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How to Clear Main Sewer Line

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  • 01-06-2021
How to Clear Main Sewer Line

Although a clog in your main sewer line might seem like a little problem, numerous problems are associated with clogged sewer lines. Backed up sinks and toilet draining into the tub are just some of the issues you may experience. Therefore, you need to clear the main sewer immediately.


Signs of a Clogged Sewer Line

You are required to watch out for these signs so that you can fix the problem before it becomes an emergency. 

It would be best to look out for certain signs to determine whether you will hire a professional or do it yourself, depending on how severe the problem is.

When you have several plumbing fixtures clogged simultaneously, for example, if your toilet, bathtub, kitchen sink, and shower have backed up, there is a high probability that the mainline of your sewer has clogged. 

You need to understand that your toilet has a direct line to the main sewer line. Therefore, when it blocks or starts to back up, your sewer line has clogged, and it should be fixed immediately. 

On the other hand, if your toilet is working fine and all the other fixtures have backed up or are slowly draining, you might not have a clogged main sewer line.

If your toilet bubbles when you run water into your sink.The bubbling of the toilet is a result of trapped air in the plumbing system. This means that there is a clog, and you need to have it fixed. 

If you are not sure whether there is a clog, you can run some water in the sink closest to the toilet to see if the water level in the toilet rises or bubbling. If any of the two happens, you have a clog.

If your toilet overflows or water backs up into the shower or tub after draining your washing machine, you have a main sewer line clog. 

However, if you can flush the toilet without issue, you do not have any clog. This means that you might have plumbing problems related to the main sewer line and not a clog.

If your sinks, bathtubs or showers are frequently clogging, this could be a sign that you have a clogged drain or sewer line. 

If these appliances do not drain on their own without the help of a plunger or chemical drain line cleaner, this can be a sign that your main sewer line is blocked. 

You should not ignore this issue, especially if they need help when draining after each use, and should arrange for a drain cleaning or sewer line inspection. 

 How to Clear a Main Sewer Line - plumber inspecting blocked sink drain

If several of your drains are emptying slower simultaneously, this too can be a sign of a main sewer line blockage. If you have a suspicion that your sewer line may be clogged, check the draining speed of all your low lying fixtures, such as your toilet, bathtub and other bathroom fixtures.

If one or all are draining slowly, you may have a clogging issue with the sewer line. Should you have noticed distinctly bad smells around your home, this could be a sure sign that your sewer line is clogged. 

When there is a blockage in the line, dirty wastewater begins to seep back into your system of sinks, toilets and bathtubs. While this water may not be visible to start with, you will be able to notice the smell. This is a sure sign that the wastewater is not draining correctly. 

Noticing unusual noises coming from your appliances can also signify a blockage. An example of this could be a gurgling after you flush your toilet. 

Another may be that you hear a noticeable creaking in your walls or floors after turning off your shower. Either of these and more besides, could suggest that you have a blockage on your sewer line. 

If the water level in your toilet is rising and falling unexplainably, this is another sign of clogging. You can check for the cause of the water level changing by draining your bathtub or kitchen sink. 

If performing these actions alters your toilet's water level, you will have a blockage in your sewer line and should have it checked. 

Should you have water coming out of the cleanout pipe, you may have a blockage. The cleanout pipe is what plumbers would use to remove blockages from your sewer pipe. 

Therefore, if water is flowing out of this pipe, it is likely that something within the line is blocking it. Besides being unhygienic to have this water flowing backwards out of the cleanout, it can often smell horribly. 

Finding puddles of water when inspecting the exterior of your home can also be another sign of a blockage in your sewer line. 

Other exterior signs include foul smells, discoloured patches of grass on your lawn and even visible tree roots close to your exterior walls. All of these may be signifiers that there is clogging in your main sewer line. 

There is a wide range of causes for your main sewer lines to suffer from clogging. Attempting to remove or loosen these blockages yourself can often make the situation much worse. 

It is, therefore, far more beneficial, cost-effective and less damaging to arrange for a professional plumber to deal with the problem. 

They will be able to check your system expertly, discover exactly where the blockage is to be found and remove it. 

An experienced plumbing engineer will also advise you on how the clog occurred, and therefore how to avoid it happening again in the future.

Signs of a Clogged Sewer Line Edgware, Barnet, Enfield, North London

What Drain Unblocking Service Will Do

Your drain lines expert will locate the large main drain pipe in your home to remove the cleanout plug. Some water may run out when you pull the plug with an adjustable wrench, thus fixing the clog. 

If you don't know where the large drain pipe is, you can look at the garage or near the foundation of your house, your basement or crawl space because that's where these pipes are located most of the time.

