Two Steps Involved In Clearing A Main Drain Clog

Even if you have never had any trouble with your plumbing, you may eventually have issues with the main drain in your home. Once a main drain becomes clogged, water can back up through the bottom-level toilet connected to the drain. 

All of the out-flow pipes in a home typically feed into the main drain, which exits the house and leads into the city sewer line. Thus, the contents of an upstairs toilet will flow into the main drain line of the home when the toilet is flushed. Likewise, the contents of a full bathtub will drain into the same line. Once the line is plugged, the water, including any raw sewage in the line, may back up, overflowing the toilet and soiling your floors. 

If you suspect that your main drain line is clogged, you may not know what should be done to correct the problem. Here are a few steps that may be taken to remedy the issue:

Use of a Plumbing Auger

A drain auger, which is commonly called a "snake," may be inserted into the toilet to try to access the clog in the line, but if the clog is too far in the main line, the auger may have to be inserted into the clean-out drain. 

The clean-out drain is usually accessible in the yard of the property, near the faucet for the garden hose. The drain should be professionally accessed, since raw sewage may spill out as it is opened. 

The plumbing auger, which is a long, rubber, hose-like device with a metal screw-like end, is inserted and rotated rapidly to loosen the clog and return the free flow of the water. 

Use a Sewer Camera

In some instances, the auger will be unable to loosen the clog. This could be due to roots from trees on the property accessing the main drain and blocking the line, or it could be caused by a collapsed pipe. It can be difficult to discern what the problem is without renting a sewer camera for closer inspection. 

The sewer camera is fed into the main drain line and records pictures of the interior of the pipe. Once the pictures reveal the problems at hand, a plumber can repair the pipe, clear the roots from the drain or perform any other necessary actions to clear the main line.

For more information about clearing a main drain clog or for sewer camera rental, consult with a plumbing professional in your local area.