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What Are The Main Causes Of Sewer Line Clogs?

Clogged sewer lines are frustrating and may cause big, expensive plumbing issues, That doesn’t have to always be the case. If you have noticed signs that you have a sewer line clog follow this guide to learn what causes them and what you can do to fix them or if you need to call a professional plumber.

  • Foreign Objects – Paper towels, baby wipes, pads, tampons, diapers, and anything that isn’t designed to be flushed down the toilet are common culprits of sewer line clogs
  • Tree Root Systems – Sewer line damage and blockage caused by tree roots are especially common in older homes. Tree roots are drawn to the moisture of your sewer line pipes. The roots enter the pipes through loose joints and small cracks. As they feed on the nutrients inside, the roots grow larger and larger until they create a blockage and cause damage to the sewer line. 
tree root sewer line clog
  • Oils, Grease, and Fats – Even though these substances are liquid when they are warm, they can congeal and solidify, trapping debris and causing a blockage in your sewer line pipes. 
  • Existing Plumbing Issues – In homes that have old plumbing systems or even in new homes with poorly connected pipes, it is inevitable plumbing issues will arise. It’s not uncommon for existing issues with plumbing to cause damage or blockage to sewer lines.

What Can I Do To Unclog My Sewer Line?

plumbing sewer line auger

First, Turn off the water to your home and locate the sewer cleanout in your yard. The sewer cleanout is usually covered with a round green cap or a round white cap with a square on the top.  

Next, you’ll need to locate the clog. This is usually done with the use of a pipe inspection camera. You can either rent or run your own camera through your sewer cleanout pipe or hire a professional. Once you confirm the issue is a blockage in your sewer line and locate the problem, you can decide what needs to be done next.

There are a number of options to help you unclog your sewer line:

  • Chemical Cleaners – These chemicals are usually very hazardous, so we recommend following the instructions exactly, including wearing the proper safety equipment. Follow all the EPA guidelines when using these products. This means that certain types of chemical cleaners cannot be used if there are breaks in your pipes. You can search for EPA-approved drain openers here.
  • Home Remedies – There are a number of old home remedies that people have discovered to clear blocked pipe systems. These are usually less effective than chemical cleaners, but they can work in some situations and are usually safer and more environmentally friendly. A common home remedy for blocked sewer lines is to combine one part baking soda with one part vinegar. Pour this down your drains and let it sit for one hour before running hot water down your pipes.
  • Plumbing Auger – You can attempt to snake your sewer line through the sewer cleanout pipes found in your yard using a standard plumbing auger, however, it should be known that sewer line clogs almost always require something with a little more power. Professionals use power-assisted plumbing augers that can easily break apart clogs in a sewer line.
  • Water Jet – Sewer line cleaning with high-pressure water jets breaks up debris by shooting water at a high speed through your pipes. This is a low-cost and environmentally safe way to deal with clogs in your sewer line, however, it can also cause damage to your pipes. Ensure that your pipes have no breaks or damage before you consider this method. 

When Should I Hire A Professional Plumber To Clear My Sewer Line?

If old home remedies and chemical cleaners aren’t clearing your sewer line, we recommend calling a plumber. A licensed plumber that specializes in unclogging sewer lines will have all the right equipment to do the job safely and quickly. While this comes at a cost, a plumber will be able to accurately diagnose the problem, locate the clog, and determine the best course of action to clear any blockage without damaging your plumbing system. If any other existing plumbing issues are the cause of a sewer line clog, they will be able to direct you to a more permanent solution and prevent reoccurring issues. 

In Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas billyGO’s licensed and certified plumbers have the tools and training to unblock your sewer line.


BillyGO Plumbing, Heating & Air

For quality Plumbing, Heating, and Air service in Dallas-Fort Worth, contact billyGO today!

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