Sewer Cleanout: What it is and Why it Matters

Sewer Cleanout What it is and Why it Matters

πŸ’§ Understanding the Importance of a Sewer Cleanout for Your Home

Sewer maintenance is essential to keeping your home’s plumbing and sewer clean and working efficiently.

Your sewer system is responsible for carrying all wastewater and sewage out of your house and into the municipal sewage treatment plant.

Neglecting proper maintenance can lead to costly repairs and unpleasant clean-up efforts.

In this article, we will discuss how to conduct a full sewer line cleanout if you have a main sewer line clog.

We will also discuss how to understand the importance of sewer maintenance, assess your sewer system’s condition, choose the right sewer cleaning method, and implement preventative measures.

πŸ’§ Understanding the Importance of Sewer Maintenance


Sewer maintenance is an essential part of homeownership that is often overlooked.

The sewer system is responsible for carrying wastewater from your home to the treatment plant, where it is treated and disposed of safely.

When the sewer system is not properly maintained, it can lead to a host of problems that can be costly and time-consuming to fix.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of sewer maintenance and how it can benefit you and your community.

🚽 Preventing Blockages and Backups

One of the most important reasons to maintain your sewer system is to prevent blockages and backups.

When a main sewer line becomes clogged or obstructed, wastewater can back up into your home, causing unpleasant odors and requiring expensive and time-consuming sewer cleanout backup efforts.

Regular sewer maintenance prevents blockages and backups of main sewage line from occurring by removing any debris, roots, or other organic material that may have clogged main sewer line or be obstructing the pipe.

A clogged sewer line can also cause sewage to back up into nearby storm drains, potentially contaminating the environment.

It is important to note that some items should never be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain, as they can cause blockages and damage to your sewer or plumbing system.

Examples of these items include grease, oil, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and baby wipes.

βœ… PRO TIP: Proper disposal of these items can help prevent blockages and backups.

🚽 Protecting the Environment and Public Health

Efficient sewer systems are critical for protecting public health and the environment.

When sewage is not treated properly, it can contaminate water supplies, leading to contamination of drinking water and potential outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

Proper sewer maintenance ensures that your sewer system works efficiently and any potential environmental hazards are minimized.

It is important to note that sewer systems are not designed to handle certain types of waste, such as hazardous chemicals or medical waste.

These items should be disposed of properly, following local regulations and guidelines.

🚽 Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Sewer System

Regular sewer maintenance can extend the lifespan of your sewer system, saving you money on costly repairs or replacing the entire main sewer line.

When a drain line becomes clogged or obstructed, the pressure builds up, leading to the pipe cracking or even bursting.

The damage caused by a burst pipe can be costly, and maintenance is essential in avoiding these types of issues.

It is recommended to have your sewer system inspected and cleaned every one to two years, depending on the age of your system and the amount of use it receives.

A professional plumber can assess the condition of your sewer system and recommend the appropriate maintenance schedule for your specific needs.

🚽 Sewer Maintenance

Maintaining your sewer system is an important part of homeownership that should not be ignored.

Regular maintenance can prevent blockages and backups, protect the environment and public health, and prolong the lifespan of your sewer system.

By taking care of your sewer system, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure your home is safe and healthy for your family.

πŸ’§ Assessing Your Sewer System’s Condition

damaged sewer line

Your sewer system is an essential part of your home’s plumbing system, responsible for carrying wastewater away from your property and into the municipal sewer system.

It is crucial to ensure that your sewer system is functioning correctly to avoid any unpleasant and costly issues.

🚽 Identifying Signs of a Clogged or Damaged Sewer

There are several signs that your sewer system or drains may be clogged or damaged.

One of the most common signs is slow-draining sinks, drains, and toilets.

If you notice that water is taking longer than usual to drain, it could be a sign of a clog in your sewer system.

Another sign is unpleasant odors emanating from your drains.

These odors can be caused by stagnant water in your drainage pipes or a buildup of debris.

Gurgling noises coming from your drains can also be a sign of a clogged drain or damaged sewer system.

If you notice any of these signs, it is crucial to contact a plumbing professional to assess the condition of your sewer system.

🚽 Scheduling Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are essential to keep your sewer system in top working condition. It is recommended to schedule a professional inspection at least once a year.

During an inspection, a plumbing professional will assess the condition of your sewer system, looking for any signs of damage or potential issues.

Regular inspections can identify potential issues before they become problematic and help you avoid costly repairs or replacements.

🚽 Using Technology to Assess Sewer Health

New technology, like cameras and sensors, can be used to assess the health of your sewer system more thoroughly.

A plumbing professional can use a camera to inspect the inside of your sewer pipes and identify any cracks or damage that may be present.

This technology can also help identify blockages or buildup in your sewer system, allowing for more targeted and effective repairs.

Overall, it is essential to take care of your sewer system to avoid any unpleasant and costly issues.

By identifying signs of a clogged or damaged sewer, scheduling regular inspections, and using new technology to assess sewer health, you can keep your sewer system in top working condition for years to come.

