Keep in mind that all the drains in your property lead to one main sewer line connecting to your septic tank system or the municipal system. Dealing with a clog, break, or sewage back up, whether it is from your toilet, sink, or tub is headache-inducing as the mess it makes. Foul sewer water spreading on your floor puts unbearable strain on everyone in your household.
Thus, knowing where this line is within your property assures you know where the access points are for swift sewer line repairs or pipelining services. If you want to know more about it, continue reading this short guide below.
The Key to Finding the Main Sewer Line
When you must deal with clogs, breaks, or backups, the first thing to do is figure out where the main drain line exits. Your main sewer line could be inside your house or in your yard. Typically, it is in a sub-basement or crawls space. There are two ways to get this done:
1. Finding the Main Sewer Line Inside the House
To locate this your main sewer line inside your home, you will need to search for it. Prepare a flashlight and some gloves. Usually, you can find it in your basement, garage, or tiny crawl space. If you do not know what to look for, try finding a pipe that is about four inches in diameter. It has a cap on its top, with a square knob on its head.
2. Finding the Primary Line Outside
If you cannot find the main sewer pipe inside your house, it may be outdoors. Go out and inspect your yard. You can usually find line access outside of your home near the foundation of your property. It could also be near the street or sidewalk where your primary line meets up to join the municipal sewer system.
This will be easy to spot as it is usually sticking above the ground. However, if you have overgrown grass, landscaped structures, or other objects around the yard, it may end up camouflaging the cap cover. If you still cannot find it, it could be underground. Try searching for it in the bathroom on the ground floor. Be careful when you do your digging, or you could end up hitting a pipe. If you are unsure, it is best to call in professionals for assistance.
The Steps to Take If You Still Cannot Find It
If you still cannot find the primary sewer line within your house or yard, you have several options you can do. Try the following:
1. Contact the Prior Property Owners
If you have access to the previous homeowner, you can give them a call. Had a real estate agent helped with the house, you can seek help. Asking them about the sewer line is worth a shot.
2. Connect with the Builder
Should your house be brand new, contact the home builder or developer. They could direct you to where it is located.
3. Visit the Local City Maintenance Office
If you are in a bind, calling the city maintenance in your local City Hall may help. It is typical for municipalities to have a sewage blueprint. Check out the map to find out where your property line is.
4. Find a Professional Plumber
Call a professional plumbing company to help you find the sewer line. They have the knowledge, skills, and tools to get the job done swiftly. They can also provide sewer line repairs and replacement services if you need them.
The Reasons Your Main Sewer Line is Clogged
Because of its larger than usual circumference, your property’s main sewer line does not usually get clogged. Typically, you find clogs in the pipes with a smaller diameter. This often experience clogs due to build-up over time.
1. Big Debris Makes Its Way Down
Blockages can happen in your main pipe if large amounts of sediment and debris make their way down the property drain. When this happens, everything will back up as all your fixtures connect to the main sewer line.
2. Usual Debris Accumulation Over Time
Your soap scum, grease, hair, shed skin, etc., will build up tons of sludge in your smaller pipes. It can also happen in the main drain due to time. As a result, pipes will narrow in diameter, causing a sluggish drain. Thus, when larger debris makes it down the drain, it can become blocked in no time. Often, you can de-clog the smaller pipes with a drain snake or other a store-bought de-clogging chemical fluid. However, this will not work out your main sewer pipe as it is bigger and harder to deal with.
3. Nasty Tree Roots Blocking the Pipe
Your main drain can also clog up due to tree roots that infiltrate the joints between the pipes. As a result, the tree root hairs block the main sewer pipeline. In this regard, no DIY fix can help you out. You must call a professional plumber to clear the block. They will use special tools like an auger with unique cutting blades to take out the stubborn roots. Unless you uproot the tree with the help of an arborist, you may need to seek these services every two years as a form of preventive maintenance.
4. Complete Line Collapse
A blockage can occur when your old sewer line completely collapses due to old age. This is a problem that usually happens in older properties where the pipes are clay or cast iron. Unfortunately, this can be a rather complex problem that is costly and difficult to fix. It will involve professional help since they need to dig up your garden to replace the pipe from your house to the municipal sewer line.
The Signs of a Clogged Main Drain Line
The primary reason you could be trying to locate your main sewer line is to see if you have a clog. Before the mainline becomes completely blocked, you will see the following symptoms first in the smaller branch pipes. Take note of the following, so you can seek help and mitigate a potentially big mess:
- The drain is sluggish in draining.
- Using a drain snake or liquid de-clogging solution no longer works.
- You experience multiple backups in your shower, tub, sink, toilet, and more.
- The washing machine frequently overflows.
