It’s disheartening when you realize you’ve got a slow-draining sink, bathtub or toilet, but the main issues are determining how serious the blockage is, and where it is located. The worst case scenario is a clogged sewer line — an event that requires the help of a licensed plumber with the right equipment.
What Causes a Clogged Sewer?
Sewer lines, which are on average 6 inches in diameter, are generally not blocked by paper or other debris but rather by tree roots. If you were a tree root, you too would find it inviting to invade the tiny crevices and openings in a pipe full of moisture. The roots also feed on the nutrients in the sewer effluent, and eventually flourish sufficiently to block your plumbing.
Determining the Type of Clog
You will probably want to figure out if you have a simple drain clog before you call a plumber. Simple clogged drains may be fixed by the following methods:
- Leave a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar in the drain for an hour and flush with hot water.
- Plunge toilet clogs vigorously. For sink clogs, use a plunger made specially for sinks.
- Disconnect the sink drain to ensure it’s clear.
- Try a drain snake, a flexible steel cable. There are different kinds, electric or manual, snakes for toilets or sink drains, and top snakes for showers, tubs, bathroom sinks and washing machine stoppages.
- Some homeowners swear by chemical solutions to clear simple clogs, but plumbers usually don’t recommend these.
If none of these methods work, call a plumber.
Professional Cleaning Methods
A plumber will probably use an auger, which is longer than the sink or toilet auger or snake described above and is power assisted. Also frequently used is a high-pressure water jet powerful enough to blow roots down the line.
Plumbers may also recommend that homeowners use a chemical root killer periodically to keep roots from invading sewers.
To learn about dealing with a clogged sewer line, call us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Greater Cleveland area for 79 years.
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