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Tips for Clearing a Clogged Sewer Line

A clogged sewer line can cause serious issues for Birmingham, AL, area homeowners. Sometimes clogs occur despite our best efforts. In this situation, knowing how to clear a main sewer line clog helps relieve some of the stress that comes with this household issue. 

The licensed plumbers at Douglas Cooling & Heating explain how they clear a main sewer line clog using professional methods. To help you identify if such a problem is present in your plumbing system, we’ll explain the signs that indicate a clog.

Signs of a Main Sewer Line Clog

Each plumbing fixture in your home has its own drain line. These secondary drain lines run and connect to the home’s main drain line, which then connects to the home’s sewer line. The home’s main sewer line links the home’s drainage system to the municipal sewer line or the home’s private septic system. Running underground through your yard, the main sewer line is usually four to six inches in diameter and slopes downward to help wastewater flow away from the residence.

Clogs that occur in the main sewer line of the home can spell trouble indoors. With a clog in the main line, resulting symptoms typically affect all of the home’s plumbing fixtures and drainage rather than problems isolated to one fixture that are seen with clogs in secondary drain lines. 

Signs of main sewer line clogs in Birmingham homes include:

  • Wastewater backup from drains and toilets
  • Pooling water surrounding floor drains
  • Gurgling noises from drains
  • Sewage smell coming from drains

Professional Approaches for How to Clear a Main Sewer Line Clog

Because of their location deep within the home’s drainage system, it’s quite difficult to address main sewer line clogs through DIY methods – professional help is needed. Clearing a sewer line clog depends on what caused the clog and other factors.

Our plumbers use video inspection equipment to assess the clog from within the sewer line. We may find tree root penetrations that have grown into a severe clog, a broken underground pipe or infiltrations through a broken pipe preventing waste flow. Sometimes a significant clog can develop from flushed and drained materials that should’ve been tossed out with the trash. 

Some of the methods we may use to clear a main sewer line clog include:

  • Plumber’s auger: A professional plumber’s auger can reach down into the home’s sewer lines at length, whereas it’s hard to find one that has such a length at your local hardware store. An auger works to bust up clogs from flushed and drained materials as well as tree roots.
  • Hydro jetting: Hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to clean the interior of your drain lines and main sewer line. This method works to remove infiltrated materials, grease build up and tree root infiltrations.
  • Pipe replacement: When broken sewer pipes allow infiltrations into the sewer line or if a break is so severe it stops the flow of waste, it needs to be replaced. Trenching methods can be used to dig up the old pipe and replace it. You may be a candidate for trenchless pipe relining, which seals cracks from within.


Preventing Main Sewer Line Clogs

Clogs in a home’s sewer line create hassle and have the potential to cause health issues. The clog has the potential to lead to sewer gas leakage into the home, which occurs as clogged materials decompose inside the line. Take steps to prevent such a potentially dangerous and disruptive problem altogether when you do the following:

  • Remove shrubs, bushes, trees and other plants that grow in the same area or nearby to your home’s main sewer line.
  • Replace aged clay sewer lines to prevent sudden sewer line clogs due to deterioration and breaks.
  • Schedule annual drain clearing services to eliminate buildup within your sewer pipe.
  • Only flush human waste and toilet tissue down the toilet.
  • Only rinse appropriate food products down your garbage disposal.

For Sewer Line Services, Call Douglas

If you suspect a deep main sewer line clog, leave the repairs to the pros – call Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule drain clearing and repair services if necessary. Our plumbers perform reliable work so you can rest assured your sewer line issue and the symptoms it produces are eliminated once and for all.

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