Two Ideas For Clearing Obstructed Main Or Primary Sewer Lines

Posted on: 31 July 2017

The main, or primary, sewer line in your septic system is important to keep clear. Minor clogs in different pipes and rooms are handled with a bit of plunging or chemical cleaners, but problems arising deep in the main line can be both more difficult to reach, and in some cases, more difficult to deal with. If you've been fighting a clog or obstruction for some days and suspect that the main or primary line is what's affected, try these solutions.

Snake the Sewer Cleanout Drain

A plumbing snake, or auger, is sometimes used to clear away anything stuck inside various sewer lines in your kitchen and any bathrooms. Resembling a hose, plumbing snakes can be purchased in different lengths to reach deep into pipes. If you've already tried working with snakes inside the house and nothing has resolved the clog, you might need to handle things outdoors at the sewer cleanout drain. 

Many homeowners aren't even aware that the cleanout drain exists, much less where to find it. Your backyard might have a random pipe poking out from your yard's soil; if it's capped, that's probably the drain you're looking for. The cap is oftentimes labeled. The drain could be near the outside faucet or near the water heater. If inspection of the yard doesn't help you find it, you may have to call a contractor.

Get a Sewer Line Camera

If you're having no success with the plumbing snake, you need to know more about what the specific problem is so you can start brainstorming additional ideas about what you can do. A way to literally see what is happening is to obtain a sewer line camera. The camera itself sits at the end of a long, thin hose that you push into the main line until you can see the clog.  Once you have "eyes" on the situation, you can tackle them or get more help. You may, for example, be able to see that roots from bushes or trees has destroyed the line; if that happens, you'll need an expert. Renting such a camera is wise, as purchasing them can be rather expensive.

With this information, a primary sewer line may be cleared out successfully. A professional can have useful insight about what your problem could be; you may wish to have a discussion about what's happening inside your house and what solutions are best for your system.