Let’s face it, most of us know nothing about sewer line cleaning. If you are included in this group, don’t fret, your questions will be answered today in this follow up article to sewer line jetting. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding sewer lines. Here they are:


What exactly is a sewer line? What does it do?

sewer line maintenanceSewer lines are the system of plumbing pipes in each home. They move waste water from the home to the sewer mains. Each homeowner is responsible for sewer line pipe that connects the pipes in their home to the main sewer line, which is usually in a street. Because the pipes that connect their home are buried and out of sight, homeowners usually don’t have any clue to potential problems until it’s too late. And, when it’s too late it creates a very expensive job.

When should I clean my sewer line?

Generally, sewer lines should be cleaned as needed. But, it is important to note that neglected sewer lines can lead to a clogged system. A clog will eventually cause a backup of the line and raw sewage to spill into your home. A backup can cause a lot of damage and you will have to repair the sewer line or replace it. To prevent any issues, it’s important to have your sewer lines inspected by a professional about once a year.

When should my sewer line be inspected?

Your sewer line should be inspected if it’s over forty years old. But, this may need to be done sooner if any of the following factors apply to you:

  • You suspect tree roots may have penetrated your underground sewer lines
  • Your plumbing lines are draining slowly

According to Pain in the Drain:

Mature trees add beauty and shade to landscapes, but their roots can cause extensive damage to sewer pipes. Roots grow into the pipes because they like it there! Sewer pipes contain water, nutrients and oxygen-the essential elements for trees to grow. 


How can I tell if my sewer line is clogged?

Before a clogged sewer lines back up, it provides clues that alert the homeowner that something is wrong. In this way, it is possible to get help before disaster occurs. Some of these clues include:

  • A raw sewage smell coming from your drains
  • Your toilets and drains start to make gurgling/percolating sounds
  • Water pooling around or backing out of toilets or drains.


I’ve heard so much about high-pressure cleanings. What is it and how does it work?

One of the best ways to clean your sewer line is with with high-press water jetters. This method is more effective than a drain auger, also known as a snake or cable, because it cleans the lines instead of just removing blockages. In fact, when a high pressure cleaning is performed by an extensively trained plumbing professional, it will remove food, hair, mineral, deposits, grease, and other blockages.


How can I keep my lines clear and avoid plumbing problems?

You can keep your lines clear without using harsh chemical-based drain cleaners. Simply, fill your sinks with water once or twice a month and drain them. The water pressure will remove any waste that’s in the line and will make sure that water can flow through your pipes properly.


Important Considerations

If you decide to get your sewers cleaned professionally, call two companies, at the very least, to help you find the best deal for your needs. Also, do a little bit of research to make sure that the plumber that you hire is insured, has a good reputation, and has the proper license to work in your area. And, if you have any questions, we are here to help. Just give us a call.


Other Sources:

  1. http://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-often-should-i-clean-my-sewer-drain.htm
  2. http://www.angieslist.com/articles/warning-signs-main-sewer-line-clog.htm