Sewer lines, like other drain lines can also develop stoppages. When a sewer line stops up, this is often referred to as a “mainline stoppage. There are often telltale signs that a problem is developing long before the stoppage actually occurs. For instance, you may hear gurgling in the pipes when you flush a toilet. When you need a sewer line cleaning, you may also hear gurgling in one toilet in a first-floor bathroom when using water anywhere else in your home. You may notice some of your plumbing (sinks, bathtubs, washing machine), develop slow drains or complete stoppages. A mainline stoppage requires a little more patience and a lot more skill to resolve with a sewer cleaning.
Unfortunately, there are some clogs that just cannot be dislodged by home equipment, chemicals or methods. For example, tree roots can often be the culprit. During the laying of the pipes, joints are often not sealed tightly or correctly. Over time, as the ground settled and trees grow, those roots can start to invade joints in the pipe. The end result can be blocked pipes, cracked pipes or crushed pipes that occur under ground and far beyond the customer’s reach. Generally, the typical homeowner is not going to have the industrial equipment needed to address these types of issues.
Professional plumbers, or drain cleaners, often utilize camera technology once the stoppage is cleared to examine the inside of a main line. Since nobody can see underground, this is how they can determine if the pipe was cleared enough and not just a small hole punctured through the cause giving a very temporary relief as well as the cause of the sewage backup. They can see if a pipe has collapsed and if so where. This is how they can determine if tree roots have invaded the pipe and if so, how. This is how they can determine if there has been some sort of plumbing system failure, and if so why.
In addition, professionals also have equipment that is far more reaching than anything that could be purchased for consumer use in a big box store. The plumbing snakes used by professionals are not only much longer in length, but are often driven by a motor which allows for a much more thorough examination and there are numerous types of professional attachments that are utilized depending on the cause. Used in conjunction with the camera technology, the plumber can not only use the snake to dislodge the stoppage, but has the added advantage of being able to see specifically where to go and what to do.
If you have a septic tank and have not had it pumped in 5 years or more, 99% of the time the cause of everything backing up is your septic tank is full. We recommend calling a professional septic pumping company who is authorized in waste removal first to see if that fixes the problem. If you continue to experience any of the same symptoms, there may be a problem with the mainline serving the septic tank, and we will be happy to help!
Clearly, a homeowner would always rather save money and clear a clog without having to rely on a plumber. Just keep in mind, that there are some jobs that really do require a professional. If you are looking to not only have a quick fix, but get to the root of the problem, no pun intended, then give us a call and we will be happy to send one of our professionals out quickly!