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Sewer Line Services

When we speak about needing sewer line cleaning, there are two types of sewer lines. The sanitary sewer line carries clean water into your home. The water you use to bathe, clean, cook and do laundry comes from this line. The water that flows from this line comes from the sewer treatment plant the city owns and operates. Then there is a storm sewer line that sends redirects to the rainwater from roofs and roadways to the storm system.

For this article, our focus will be on the sanitary sewer line going to your home, starting with a popular question: “What do you do if your sewer line is clogged?”. If you are like the average homeowner, you probably haven’t given your sewer line that much thought. You may understand that sewage and wastewater have to go somewhere, but beyond that, until you have a problem with drainage, you haven’t given it two thoughts. Dial 301-370-8320 to speak with someone on our team about sewer line cleaning for your Rockville, MD property.

What to Do About a Clogged Sewer Line

When a sewer line is clogged, it can spell disaster for a homeowner. The sewage and wastewater you don’t think about start backing up into every drain inside your home. You may not realize it right now, but that is probably the worst nightmare for a homeowner. However, this will be when the words ‘sewer line cleaning’ come to mind, and you realize the value in what this article has to offer you.

Fortunately, there is something you can do for your immediate needs that will restore your home’s plumbing system to a better state of being – temporarily.

Pressure Release for Sewer Line Cleaning: As soon as you realize there is a possible clogged sewer line, you need to turn the water off at the main supply (this is usually at the meter). Search your basement, roof, and yard to locate the sewer cleanout. It is typically a short, white pipe that is three to four inches round with a screw-on cap. Once you find it, remove the cap. This action will release any pressure in the sewer line, forcing that backed up wastewater that backed up in the shower, sink, or tub to drain.

Chemical Sewer Line Cleaning: Tree roots are a sewer line’s enemy. However, a sewer line clogged with tree roots can be cleared of any clogs they’re causing by using one of these chemical treatments: Copper Sulfate – recommended by professional plumbers for immediate and fast sewer line cleaning. You simply pour it in the toilets and flush. It kills any tree roots that are interrupting your sewer line’s flow. The downside to this substance it that it flushes away fast so you may need to repeat the application a few times to clear the clog completely. Some public water municipalities prohibit this product, which is something a professional plumber would know.

The other product recommended by plumbers for sewer line cleaning is Dichlobenil, and like the Copper Sulfate, you simply flush a dose down the toilets. It is a foam product that sticks to the pipes, and in a few hours, it kills those pesky tree roots. The downside to this product, those dead tree roots don’t disappear immediately and could still cause you problems until they do flush through, which can take a few months.

Mechanical Sewer Line Cleaning: Professional plumbers and sewer cleaning professionals have a few sewer line cleaning tools for unclogging main sewer lines that the average homeowner doesn’t. Among those tools is a flexible cable, the most effective tool. Your plumber may refer to it as an auger or plumber snake. The auger is power-assisted, and the plumber feds into the sewer line until they reach the clog. It breaks the clog up, and your wastewater starts flowing again.

Another sewer line cleaning method used by plumbers today is high-pressure water that blows the roots and debris down the sewer line. These are sewer line cleaning that you can rent from big box home improvement stores, but keep in mind, if done incorrectly, you can do a lot of damage. Then you end up calling a professional plumber to fix what you damaged and complete the sewer line cleaning you didn’t get finished.

How do you dissolve toilet paper in a sewer line?

Toilet paper is manufactured to break up easily to dissolve in water, which works unless there is too much, and it becomes a gummy clog. Fortunately, there a few things you can do to dissolve that toilet paper clog with the following steps for sewer line cleaning and get the toilet flowing again.

  • Step 1: First, clear everything away from the toilet like rugs and towels. 
  • Step 2: Raise the seat and insert the plunger in the toilet bowl, covering the toilet drain opening. 
  • Step 3: Start plunging the toilet, downward, and upward over the opening so that it creates a suction and pulls the clog up or pushes it on down.
  • Step 4: Flush the toilet to see if the clog of toilet paper has dissolved. 
  • Step 5: If not, use a toilet auger, inserting it into the toilet drain, and pushing it down the drain till you hit some resistance.
  • Step 6: Start rotating the auger handle while pushing it inward so the barbs can disintegrate the clogged toilet paper.
  • Step7: Remove the auger and flush the toilet. If there is still a toilet paper clog, repeat steps 5 and 6 again. If you still have a clog, its time to call a professional plumber. 
How do I know if my sewer line needs to be replaced?

This invisible but essential part of the plumbing in your home will tell you when your sewer line clogged or broken, and sewer line cleaning may not be enough by one of the following ways:

  • Bathtub, shower, sinks, and toilet slow draining
  • Water pressure dropped in sink or shower
  • The toilet water level varies from almost empty to overflowing
  • Constant backup wastewater and sanitary blockages
  • Water pipes leaking
  • Pooling or standing wastewater, smelly water puddles in the yard
  • Sewer gas odor lingering around the property
  • Ceilings and walls have mold growing
  • Green, lush, thick grass in areas of the yard
  • An indentation in the lawn above the main sewer line
  • Foundation cracks, sinkholes around the foundation
  • Basement flooding or smelly water around the drains
  • Persistent insect and rodent problem even with pest control treatment
  • Loud gurgling noise coming from water pipes while bathing, doing laundry, washing the dishes
  • Water bill increases a large amount all of the sudden
Do I need a permit to repair sewer line?

It depends on the jurisdiction where you live and their local laws, but chances are yes, a permit is needed, which is why hiring a professional plumber is always the best way to go.  Drain line replacements and sewer line replacement usually require a permit by the person doing the work. There are safety codes to be followed, and typically, stiff fines are implemented when those permits are not pulled, and the safety codes followed.

And It’s A Wrap!

You go to all the trouble (and expense) to have new sewer line installed, your next question is “How long does sewer line last?”. Well, it is going to depend on several factors, like the ground condition where the line is buried, the quality of the sewer line, and how well the install job was done.  Another important factor is your homeowner’s maintenance routine in keeping the lines clear with routine sewer line cleaning and making sure that tree roots find another path.

A sewer line pipe can last anywhere between fifty years to over a hundred years.  As a homeowner, you hope that it will outlive you and your children, grandchildren, or the next owner will be the lucky one to deal with the next sewer line cleaning, repairs, or replacement!