Your sewer main drain is a crucial part of your home’s plumbing system. Of course, it’s not something that most people know much about because it’s not visible. It’s only when there’s a problem, like a sewer drain clog, when homeowners are forced to stop and pay attention to it. That’s why we’ve put together some key points that every homeowner needs to know about their sewer main drains – so that you can take action before it’s too late.
Fixing a Clogged Sewer Main
Usually, when your home plumbing system is faced with a tough clog, a drain snake can be used to locate and break it up. However, that tool can only be used if the clog is in a branch drain line. A clog in the sewer main drain is a different, more problematic situation that requires the use of a sewer drain snake through a main clean-out fitting. If there is no clean-out fitting though, you will need to call in a professional plumber to clear the sewer clog, as it is a much more difficult process.
The only way you’ll know if you have a clean-out fitting is to look for one. All houses are different, so clean-outs are never located in the same place. Plus, they can be pretty hard to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If they’re located outside, it can be even harder if vegetation has grown over one. When looking, start near the bathroom. For those with basements, the main clean-outs are usually set into the concrete slab near the foundation walls. If you still can’t find your clean-out, call your local plumber to assist.
Of course, there’s always the chance that you may not have a clean-out, in which case you’ll need to consider having a main clean-out installed. A clean-out is very important if your sewer drain becomes clogged. If you have one installed, it will be cheaper to have your main line snaked, and it can also serve as a release when the main line is backed up. This way water will leak outside instead of into your home.
What to Do if the Main Drain Line Can’t Be Cleared
If you’ve tried to unclog your sewer drain yourself using a sewer drain snake to no success, call your trusted plumber. They too will try to snake out the main line. If the clog still can’t be cleared, replacing the main drain line might be an option that is presented to you. The cost to replace the line can be very expensive, though, so it may be worth it to call in a second opinion before spending a small fortune.
When Should You Replace Your Main Line?
Deciding when to replace your main line can be tricky. If your line backs up more than once a year, it may be a worthwhile option for you. Most of the time, though, all you really need is to have the sewer main line snaked once year or so. For most, it comes down to pricing, snaking vs. digging up and replacing a new line.
Preventing Sewer Main Clogs
Some clogs are avoidable while others aren’t. Sewer main drains can become clogged due to tree roots or collapsed pipes, both events that you can’t predict. Other times, you can take preventive measures by being careful what goes down your drain. Solid objects that are flushed down the toilet, for example, can become a real problem if they stop up a pipe. Food waste and oils that accidentally go down your kitchen drain can also contribute to sewer main drain clogs. It’s all a matter of paying attention to what goes into your pipes and taking immediate action when issues start to show.
If you suspect a problem with your sewer main drain, contact your city before calling in a plumber for an inspection or having work done. The location and cause of the blockage will need to be determined in order to say who is responsible for clearing the sewer main drain, as sometimes it is the homeowner and other times it is the city’s responsibility. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call.