- You hear gurgling and bubbling in the drain or toilet, which could be a blocked pipe.
Clearing the smaller pipes is possible if you use a drain snake or even a chemical fluid brought from the hardware to obliterate the pipe residue. However, anyone without any form of plumbing experience should minimize cleaning out the main sewer line. For starters, you need a heavy-duty wrench to open the plastic or brass covering. From there, you need to evaluate the pressure buildup and assess what is causing the stoppage so you can clear it. However, it is not as easy as you think because you will be dealing with dirty sewer water that contains lots of bacteria.
Noteworthy, tinkering with this device without proper knowledge or tools can only lead to further damage to your septic system. If your municipal or city sewer is the cause of the clog, attempting to clear out your main drain can also end up in a disaster leading to even more expenses. For best results, leave this work to the professionals to prevent further exacerbation.
Remember, the main sewer line is a larger pipe that carries your waste from all your home’s sink, toilet, and shower. Several smaller drains branch from your home fixtures to the mainline. Thus, when your main line becomes blocked, you will notice that every fixture in your home becomes affected, causing you a huge headache. This is not a problem you can delay, so call a professional plumber or sewage specialist to clear the clog.
The Benefits of Main Clean-Out Fitting
If you opt to clean out the main sewer line with professional help, your service guys have special camera equipment to check, inspect, and assess the problem. Investing in these services ensures you can say goodbye to sluggish drains, nasty clogs, yucky backups, and dreadful floods. You can always get rid of gurgling toilets and noisy sounds behind the walls. Most of all, you can enjoy the benefit of lower water bills because you do not need to keep cleaning messes or re-flushing toilets that don’t drain efficiently. Consider the top benefits of scheduling a professional main clean-out fitting or drain cleaning.
1. Eliminate Sluggish Drains
Due to wear and tear, debris, mineral deposits, waste materials, and other obstructions will build up over your pipe walls resulting in a slow water flow. At the onset of the problem, you may notice a slow or sluggish drain. If left untreated, it will escalate into a full-blown block. Because of this nasty clog, your sink will backup, toilets overflow, and tubs may flood. With professional main drain cleaning, you will obliterate these clogged sediments and restore the flow of water in your home.
2. Prevent Nasty Smells
When this waste and other deposits infiltrate your plumbing system, it is inevitable for a nasty stench to permeate your home. This is not only unbearable but unsanitary, too. For those with severe allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, or asthma, it can trigger a flareup. To take out the putrid stench, you must get to the root of the problem. Sadly, this is not accessible for ordinary homeowners without tools or skills. If you want to do away with the smell, getting your main drain professionally cleaned is the best solution.
3. Bid Noisy Pipes Goodbye
When your drain flow is disrupted, it is normal to hear your pipe system making a ruckus. You can eventually hear squeaks and crackling through your walls. On top of that, your toilet could be making weird noises. With drain cleaning, you can get rid of this cacophony of sounds. You can also remove the obstructions that make the sound. Moreover, you shall be opening the pipes assuring heavy pressure is taken off your lines.
4. Assure Pipe Longevity
With expert cleaning of your drain system, your pipes will have a longer life span. After all, there is not much pressure built upon it. Noteworthy, clogged pipes will result in corrosion or tiny breaks. In the end, this may end up turning into a bigger leak. Avoid such a costly problem by caring for your pipes. Ensuring cleanliness will help with pipe longevity. With an annual main drain clean-up, your plumber can also locate possible problematic areas and nip them in the bud. Providing preventive maintenance means problems will not intensify in the future, saving you money and deterring stress.
5. Minimize the Growth of Bacteria, Molds, and Mildew
When your pipes do not drain properly, you can expect stagnant water to accumulate in the area. Unfortunately, this wet puddle is the perfect breeding ground for mildew, molds, and bacteria. All these harmful microbes will affect your health. To get rid of these hazardous pathogens, you must take out the clog in your main drain. When the perpetual water buildup is gone, you do not give them a place to breed.
The Final Wrap Up
If you do not clean your main sewer line, you accumulate debris and waste around the pipe walls. Hence, you may need to deal with constant overflows and floods. This is frustrating, leaving you drained of your patience, energy, time, and money. Do not allow nasty clogs to the compound because it will lead to more extensive damage that requires major plumbing work.
For peace of mind, seek annual regular professional drain and pipe cleaning from a reputable provider like San Diego Plumbing and Pipelining. With the help of our experienced crew, we can clean your plumbing system swiftly and effectively. You can expect us to de-clog your drain and restore water flow to maximum efficiency. Sluggish drains shorten the lifespan of your pipes, which can eventually lead to a more invasive job. If you want to avoid this scenario, give us a call today.