Western Springs Plumbing

Plumbing repair in Western Springs IL

Clogged Sewer Line

A clogged sewer line can be catastrophic for your home.  All the water from showers, toilets and sinks passes through your sewer line and into the municipal sewer system.  If your sewer line is blocked water (and waste) can back up through all the drains in your home, creating a nightmare situation.  Your house is brought to its knees by some object in the sewer line clogging it up.

Clogged sewer lines are typically caused by organic objects that do not belong down a drain or toilet, that then go into the sewer line.  In some cases the obstruction could be a tree root. Depending on the severity of the blockage, there are several methods to try to break down this blockage.

We suggest you initially try a chemical drain cleaner solution.  If you are fortunate this solution will work. These chemical cleaners are marketed as being able to break down or clear out any organic obstruction.  If the blockage is small, then this solution will likely be effective.  Keep in mind these are powerful chemicals and need to be treated with care.  These chemical cleaners are available in home improvement and hardware stores.

If the blockage defies the chemical solution then try to use a plunger to break down the clot. Pour some hot water down the drain, nearest to you sewer line, and then vigorously use the plunger.  A clogged sewer line may, or may not respond to this technique.  If the block is too far away from the plunger than it may be difficult to generate enough pressure to break it down.

The most serious clogs and obstructions will defy both of these methods, such as a tree root.  You, or a professional plumber, will then need to use snake tool to clear out the problem. These can be rented at your home improvement store.  There is a clean out plug, located in the basement, which the snake will go in through.  You or the plumber will open this up (remove the cap or plug with a wrench) and pass the snake tool inside.  You push as much as you can while turning the snake clockwise.  This twisting action makes the snake grind through whatever blockage it encounters.  When the blockage is cleared out the pressure should change as you break through it. Remove the snake, put the plug or cap back in place, and the issue should be resolved.

In the case of extreme clogging, none of these methods will be effective.  You will need to call in a professional plumber who will have the tools and skills to unclog the sewer line.