πŸ’§ Choosing the Right Sewer Cleaning Method

sewer cleanout

As a homeowner or property manager, it’s essential to keep your sewer lines clean and clear of any obstructions.

Not only can clogged lines cause unpleasant odors and backups, but they can also lead to costly repairs and damage to your property.

🚽 High-Pressure Water Jetting

High-pressure water jetting or hydro jetting is a popular and effective method for cleaning out a main sewer line.

This process involves using a high-pressure hydro jetting hose with a specialized nozzle that directs water into the sewer system to clear any debris or obstructions effectively.

The high-pressure water can remove all types of blockages, including tree roots and total clogs.

One of the benefits of high-pressure water jetting is that it’s environmentally friendly.

Unlike chemical treatments, high-pressure hot water jetting doesn’t use any harsh chemicals that can harm the environment or your sewer pipes.

Additionally, high-pressure water jetting can help to extend the life of your sewer pipes by removing any buildup or other debris, that can cause damage over time.

🚽 Mechanical Rodding

Mechanical rodding involves using a long, flexible rod with an attached cutting head to remove blockages in sewer lines.

This method is often used when tree roots obstruct a sewer line.

The cutting head on the rod can break through the roots and other obstructions, allowing the main sewer line to flow freely to main drain once again.

While mechanical rodding can be effective, it’s not always the best option.

If the obstruction is too severe, the rod may not be able to break through, and more powerful methods like high-pressure water jetting may be necessary.

🚽 Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments involve pouring chemicals into your sewer system to dissolve any blockages or obstructions in drainage pipes.

This method is best for minor clogs and is not recommended for large blockages or total clogs.

Chemical treatments can also cause damage to your sewer pipes, leading to costly repairs.

It’s important to note that not all chemical treatments are created equal.

Some chemicals can be harsh and corrosive, while others are more gentle and environmentally friendly.

Before using any chemical treatments, it’s essential to research the product and ensure that it’s safe for your sewer pipes and the environment.

🚽 Vacuum and Vactor Services

For larger obstructions, vacuum and vactor services may be used.

These services use heavy-duty vacuum pumps or vactors to remove debris and obstructions from sewer pipes.

Vacuum and vactor services are often used in industrial or commercial settings, where large sewer lines are more common.

While vacuum services can be effective, they can also be costly.

Additionally, these services can be noisy and disruptive, making them less than ideal for residential areas.

Ultimately, the right sewer cleaning method for your property with sewer problems will depend on the severity of the obstruction and the condition of your sewer pipes.

It’s always best to consult with a professional plumber or sewer cleaning service to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

πŸ’§ Implementing Preventative Measures

young girl flushing a toilet

Preventing sewer blockages is essential to maintaining a healthy and safe environment.

In addition to the measures mentioned above, other preventative measures can be taken to avoid sewer blockages.

🚽 Regular Maintenance

One of the most effective ways to prevent sewer blockages is through regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance of drain lines can help detect potential blockages before they become a problem.

It is recommended that homeowners have their sewer lines inspected and cleaned every two to three years.

🚽 Proper Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste such as chemicals, paint, and motor oil should never be disposed of down the drain.

These materials can cause serious damage to the sewer system and pose a risk to the environment.

Proper disposal of hazardous waste can prevent sewer blockages and protect the environment.

🚽 Planting Trees and Shrubs Away From Sewer Lines

Tree roots are a common cause of our main sewer line blockages. Planting trees and shrubs away from sewer lines can prevent roots from growing into the pipes and causing blockages.

If you are unsure about the location of your sewer lines, contact your local utility company for assistance.

🚽 Proper Use of Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals can be a convenient way to dispose of food waste, but they can also contribute to sewer blockages if not used properly.

Avoid putting fibrous or starchy foods down the disposal, as they can become tangled and cause blockages in a sewage line.

It is also important to run plenty of water while using the disposal to ensure that the waste is properly flushed through the pipes.

🚽 Reporting Any Issues

If you notice any signs of a sewer blockage, such as slow draining sinks or toilets, foul odors, or gurgling sounds coming from your drain pipes, it is important to report the issue to your local utility company.

Early detection and repair can prevent more serious problems from occurring.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can help prevent sewer blockages and protect your home and the environment.

Proper disposal of waste, regular maintenance, and responsible use of household appliances can all contribute to a healthy and functional sewer system.

πŸ’§ Conclusion

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

Keeping your sewer system in top working condition is critical for maintaining a healthy home and protecting the environment.

Regular sewer cleanout and maintenance, proper waste disposal, and installing preventative measures can prolong the lifespan of your sewer system and prevent expensive repairs.

When choosing a sewer cleaning or drain cleaning method, it is important to evaluate the severity of the blockage and pick the method that best suits your needs.

By following these sewer line cleanout tips, you can clean out your sewer and avoid costly repairs and cleanup efforts.

Want to learn more about your home’s plumbing problems? Feel free to check out our other plumbing articles!

Related Reading: DIY Guide to 15 Common Plumbing Problems & Solutions

Russell Jones

Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.

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