How to Unclog a Main Sewer Line: Easy DIY Guide

Clogged sewer pipe

We’ve all been there. That slow draining sink, the water pooling around your feet in the shower, and a dreaded gurgling sound from the toilet. Clogs in your sewer lines can be a real disruption to your day. But before you panic and call in a professional, some DIY tricks can save you time and money. Keep reading, and Kobella Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will show you how to unclog your drains!

Got questions or want to skip the DIY and call a pro instead? Contact the trusted team at Kobella at (440) 729-2099 today to schedule your drain cleaning.

3 DIY Drain Unclogging Tips

Before you call a plumber, give these DIY tricks a try!

Snake Your Drains

One of the homeowners’ first and most common methods is snaking the drains. By inserting a long, flexible tool into the drain, you can reach down to dislodge the obstruction. Ensure you’re careful and gentle to avoid any pipe damage.

  • Put on gloves and clear the area around the drain.
  • Using a manual drain snake tool, feed the snake tip into the drain and push it toward the clog.
  • As you push, rotate the handle to navigate pipe curves and tackle the clog.
  • When you feel resistance, rotate and move the snake to break it up.
  • Slowly retract the snake, pulling up the obstruction.
  • Don’t forget to disinfect the drain snake tool before putting it away.
  • Test the drain (flush the toilet, run the faucet) to ensure the clog is gone.

Check for Tree Roots

Your backyard trees may look innocent, but their roots can grow into your sewer lines, causing severe blockages and damage. If you notice recurring clogs, a gurgling toilet, and slow drainage, tree root infiltration might be the culprit. Here’s how to tell if you have a tree root blockage:

  • Examine the ground where your sewer line is buried. Look for large trees in the area; cracks in your yard or sudden wet patches could indicate tree roots encroaching on your sewer line.
  • Test your toilets. It could be tree roots if they aren’t flushing with their usual power, and you’ve already tried snaking your toilet. 
  • If you have external cleanout points for your sewer system, open and inspect them. In some cases, visible roots or root fibers might be seen protruding into the pipes.
  • You can manually explore the drain if you have a long enough auger or drain snake. You probably have tree roots if you encounter significant resistance that feels fibrous, unlike a typical blockage.

Use Homemade Drain Cleaner

Skip the expensive store-bought drain cleaners that use caustic chemicals to break up clogs and damage pipes! Make a cheap drain cleaner for minor clogs caused by grease, hair, or soap buildup.

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • Boiling water
  1. Start by removing any visible and solid obstructions from the drain, like hair or food particles.
  2. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain.
  3. Slowly pour the 2 cups of white vinegar down the drain over the baking soda. The mixture will create a fizzing reaction, which can help break down the gunk in the drain.
  4. Allow the baking soda and vinegar mixture to sit in the drain for about 30 minutes to give it time to break down the clog.
  5. After 30 minutes, pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush everything down and help dissolve any remaining obstructions.
  6. Test the drain to make sure the clog is gone. If you’re dealing with a stubborn blockage, repeat the process.

If the blockage is due to more solid items or the clog remains persistent after trying the homemade solution a few times, you might need to consider other methods like snaking the drain or checking for external obstructions.

How to Prevent Clogs in the Future

The best way to get rid of drain clogs is to prevent them! Plumbing repairs can be costly, messy, and cause discomfort to your family. Here are some tips for keeping your pipes clear:

  • Avoid pouring fats, oils, and grease down any drain. 
  • Whether for catching hair in the shower or large particles in the sink, strainers can prevent most clogs.
  • Use a mix of baking soda and vinegar followed by boiling water to regularly clear potential build-ups in your drains.
  • If you have trees near your property, be mindful. Their roots can invade and block sewer lines.
  • Every so often, let cold water run to clear out any debris. 

Schedule Main Line Services Today

Don’t let clogs bubble you over. With our veteran-owned background, selective hiring process, and decades of experience, Kobella ensures top-notch services in Willoughby, OH, Lake County, Geauga County, and beyond.

Are you ready to have your drains professionally cleaned in Kirtland, OH? Contact the plumbing pros at Kobella at (440) 729-2099 today.

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