Slow running drains can be a real pain. If your toilet, sinks, and tubs are constantly taking forever to drain and you hear mysterious bubbling and gurgling sounds coming up from the pipes, your main sewer line is probably clogged. Even worse, you may not have any symptoms and just wake up one day to the sewer backed up in your basement. If your sewer is clogged, dumping a drum of chemicals down the drain isn't going to solve the problem.
How Does A Sewer Get Clogged To Begin With?
Outside sewer lines are big, usually six inches in diameter. So it takes more than just wads of toilet paper and solid waste to clog it up. The real culprit is usually tree roots. They live underground, of course, looking for water and nutrients. Tree roots sense the water and rich waste flowing through the pipes, and they send tiny little feelers through minute cracks and at the pipe seams. Before you know, tree roots ball up in there, blocking water and debris from freely moving through. This is more a common problem in older, established neighborhoods with mature trees rather than new subdivisions.
So How Do You Fix It?
Fixing a sewer line with tree roots isn't a job for the do-it-yourselfer. A sewer cleaning professional will eliminate the possibility of interior clogged pipes first. Then, they will do a manual inspection of the main sewer line. Sometimes they even use little cameras to find where the blockage is and survey the extent of the damage to the pipe.
They have a couple of tools they can use to fix the problem. One is a gigantic "snake," an auger that can go in and work its way through the clog. It is usually mounted on a truck, with a motor powerful enough to grind the roots up. Another tool is basically a pressure washer. A powerful stream of water can dismantle the root balls and then force them on down the line.
After the problem is fixed mechanically, there are chemical treatments that can be used regularly to kill the tree roots near the pipe, but it isn't allowed in all municipalities. A better way to prevent future problems is to determine which trees are causing the problem to begin with. You may need to consider having the offending trees removed. Your drain cleaning professional will recommend which options are best for your situation.
For more information, contact Plumb Care Plumbing or a similar company.