When you have a blockage in your main sewer line, the best way to clear it is by accessing the main clean-out. The problem is, although every house should have one, not all do. Typically, the older the home, the higher the chance that it does not have a clean-out.
The first step to clear a main line blockage is to find the clean-out access point. In most of our homes in the Tidewater area, where our climate is typically warm and our homes are built on slab foundations, usually the main clean-out access is outside, somewhere near the exterior walls of the home.
Does My Home Have A Main Sewer Line Clean-Out?
Many homeowners don’t know if they have a clean-out and if they do, they may not know where it is located. Some homeowner’s first experience with their home’s main drain line is when a stoppage occurs. Depending on the age of the home, and the landscaping, problems like tree roots penetrating the line, or just the line deteriorating over time because it was installed so long ago, are some of the most common problems encountered, besides just a stubborn clog.
The clean-out pipe is a larger diameter pipe than you see inside, in your kitchen or bathroom, and you will probably see it has a threaded top. It could be flush or extending above the ground a bit, or it could be underground in a box with a metal cover. Commonly it is found in the landscaping or bushes just a few feet from the home. Other locations one may find a house main clean-out pipe are in a bathroom, garage, utility area, or basement.
Can You Clear A Main Sewer Line Clog Via Do-It-Yourself?
Some homeowners attempt to take the “do-it-yourself” strategy and, although even a cheap garden hose might clear a line, many times it does not. This type of job commonly requires special tools, equipment and an experienced plumber’s mindset and determination.
Clearing a main drain line is something that not all plumbers do. So, when you think you might be experiencing a clog or backup in your main line, it is important to find a professional plumbing company like Tony and Son Plumbing of Virginia Beach, Virginia, that is experienced in main line clean-outs and installations.
What If You Have A Main Line Blockage But Don’t Have A Clean-Out?
Many homeowners experience a main line blockage and then realize that they don’t have a clean-out. This happened recently with one of our clients at Tony and Son Plumbing. In this particular situation, the customer had a main sewer line blockage, and the house was built in the 1970’s, and back then clean-outs were not required by code.
With no access to clear the line, Plumber Tony tried to clear the line blockage with existing access points from the roof and a first-floor water closet flange to no avail due to too many 90-degree bends in the piping. The only way to directly hit this blockage head on was for Tony to create a clean-out access. This added access would allow for a more direct route to the blockage.
To get the job done, Plumber Tony dug out where the sewer main exited the house and exposed the house main sewer line going to the street. Then, he cut in the line to install a 4-inch combination drainage and stubbed up above ground for a clean-out access. At this point, with a more direct access to the clog, he was able to clear the blockage.
Need A Professional Plumber Experienced With Main Sewer Line Clogs?
The problem with the main drain line being clogged is that, unlike a clogged toilet that can just not be used until fixed, the main drain line is the path for all the water leaving all the pipes in your home. So, a main line clog stops all water use at your home until resolved. In addition, the water can back up into your house piping with disastrous results, and cause some expensive damages.
Symptoms that your home may be experiencing a clog in the main sewer line are if more than one drain is clogged, water backing up into your other drains, gurgling sounds in the pipes, or sewage odors.
Need help with a main sewer line clog? Contact Tony and Son Plumbing at (757) 675-6266 or contact us online to set up an appointment!