FAQs About Residential Sewer Line Cleaning

October 24, 2023


A clog in a sewer line clog can result in serious home plumbing problems in your home. That is why it is important to understand the signs of a blocked or cog sewer line, as this signals it is the right time to call for a professional plumber to complete a residential sewer line cleaning to ensure your plumbing system remains functioning.

Signs of a Sewer Line Clog

A residential sewer line cleaning is typically needed if you begin to see the following signs –

A Slow Drain

There are various drains that are used for different purposes throughout your home (i.e., sinks, tubs, and toilets) that begin to drain slower than usual, often creating gurgling noises as water attempts to make its way through what are likely partially clogged pipes.

Toilets & Water Begin to Back-Up

If a toilet or two begin to back up – mainly when you flush in more than one location in the home, it is indicative of a potential sewer line blockage. Another clear and visible signal of a sewer line issue in need of cleaning is when a shower or bathtub within the home backs up when a toilet in the home has been flushed.

The Presence of Foul Odors

A consistent, unpleasant odor that emanates from toilets or drains in the home is a sign that the pipes are likely backing up sewage.

Wet Spots or Puddles

If you see unexplained puddles or damp spots in your yard (not from recent rain!) that are near your home's sewer line's track, this may indicate a break or leak in the sewer line connecting your home to a main sewer.

Note that if you begin to experience recurring clogs in more than one area of your house, this could be the result of the main sewer line being blocked.

How Plumbers Can Clean a Sewer Line Clog

Fortunately, plumbing professionals have a variety of tools and techniques to locate the clog and complete a residential sewer line cleaning. In the modern plumbing world, professionals can employ a specialized camera that provides an internal and unique perspective within the sewer line.

Once the clog is located, a plumbing professional can then determine the cause (i.e., grease buildup, debris, tree roots, or a damaged pipe) and the appropriate way to repair the clog and clean the sewer.

Residential Sewer Line Cleaning Options

Mechanical Cleaning

For sewers that are in need of minor clog cleaning, a plumbing professional can use a mechanical snake or auger, which is designed to remove/break up blockage within drains and pipes. Mechanical cleaning is effective for clearing a blockage that has been caused by small debris, like paper or hair buildup.

Hydro Jetting

In more serious clogs occur (or a tree root is contributing to the cause of the blockage), the use of hydrojetting offers a powerful solution. This plumbing technique, which can remove stubborn clogs and buildup, involves the use of highly pressurized water that is used to scrub the inside of the sewer line or pipe.

Chemical Treatments

In certain instances, a plumber may utilize chemicals designed to dissolve organic matter or grease clogs. Note that a chemical treatment is typically a last resort as the potential exists for pipe damage, etc.

Repair or Replacement

If the sewer line clog is due to a significant root invasion, it may require a repair or replacement of the pipe and involve digging up the area of the problem pipe.

Preventing Future Issues

It is important to be proactive and take preventive measures. This includes regular maintenance or utilizing enzyme-based drain cleaners.

The Take-Away

Note that if you attempt to clear the residential sewer line, this may damage the pipes and even make the problem worse. As such, to ensure these issues are solved effectively and safely, it's recommended to contact a licensed and experienced plumber to evaluate and address sewer line problems.


Urban Splatter

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