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  • Writer's pictureBob Condon

Main Sewer Line Issues

How can you tell if your Main Sewer Line is clogged?

The main sewer line takes the waste water from your home to the underground sewer mains in the street. It is one of the things in the house we do not often think about. A main sewer line clog in the house can be a really serious issue leading to damage inside of the home and an expensive repair or replacement job.

If you understand and see the warning signs on a main sewer line clog can avoid issues and expensive repairs.

The most common sign of a problem is water backing up and flowing out of a drain or a toilet. The first drain to see an issue would be those at the lowest point of the house, such as a basement slop sink if you have one. You will also hear loud gurgling sounds coming from the drains. This is the house literally trying to tell you something is wrong. The clog can be in the main line that leads out to the street or it could be in any one of the lines leading to the main line. If you start to see water and hear sounds from the drains, try to make note of when you hear the sounds. Does it happen when you run the dishwasher but not when you take a shower? Does it happen all of the time? If it only happens when you run a specific sink, then you have a localized problem that is probably not that serious, but if it happens regardless of the water source, you may have a bigger problem on your hands.

There are a number of things that could lead to a main sewer line clog:

Tree Roots – If tree roots have gotten into your sewer line it could very quickly damage the sewer line and cause more problems down the road

  1. Broken, cracked or misaligned pipes – This could be from shifting or settling soil or from the ground freezing around the pipes.

  2. Blockage – This could be grease or even those so-called flushable wipes, which are not. See our blog post on that.

  3. Pipe corrosion or deterioration – If you pipe is old and not made of PVC, you could run the risk of the pipe deteriorating over time which can cause a collapse blocking water blow.

There is a simple trick you can use to keep your lines clear without using any chemicals. Once or twice a month, fill your sinks to the top with water, then all at once drain them. The water pressure will ensure a proper flow through the main sewer line. Do not try this is you suspect you already have problems.

For any issues related to a main sewer line or any other blockage, contact BBC Mechanical at 516-809-7222.

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