How to Keep Your Main Sewer Line Clean

January 21, 2019

Do you frequently have to clear your main sewer line? Unfortunately, a clogged sewer line isn’t always avoidable, but you can take measures to help prevent it.

In this article, we’ll share 5 tips for keeping your sewer line clean.

By following the 5 tips in the sections below, you can help prevent clogs in your sewer line—saving you from frequent (and hefty) drain clearing costs.

Need your sewer line cleared today? Call us at (727) 474-8287 or schedule an appointment online and we’ll send a plumber to your home ASAP.

Tip #1: Watch what you put down the drain

Sewer systems aren’t designed to handle a lot of the food and paper waste we create.

So, the best thing you can do to prevent sewer line clogs is limit what you put down your drains.

Foods/objects that are known to build up and cause serious clogs inside your plumbing include:

  • Fats, oils and grease

  • Raw meat

  • Pasta and other flour products

  • Coffee grounds

  • Hair

  • Heavy paper products (paper towels, wipes, Q-tips, etc.)

You’ll be better off throwing the products above either in the garbage or compost bin.

Want to make this step easier? Install a drain strainer on your tub and sink drains (not ones that use a garbage disposal).

Available for less than $10 at most grocery and general merchandise stores, a drain strainer will help prevent clogs by catching hair, food and other debris that shouldn’t go down your drain.

Tip #2: Use your disposal properly

Improper use of your garbage disposal can encourage clogs in your main sewer line.

To use your garbage disposal properly:

  1. Run cold water to solidify any foods that hot water might melt. (Melting the food will make it cling to the side of your disposal rather than go down the drain.)

  2. Turn on the disposal.

  3. Gradually feed food waste into the disposal. Don’t put large amounts of food in the unit at once, as it can slow the grinding process or jam your disposal.

  4. Turn the disposal off once all of the waste has been ground.

  5. Keep cold water running for 10–15 seconds to completely flush the waste down the drain.

Also, avoid putting foods that can easily jam or damage your disposal, such as:

  • Fibrous vegetables (celery, asparagus, corn husks, etc.)

  • Eggshells

  • Poultry or beef bones

  • Seeds, pits and cores

Tip #3: Keep trees and bushes away from your sewer line

One of the most common causes of clogs in the Tampa area is caused by roots that grow into sewer lines.

The wastewater in your sewer line attracts roots looking for hydration and nutrients. The roots usually grow into the line via a small crack or loose connection in the pipe, and will continue to grow inside the pipe—eventually clogging your sewer line.

So, what can you do to prevent root clogs? Make sure to plant any new trees or bushes away from your main sewer line.

If you already have trees/bushes near your main sewer line, we recommend getting your line cleaned annually to prevent root clogs.

Tip #4: Use an enzyme cleaner every few months

Many common drain cleaners use harsh chemicals that can corrode your sewer line.

Enzyme cleaners, on the other hand, use natural enzymes that eat away at the organic material within your sewer line.

Although enzymatic cleaners won’t clear a clog quickly (it takes 8–24 hours for the enzymes to work), they work well to prevent clogs and keep your sewer line flowing freely.

We recommend using an enzyme cleaner, which you can buy at most home improvement or hardware stores, about once a month.

Tip #5: Get your main sewer line cleaned annually

By getting your sewer line cleaned once a year, your plumber can find hidden issues before they turn into expensive repairs.

Most plumbers will perform a video camera to inspect your drain, which will allow the plumber to:

  • Detect root growth or debris buildup that would lead to a clog

  • Pinpoint the exact location of a clog (if you have one)

  • Catch cracks, loose joints or corrosion that could cause a sewer line to collapse

Need a Tampa professional to clean your drain?

We’ll send one of our plumbers to inspect and clear your sewer line, so your plumbing will flow properly again.

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