How to Clear a Main Sewer Line Blockage or Clog

Ways to Clear a Main Sewer Line


A main sewer line clog can disrupt your entire home’s drainage system. If left unattended, sinks and toilets can completely stop draining, resulting in backups that can cover floors and seep up walls. Sewer drain clogs can push you out of your home and even close businesses – as clean-up and repair take time and resources. If you believe you have a main sewer drain clog, it is important to take quick steps to remedy it. There are several standard methods to clear a main line blockage. Below you will find the most common methods for clearing a clogged sewer line.

There are three standard methods for clearing a main sewer line:

  1. Hydraulic Drain Cleaning
  2. Mechanical Drain Cleaning
  3. Chemical Drain Cleaning

Hydraulic Drain Cleaning
Hydraulic sewer cleaning, or hydro jetting, uses water and pressurized air to push debris and break down clogs. The jetters are high-efficiency machines that include different-sized and shaped nozzles – and the most commonly used method for cleaning out clogged pipes.

Mechanical Drain Cleaning
Mechanical sewer main cleaning includes three main methods: rodding, bucket machines, and the use of capsules known as pigs. These tools push or scrape out the debris to clear a sewer line. Hand rods, power rods, and hand-held drain augers are used to cut, push, scrape, and pull debris from the clog. Oftentimes, hydraulic cleaning must be performed after this method to ensure complete debris removal.

Chemical Drain Cleaners
As one would expect, chemical sewer line cleaning involves the use of harsh chemicals. These methods should be used with caution as they can cause damage to their surrounding environments. Chemical drain cleaners are not something that we reccomend as on top of the above they can do serious damage to the drainage system itself.

The three main types of chemical drain cleaners are:

  1. Caustic
  2. Oxidizing
  3. Acidic

For smaller clogs, caustic or oxidizing agents will often do the trick. Acidic cleaners may be required if the clog is larger/major.

1. Caustic drain cleaners
Caustic cleaners are most useful for grease clogs. They contain chemicals such as lye that result in a chemical reaction that produces heat. This heat thins grease, making it easier to dissolve and move through the pipe.

2. Oxidizing drain cleaners
Similar to caustic cleaners, oxidizing cleaners create a chemical reaction that results in heat – which thins clogged materials. Oxidizing chemicals work well on organic matter such as hair and include bleach and nitrates. They are some of the most popular on the market.

3. Acidic drain cleaners
Acidic drain cleaners, the harshest type of clog remover, involve the use of sulphuric or hydrochloric acid. They are also rarely used, because of the damage they can cause to your plumbing system and to your health.

Pipelining Technologies Can Help

Pipelining Technologies assists home and business owners with sewer line cleaning and descaling using mechanical and hydro methods. Combined, these two methods restore pipes to their near original diameter, eliminating debris and increasing flow. To learn more about Pipelining Technologies can help you with your sewer lines, reach out by calling (561) 853-5463.

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