When a drain or sewer line clog occurs in your home's sewage system, it can cause stress, inconvenience, and sometimes a sewage backup and mess in your home. Depending on the type of clog and the extent of the line blockage or damage, you will need to remedy and repair the sewer line appropriately to restore your home's system to function once again and remove sewage waste from your home. Here are some tips and insight to help you complete repairs to several types of sewer clogs.
Clearing Drain Clogs
After using your sink, bathtub and shower drains, over time they can collect a build-up of lint, hair and residues from soap and shampoo just inside the drain, causing the water to drain slowly. You can use a drain cleaning product to restore the flow of the drain, or clear the drain without chemicals. Remove the drain cover and with a pair of needle-nosed pliers, grab at the gunk just inside the drain and pull it out. Repeat this until your pliers can no longer grab at anything inside the drain. This cleaning process can be especially helpful if someone in your household has long hair, which causes build-up in the drain quicker than normal as the hair is longer and can collect faster.
Between regular drain cleanings, it can be helpful to clean the line's interior with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. Boil a pot of water and dump it into your drain. Next, pour one-half cup of baking soda into the drain line followed by one cup of vinegar and one cup of hot tap water. Immediately plug up the drain to keep the contents inside the drain. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil while you wait for the vinegar and baking soda to bubble and clean in the line. When the water boils, remove the drain plug and pour it into the drain. Complete this maintenance every few weeks to keep your line free of debris.
If the clog in your drain is from kitchen sink debris, such as food or vegetable peelings, you can use a plunger to clear the line. If it is a double sink, you will need someone else to hold a drain stopper on one side of the drain while you apply pressure into the other side to disrupt the clog. With a cup toilet plunger, press repeatedly into the clogged line until water begins to flow freely. Don't use a toilet plunger with a flange on the inside of the plunger, as this type of plunger is meant for clearing a toilet clog.
Clearing Sewer Line Clogs
Sometimes the clog within your plumbing is further down the drain, positioned deep inside your home's sewer line. Locate your home's sewer clean-out port, which can be found in the basement of your home. If you don't have a basement, you will find it where your home's sewer line exits out your home.
Clear out the line with a snake auger you can connect onto a corded drill. Remove the cap on the plumbing clean-out and run the end of the snake into the sewer line as far as it will go. Turn on the drill and move the snake line and out of the sewer pipe to clear the debris.
Sometimes, a sewer blockage will be positioned so far into your sewer line that a drill-powered snake won't be able to reach the clog. This situation can be remedied by hiring a professional plumber, who will have access to a longer, industrial-length sewer snake. They can also inspect the sewer line with a camera on the end of their auger to find out if the clog is caused by other issues, such as exterior tree root growth from a tree in your yard or a collapse of the sewer line due to its age and the material it is made of.