When you have determined your sewer line has begun to collapse, crumble apart, or show other signs of failure, you will need to have the sewer line replaced as soon as possible. Your plumber can discuss your options to replace the sewer line and the costs associated with it.

You will need to have a construction permit to complete this type of sewer line replacement, so make sure your plumbing contractor files and gets approval for the permit before they begin the work. If you or your contractor fails to get the right construction permits for the work, you can end up paying fines, have the repair work delayed, and even be faced with a lawsuit about the unauthorized work on your property.

Use this information to help you through the process of a sewer line clog and possible replacement. Learn more by contacting companies like Askenvironmental, Inc.


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