Unblocking a drain requires protective clothing to avoid exposing yourself to disease-causing microorganisms. 

An overall, gloves, a face mask and even rubber boots are some of the equipment you should be having. In addition, read the manufacturer's instructions when using any drain opening product to ensure safety and proper equipment or products. 

If you have limited skills in handling a particular problem or are worried the problem might be more serious, you need to seek help from a professional plumber.

Several things can block your sewer line besides having solid substances running through the sewers. 

For instance, tree and shrub roots in your yard can cause clogging when their roots bore through the sewer line. 

The typical drain methods cannot fix this blocking. Instead, you may have to replace the pipes, and a professional plumber can only do this.

What Drain Unblocking Service Will Do - North London Edgware, Barnet, Enfield

Plumbing pipes that have shifted over time or pipes that have not been installed properly can be prone to clogging. Therefore, ensure you hire an experienced plumber when repairing or replacing your plumbing pipes to avoid such related problems.

Every drain within your home will lead to a single main sewer line. This line will go directly to the municipal sewerage system and eventually end in a septic tank system where the waste is disposed of. 

Locating this line within your house is an important job, mainly if any clogs, damage, or backups occur in your sewerage system. Finding where this line is will allow you to know exactly where to access it for future maintenance and repairs. 

When attempting to locate the main sewer line in your home, it will take a bit of time and searching on your part. 

You will typically find it in your cellar, crawl spaces or garage, and it will generally look like a pipe around four inches across with a screw cap on top. 

It would help if you remembered that not all houses have indoor sewer lines or cleanout points. Some houses have these lines located outdoors, while other homes do not even have a dedicated main sewer line. 

Typically the most common reason why a clog forms in your sewerage line is that the pipe is damage. 

If your sewerage pipe is damaged or has bent or been broken, this prevents debris from travelling through it efficiently, causing a blockage. Things that may damage your sewer pipes include:

  • Faulty joints in the pipe
  • Corrosion Moving topsoil
  • Nearby disruption from building work
  • Heavy above-ground traffic

Another common cause for blockages is that sewerage lines tend to sag over time. Again, this impairs the smooth transition of waste through the pipe, culminating in a clog. The most frequent waste found to block these pipes is fat. 

These substances cool and harden after emptying oil, fats, and grease into sinks and drains, causing a blockage. Even if you run hot water down the drain, these fats will still form a firm clog when they are in your main sewer line. 

Other forms of debris that commonly cause blockages include paper towels - including wet wipes - bulky items, and sanitary products. As a general rule, you should never put anything down your drains besides toilet paper and liquids. 

Tree roots can also cause blockage issues with your sewerage pipes. Even the smallest roots can work their way into your plumbing, causing significant problems. Small leaks will be unnoticeable as the root itself blocks the hole it makes in the pipework.

But as the root grows and spreads, it will cause a damaging clog, blocking the waste from moving through the sewer system. 

The first simple step is to turn off your water supply in your home. This will prevent any backup caused by the clog from becoming worse, either by accidentally turning on your taps or through your dishwasher automatically draining, for example. 

You will need to find the mains water supply, which will generally be close to your water meter or on the exterior of your house. Typically it will have a wheel or lever on it, which you will need to turn or switch until it is completely switched off.

The next step is to arrange for a plumbing contractor to come and look at the issue. It is never advisable that you attempt to clear the blockage yourself, given the complexity of the plumbing systems and the damages that can occur to them in most homes. 

While you may be able to remove a drain clog yourself, clearing a complex sewerage line is a different job entirely. Professional plumbers will have the necessary equipment and tools to clear the line of any clogs properly. 

Another benefit is that a professional contractor can offer expert skills to determine the cause of the clog and avoid it happening again in the future. 

Of course, it is always best to hire a professional to remove any clogs or blockages to your main sewer line. There are, however, a few small things you can do before an expert arrives that may help the situation and prevent it from worsening. 

You may be able to locate your sewer line cleanout pipe either in your cellar or on the exterior of your home. This pipe will have a twist-off cap and, if you are lucky, you can find the blockage causing the issue just inside the cleanout pipe. 

If this is the case, you may be able to extract the clog yourself here. You might also be able to run a plumbing snake through the pipe in an attempt to break up or remove the clog. However, many sewer blockages are too significant for a basic drain snake to remove. 

Additionally, this will not remove the clog entirely and only allow for an easier clean up by a fully-trained plumber. If you are experiencing blockages in your main sewer line, these will continue to happen until you have the line professionally cleared. 

Are you experiencing a drain blockage in Edgware, Barnet, Enfield or North London? Have you tried every DIY method? If you require an emergency drain unblocking in North London, follow the link below for professional drain clearance services, or call us today.