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What You Should Know About Fixing Home Sewer Line Clogs

It is annoying enough when a drain pipe gets clogged, but the real challenge comes when the entire sewer line itself is clogged. When this happens, all drain lines become clogged. Worse, smelly sewage may back out of the drains and into your house! Fortunately, a clogged sewer line can be fixed. Make sure to call a plumber for help instead of fixing it yourself, though, since professional plumbers have the expertise and tools needed for this job.

Why do sewers get clogged?
Typically, sewer lines have a diameter of at least six inches, and it takes a lot more than paper or tiny objects to clog them. Several cases of sewer clogs are due to tree roots making their way in the sewer pipes, and this happens because tree roots like the moisture and warmth in them. Once they are inside, the roots will start growing and once they are large enough, debris will start collecting. Eventually, the entire sewer pipe will be filled with different sorts of rubbish, and wastewater can no longer pass.

How to diagnose the problem?
If the sewer has become clogged, all drains will run slowly regardless of the effort you exerted to get them cleared. Moreover, you might hear some gurgling sounds from the pipes when flushing a toilet. Another way to check if a sewer line has clogged is by having a plumber run a visual inspection of its interior with a camera. When done, cracks and breakages caused by root growth are also revealed.

What professionals can do: Mechanical Cleaning
Plumbing professionals, particularly sewer cleaners, have different tools for clearing sewer clogs. A tool called a power-assisted auger is one such tool. It is the bigger version of a hand-held drain snake, one often mounted to a truck and fed into the affected sewer. Another tool they use is a high-pressure jet that can deliver water at 4,000 pounds per square inch to blow all obstructions in the affected pipe.

What professionals can do: Chemical Cleaning

Plumbers will flush copper sulphate down a toilet as many times as possible to kill the roots in the sewer line, if it is allowed in your area. Alternatively, a root-killing foam with dichlobenil and metam-sodium can be used instead. The foam will cling to the pipes, and the chemicals will kill all the roots in a space of a few hours. Keep in mind, however, that it might take a long time for the foam to completely wash away.