11 August A plumber clearing a main sewer line clog

How to Clear a Main Sewer Line Clog

Posted by PlumbWize

Knowing how to clear a main sewer line clog is part and parcel of being a property owner. However, this doesn’t mean that you, as a property owner, would have to do it yourself. When faced with a main sewer line clog, property owners are encouraged to get help from a professional plumber

Acting accordingly is only half of the journey. It is also important to know how to recognize a main sewer line clog, understand why it happens, as well as give information to help the plumber recommend the best solution.

This complete guide goes into how to clear a main sewer line clog and other essential details. 

Top Signs of a Main Sewer Line Clog 

Your home plumbing system is quite extensive, which can sometimes make it hard to know exactly where a clog is occurring within your home. However, when it comes to clogs, a few trademark signs point to the main sewer line. 

Main sewer clog issues are potentially messy and can get quite expensive to resolve if not taken care of promptly. 

If you notice any of the following signs, you need to call a plumber for help

Drains Are Slow to Empty

A hair clog can slow down a shower drain, while food waste such as noodles or egg shells can clog the kitchen sink. However, when you start noticing that all your drains are draining slowly, you have a bigger problem. If you notice multiple drains are taking a while to drain, it is time to have the main sewer line checked.

A person unclogging a sink with a plunger

Water Backing Up In Sink or Toilet

A reliable sign that something is going on with your main sewer line is if you start to see water pop back up a drain or you hear gurgling from a drain that is not in use. If you only see this happen once, then there is usually no need to worry. However, if you notice that it is happening in multiple areas or if you flush your toilet and see water popping up in the kitchen sink, then it’s clearly an issue with the main sewer line.

Flooded Yard (With No Rain)

Your main sewer line runs from your home to the road (in most cases). This means that most of it is underneath your yard. Therefore, if your yard floods and there is no rain to explain the issue, there is a good chance that your main sewer line is clogged or fractured and is leaking water. If you notice the smell of sewage and flooding, it’s pretty much a sure thing—it’s the sewer line. 

Odd Sewage Smell

Sewage issues tend to have an unmistakable odour. If it smells like sewage, looks like sewage, and comes out of a drain, you can rest assured it is sewage. Sewage gases are incredibly foul, and often, you will smell the problem before you see it. An issue like this poses various health risks—so be sure to call a plumbing professional as soon as possible.

What Causes a Main Sewer Line Blockage? 

Various factors can cause the main sewer line to clog, but the usual causes are mostly debris, grease, or tree roots. All it takes is a sewer line pipe to become slightly misaligned for dirt, debris, and soil to infiltrate it. 

Tree roots that start as a tiny whisper growing towards water can quickly grow into large roots that break up an entire line or block the flow of water. But this could just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of blockages.

Kitchen grease and fats that harden along pipelines along with toilet paper and foreign objects are other common causes of blocked sewer lines. 

It is essential to understand what is blocking your line before you learn how to clear a main sewer line clog. 

How to Clear a Main Sewer Line Clog 

Once you’ve figured out exactly what is causing the issue, it is time to learn how to clear a main sewer line clog—or at least what your options are.

In general, you have two options: call a plumber or try to do it yourself. Let’s break down the details of both so you can make a more informed decision about which one you should choose.

DIY Options for Clearing a Main Sewer Line

There are several DIY options if you want to learn how to clear a main sewer line quickly. 

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Almost every major hardware store will have commercial drain cleaners that promise to eliminate blockages. Many of them do, but the problem with depending on these chemicals is that they will also eat your pipes. Plus, they don’t always work. 

Commercial Snake Rentals

Some hardware stores also allow you to rent commercial snakes, which means you could attempt to clear your own pipes. However, if you don’t know the exact cause of the blockage, you could potentially damage your sewer line—which is a very expensive mistake to make. 

How Does a Plumber Unclog a Main Sewer Line?

A plumber will use a special camera to look down your lines and determine what is causing the blockage before they start to unclog the main line. They also have specialized equipment that gives them better control as they work to clear the blockage. 

Professional plumbers also offer hydro jetting services that are much safer for your pipes than traditional snakes. This method won’t damage your pipes and typically ensures that the issue is fixed promptly and accurately the first time around. 

A plumber unclogging a drain

Count on PlumbWize to Clear Your Main Sewer Lines 

If you have a clogged drain, don’t let the issue escalate any further. You can count on PlumbWize’s plumbing experts to resolve the issue for you. 

Our team has over 60 years of combined experience in resolving commercial and residential plumbing emergencies. There is no job too big or small for us—contact PlumbWize today to schedule an appointment with our experts!


Leave a Comment