Tips About Sewer Drain Cleaning You Need to Know

When is the last time that you thought about your sewer lines? Sure, you have had clogged drains and stopped up toilets, and fortunately, they are not always an indication that there is a problem with the main sewer line. A large percentage of the time, it is just hair and other debris making the shower drain slowly or not at all. Clearing the drain traps and using the plumber’s “friend” (a plunger) will usually take care of the problem. If the problems persist, you probably need the main line cleaned by a plumbing company that specializes in cleaning sewer drains. At Southern Plumbing, we know just how frustrating it can be to deal with sewer clogs. No one likes backflow, overflow or the accompanying unpleasant mess.
Avoid Problems in the First Place
As a homeowner, you probably perform maintenance on a variety of appliances and items around your home. You no doubt have the heating checked each year to prevent carbon monoxide build up. The same goes for your air conditioning and other major appliances. You know that routine maintenance prolongs their lifespan. However, if you are like most of us, you don’t think about the sewer lines in your house. It is time to start. We recommend that you have the sewage lines inspected and cleaned once a year by a professional as a maintenance program and to avoid serious and costly problems. Prevention is better than a cure when it comes to sewer drain problems. You can do your part to help keep your drains clean by using a simple solution of vinegar and baking soda. This eliminates the need for harsh chemicals. Let the solution sit in the drain for an hour or so, and then run warm water. This will remove residue from most sink, tub, and shower lines. It is also advisable to fill your sinks all the way to the top and then drain them. This should be done at least once or twice each month, in addition to the annual inspection and cleaning. The pressure from the draining water will help maintain proper flow through your pipes.
How the Sewage System Works
Your home has a series of waste water removal pipes that lead straight to and feed the main sewer line. Identifying which drain pipe is clogged is the first step in clearing a blocked sewer drain. Waste from your house flows into the main line and from there it goes to the city sewer. The typical house has lines that remove waste from the kitchen and toilets, and another line that carries wastewater from bathroom sinks and showers. The main sewer line, depending on the age of the house and if it is the original line, can be made of a variety of materials, such as fiber conduit, clay, and cast iron. All types can develop problems with clogs.

Symptoms That Spell Sewer Drain Clog Danger

There are a variety of signs that indicate the possibility of a sewer clog. These include the unusual behavior of your plumbing fixtures. There are others besides those listed below, but the following are some of the most obvious signs:
Toilet flushing problems – if water backs up into the tub or shower, then your sewer line is probably clogged. If water from the toilet cannot drain, it finds the lowest point; which is most often the shower. This can be most unpleasant. Since toilets have the biggest and most direct path to the largest drain in your home, you will probably notice a problem here first. If there is a stoppage in the main line, it is likely that all of your toilets will be affected. This is a pretty good indicator of a sewer drain in need of cleaning.
Washing machine – water draining from the washing machine causes a toilet to overflow.
Air in the line – a clogged sewer drain can trap air in the pipes. When you use the sink closest to a toilet, you may notice bubbles in the toilet water or that the water level rises.
If you think that you may have a clogged sewer drain, you should try to avoid using the plumbing in your home until the problem is fixed.
Serious Sewage Problems
One of the most serious problems that can befall the main sewer line is the incursion of tree roots. This is especially true in older homes. Roots naturally follow the water, and a sewer line is a great source of water and nutrients. Tree roots can cause blockage and even crush a drain pipe over time. The usual way to remove roots from your sewer lines is with root saws, high-pressure water, and augers. You should consult with a competent sewer blockage plumber for root clearing.
Contact a Professional Plumbing Company
Once you have determined that you need the help of a professional, make sure that they are, like Southern Plumbing, equipped to deal with actual sewer issues. If the company specializes in sewer and drainage problems, then regardless of the scope of the problem, they can usually handle it. They will discuss your options and suggest an effective maintenance program. The sooner you call, the better. Sewer clogs should be cleared as soon as possible.
If the existing problem is greater than what a cleaning can fix, you may need a sewer replacement. If that is the case, the company that you consulted with can diagnose the problem and provide an estimate for repairs. If you are told that you need the sewer line replaced, it is a good idea to get a second opinion. Sewer replacement can be a costly, time-consuming job, so it is worth double-checking. Sewer lines are durable but eventually they will develop problems. However, with routine maintenance, they will provide years and years of service. A blockage or replacement is something that is unpleasant to face, but the sooner that the problem is addressed, the easier it will be to fix.
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