The first sign that you may have an issue with your sewer line is when the water drains much slower than usual. If this happens to just one appliance then the issue is likely to be in the pipes under the appliance. In many cases, the trap will be blocked. Cleaning it out should be enough to resolve the issue.
However, if the water is draining slowly in all your appliances, then the issue is probably with the main sewer line. This is the pipe that runs from your home to the main sewer pipe under the road. What you may not realize is that this pipe is your responsibility. If it’s clogged or there is other damage, you need to fix it.
That’s why you need to know what steps to take if you have a clogged sewer line.
A clogged sewer line means the waste and wastewater can’t move along the pipe. In other words, it will go back up the pipe and ultimately come out of your drains. That’s why you should always investigate slow drains.
Instead of panicking, you should start by seeing what you are up against.
That means investing in a drain camera. You can insert this into the pipe and guide it along them via a cable. It will feed images of the pipe back to a monitor, allowing you to see what is inside the pipe and how far it has travelled.
You can use this information to locate the clog and identify where it is in relation to your position.
It is advisable to enter the sewer pipe through an inspection point in your yard. If the access point is full of water then the clog is between you and the main sewer line. If the pipe is dry the clog is toward your house.
Get The Drain Rods Out
Before you start rodding, you need to make sure you have the right gear on. That means trousers, a shirt, eye protection and gloves. Human waste can cause health issues, it’s best to play safe in case it splashes on you.
The drain rods connect together as you insert them, this allows you to rod through large sections of pipe surprisingly easily.
You’ll know how many sections you’ll need to reach the clog. With a clog-removing head fitted slowly feed the rods inside your sewer pipe. Apply gentle but repetitive pressure to the clog and the rods should break through it. This will help the water to drain away and, manoeuvring the rods around will help to break the rest of the clog up.
Use the Camera Again
Removing the rods is the reverse of putting them in, just pull them out, taking them apart as you go. Don’t forget, they will need a good clean before being stored.
You can now run your drain camera into the sewer pipe again. Hopefully, the clog will be gone and everything is flowing properly.
However, you’ll want to pay particular attention to where the clog was. It’s time to identify what caused it and whether there is any damage to your pipes.
It should be noted that if the pipes are damaged you’re going to want to repair them as soon as possible, or it will clog again.
Repairing Or Replacing
If the sewer pipe is damaged clearing the clog will allow you to use it again. But, it will need to be repaired. There are several options available. But, the first two are best done by the professionals.
1. Add A Liner
If the pipe damage is limited to cracks and perhaps a very small hole, you can slide a liner inside the sewer pipe and move it to the damaged area. It can then be inflated which allows it to stick to the existing pipe, effectively repairing the damaged section.
Bursting requires a special drill. It moves through the existing sewer pipe destroying it in the process. At the same time, it pulls a new pipe through behind it, effectively replacing the entire pipe in one simple move.
This is the most expensive option but saves digging up your yard.
3. Dig It Up
The more traditional approach is to simply dig up your yard until you find the damaged section of sewer pipe. You can then cut it out and replace the section. It’s potentially the cheapest option and possible to do yourself. But, it is time-consuming and there are several things that can go wrong. You need to be prepared for this.