How To Prevent & Fix A Clogged Main Drain

June 05, 2024

Many homeowners have experienced a clogged drain and have given little thought to it. Drain cleaning products are a fast and cheap DIY option that might get the job done. However, a main drain clog is usually a sign of something more serious and should be addressed by a professional plumber as soon as possible. Main sewer clogs will usually cause water or sewage to back up out of a drain, toilet, or some other part of your plumbing system, and can be a very unpleasant experience.

What is a main drain?

The sewer main drain is a very important component of your home’s plumbing system. If you think of the drain system in the house like you would think of a tree, the main sewer line drain would be the trunk, and secondary drains to the toilets, sinks, and bathrooms would be the branches. The secondary drains all connect to the main sewer drain line that transports the wastewater to your home’s septic tank or the city’s sewer system. Unfortunately, since this is not visible, many homeowners do not know much about a main sewer line drain, or what to do if that main drain is clogged.

What are the warning signs that my main drain may be clogged?

A clogged main drain is a very serious problem that should be considered a plumbing emergency. It is usually caused by broken pipes in your line, debris such as feminine products, baby wipes, or toilet paper that clog the line, or tree roots that grow into the sewer line in search of water, and have ruptured the line. Early warning signs of the drain being clogged are hearing bubbling or gurgling sounds coming from one or more of your drains. Or your toilet water or faucets may bubble, and wastewater may back up into your tub or shower drain when you flush.

How do I fix a main drain clog?

A professional plumbing company can clear the main drain clog by snaking the main sewer clean out line, if a homeowner has access to it. If the home does not have a main sewer clean out access point, the toilet would have to be removed to clear the clog. If a simple main drain cleaning does not work, homeowners can also ask for a video camera inspection to see if the clog is caused by a bigger issue that may require a sewer line repair or replacement. If you suspect you have a main drain clog and would like to have it cleared, call Allgood Plumbing, Electric, Heating & Cooling today at 404-260-0244 to schedule an appointment or visit the drain cleaning page for more information.

How can I prevent a main drain clog?

The best way to avoid a clogged main sewer line, which can create a nightmare, involves carefully considering the things you send down the drain. Avoid flushing things that cannot break down easily, such as dental floss, tissues, baby wipes, or feminine products. When you prepare food in the kitchen, save grease or oil and put it directly in a garbage bag, not the sink. Consider installing drain strainers to prevent hair and other pieces of debris from falling into the drain. Periodically, you can use natural drain cleaners, including baking soda and vinegar, to help clear small amounts of buildup.

Can I DIY fix a main drain clog?

When you search for how to unclog a main drain pipe, you should take care in using any DIY methods. While you wait for professional assistance, you could consider a few techniques to reduce buildup or break up the clog. For example, a drain snake can help you to break up larger clogs, even if you cannot resolve them completely. Pouring boiling hot water into the drain can dissolve hardened grease deposits. Otherwise, you may try pouring baking soda and vinegar, followed by hot water. Make sure your pipes can handle these methods before you attempt them.

What happens if I don’t fix a clogged main drain?

A minor sewer line clog may seem like a mild issue, but you should avoid ignoring it. Over time, accumulations in your drain can cause clog problems to get worse. Eventually, you may notice that the water starts to back up to your toilets, sinks, and tubs. At times, the clog could even lead to damaged or burst pipes. If the clog causes the line to drain slowly (or not at all), stagnant water can create health concerns. Stagnant water breeds bacteria, pests, mold, and mildew. These problems can affect your indoor air quality and increase symptoms of allergies and asthma.

Could main drain clogs damage my foundation?

Understanding how to clear a main sewer line clog starts with knowing the damage that can come from your main plumbing drain clogged. When your home seriously needs a sewer line cleanout, you may not notice until you see other problems. For example, a clog can decrease the speed and efficacy of draining water from your roof gutters and downspouts. Water backing up to your gutters can overflow to your property and pool around the foundation. Eventually, you might have to deal with flooding in the basement. At other points in the home, clogs can cause pipes to expand and burst. Broken pipes and water damage can affect your plumbing, electrical, and other systems in the home.

How often should I schedule main drain cleaning?

As a rule, you should consider scheduling main drain line cleaning at least once a year. Preventative maintenance provides the key to smoother operation and reduces the likelihood of serious problems like a burst pipe. Ultimately, you should pay attention to the running of your drain lines, and not hesitate to schedule an appointment if you notice a problem. Common signs of a main drain clogged in the basement include slow drains, persistent clogs that you can’t seem to resolve, bad odors, or water backing up to the floor drain. When you talk to our plumbers about your concerns, you can get more specific recommendations for the age, type, and condition of your home’s plumbing.

What can I do about a bathroom main drain clog?

Learning how to clear a main drain line in your house requires an analysis of each drain system, including your bathroom. If your bathroom main drain clogged and you need to deal with it, you should start by identifying your main drain cleanout. If you feel comfortable working with a plumbing auger, you can use the auger to try to break up the clog into pieces that you can remove. If the cause comes from a broken or shifted sewer pipe, you should call our plumbers for professional assistance. We can provide an effective, long-term solution, using cameras and other devices to identify the location of the clog and resolve it.

How can I address a kitchen main drain clog?

If your kitchen main drain clogged, you’ll probably notice a significant change in quality. Clogged kitchen drains can drain slowly, create unpleasant odors or gurgling sounds, and even back up into the sink. In most cases, food debris and grease buildup cause the problem. To dissolve the clog, pour hot water into the drain and allow it to sit for several minutes. You may also want to try a solution of vinegar and baking soda. Avoid running the disposal at this time, because it can cause water and debris to spray out of the drain. If the clog does not resolve, call our plumbers for service.

How much does main drain clearing cost?

In order to identify how much it costs to unclog a main drain, our plumbers need more information about the problem. The location, severity of the problem, and age of your plumbing can affect how long it takes for our plumbers to find and resolve the clog. If the clog comes from a burst pipe or other damage to the line, you may need to pay for additional repairs to address it. We provide written estimates before we start repairs, to help you understand what you can expect.

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Last Updated: June 24, 2024