Sewer clogs can be caused by cracked pipes or improperly pitched pipes, but before you shell out the money for sewer line repairs, be sure your main drain is properly cleared of all roots!
Most of the time, clogged sewer lines can be cleared up with mechanical (electric-driven) drain cleaning machines, or sewer snakes. To get the job done right, a large saw-blade-type snake head must be used, especially when roots are the cause of the sewer clog. This will be a circular head that is almost the full width of the sewer pipe.
The correct snake head (and snaking technique) is important to ensure that the drain line is cleared completely. Beware of drain cleaning services that seem very cheap. Some “rooter rooter” companies are known for scamming people into larger repairs. Here’s how they do it:
- They only poke a small hole through the clogged area of the drain line and they only run the snake down the pipe once. The goal is to get the line draining as fast as possible so they can go to the next call.
- A few weeks later your drains start backing up again because the small hole they made gets plugged up.
- They come back and recommend a sewer scope or sewer camera to see video of the clogged area.
- They find something wrong with the pipe, perhaps a crack, and recommend a sewer line replacement, costing far more than you wanted to spend. (Some places even offer a “free sewer camera” because they know they’ll sell you a whole sewer line replacement afterward!)
So maybe there is a crack in your sewer line, but guess what? If you get the roots cleaned out properly, you most likely won’t have to deal with it for another two or three years when they grow back! This is usually a way more cost effective way to deal with the problem. (That being said, if you do have the money on hand to dig up and replace the line, we’d be happy to do it for you 🙂 )
If for some reason you cannot hire us to clean out your sewer clog, do make sure that the company you hire offers a solid guarantee on the cleaning jobs they do, it’s worth paying more for that. Also insist the proper snake head is used and that the snake is run through the line more than once.