How do I clear my main sewer line?

Sewer Line
Source: | How do I clear my main sewer line? | When you own your home you can choose to inspect the sewer line every year, have someone inspect it for you, or simply ignore it.

Unfortunately, if you ignore it you’re likely to be stacking up problems for the future.

Sewer pipes are generally large but that doesn’t mean they can’t become blocked or damaged. 

Problems Facing Sewer Pipes

The main problem for sewer pipes is what is pushed down your drains. You may be surprised to find that the average family uses 409 toilet rolls per year. All that toilet paper goes into your sewer pipe. It should all move into the sewers and to the treatment plant. 

However, if you’ve put things like wet wipes, female sanitary products, and other items down your sewer pipe, you can cause a blockage.

The toilet paper and waste will sit against this clog, gradually building up until the pipe is completely blocked. The first warning you’ll have is slow drains, this will escalate into blocked drains and sewer water backing up into your home.

That’s when you’ll need to take action.

Clearing Your Sewer Line

The first step is to locate the fault. There are two steps to this part of the process.


  • Localize It


If you have one slow draining appliance and the others are working fine then the problem is between that appliance and the sewer line, or where the other appliances reach the sewer line. 

In contrast, if the issue is with all drains then the clog is most likely to be in the sewer pipe.

Locating the area that the clog is likely to be in makes step two easier.


  • Use a Camera


You need a good quality drain camera. This can be inserted into your sewer pipe from any drain or opening and will allow you to see the condition of the pipe and locate the clog.

An inspection camera is useful in this situation but it is also something you should do regularly.

Running a camera through your drains won’t just show clogs building up, it will also show any damage to the pipe, tree roots are particularly effective at causing a pipe to crack and break, leaving you with sewage leaking in the wrong place.

That can be an expensive repair job but a simple fix if caught early enough.

Removing The Block

Having located the clog you’ll need to use drain rods to reach the clog and clear it. You can try a brush end to break up the clog or you may prefer to pierce it multiple times until it starts to break up and can be washed down the pipe.

When unclogging a pipe make sure you do it properly, you don’t simply want to move the clog further down the pipe.

Once done, flush the sewer pipe and run your drain camera through again to ensure it is clear. Don’t forget, you’re responsible for the pipe until it connects with the main sewer on the road. 

Image Source