Very few things excel while dirty and a sewer is NOT one of them. Cleaning sewer lines is a necessary step for optimizing their function and minimizing damage and disaster.
While you may avoid cleaning the sewer lines around your home and believe it’s a job solely for the city, every property owner, on at least one occasion, will have to encounter the daunting task of hiring a plumber to clean your sewer lines.
Now that we’ve got the inevitableness out of the way, we can focus on the cleaning part.
You’ve accepted that you will have to develop some kind of relationship with the sewer line, but you want to ensure it is a good one. That means cleaning the sewer lines using professional techniques and the right products.
1. Find The Source, The Reason, The ProblemBefore you begin cleaning, it is best to first determine the source or cause of the mess. For example, is it a result of root growth, oil build up, etc. Assess the situation and decide whether it is something you can tackle or whether it is something that is best left to a professional. The magnitude and location of the mess or clog is usually a sufficient indicator. For example, if it is a small drain below the sink that is likely something you can clean by yourself. However, if it is further down the stream, it may require much bigger materials and you should enlist professional help.
2. Capture the Clean Out
To clean a sewer, you must have a point of entry and exit to rid the sewer line of the waste that is clogging the system. The clean out is a Y-shaped fitting installed at some point on the sewer line. The best way to locate the clean out is to “follow the line to where it exists the foundation of the house”. Once you have located the Clean Out, unscrew the cap using a wrench.
3. Is it a Chemical or Mechanical Job?
Chemical methods of sewer line cleaning: Most people gravitate towards chemical methods of cleaning because, besides purchasing and pouring the product, the chemical does all of the work. One of the favourable forms of chemical for cleaning sewer lines is expanding foam. Once it is poured down the line, the foam expands and dissolves whatever is clogging the line and pushes them away in order to relieve the clog. Chemical methods are certainly limited to what the cause of the clog is in the first place. Not all clogs are receptive to expanding foam or chemicals that work to eat away at biological wasted.
Sewer Snakes for sewer line cleaning: Mechanical cleaning requires the assistance of machines and physical resources. Sewer snakes, also known as sewer augers, are efficient when the blockage is significantly severe. It is referred to as a snake because it has a long, flexible cable with a claw on the end (metaphorically, the stinger) that breaks through clogged material. Much like a snake, this long cable is distributed down the line and is cranked backwards and forwards in order to latch onto and dislodge clogged material.
Water Jetting for sewer line cleaning: Water jetting is another mechanical tool that is relied upon for cleaning sewer lines. It is similar to a water hose during a fire. Also a hose, it uses a forceful water jet to relieve clogged materials in the sewer line. The hose typically goes down the clean out and exerts sever water pressure to dislodge anything that is stuck.
Once you’ve used your chemical or mechanical cleaning tools, evaluate the results. Assessing the end product is crucial to determining whether the problem has been alleviated or whether you still require further professional assistance. It may take a few days to really determine how effective your cleaning was. Monitor the sewer lines over a period of one month, doing weekly and daily checks for odor, slow drains, or clogging once more. If you notice anything abnormal contact a professional. On the other hand, if your sewer lines seem to have recovered, pat yourself on the back for tackling something that is gross and disgusting and being successful at it.
Cleaning your sewer lines does not have to be a terrible experience. If you actively engage in the checks and balances of the process, it can be a rewarding chore.