Help prevent sewer line blockages by being aware of what goes down your drains. A sewer main clog causes a major inconvenience in your household. It interrupts your daily life and fills your house with unpleasant sewer odors. Often, a sewer main clog means you have to hire a professional plumber to remove the obstruction. Don't wash your hard-earned money down the drain — reduce the chances of a sewer main clog by knowing what you can do to prevent it.
A sewer main clog is an obstruction within the main sewer line, which channels waste away from your home. When household waste is too large to travel through the pipe, it not only becomes lodged, it also traps smaller waste and debris, creating a blockage. This leads to wastewater and smelly sewer odors backing up in your home's sinks, tubs and toilets.
A sewer line blockage is the direct result of an object being flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain. Often, the object is a child's toy, makeup container or feminine hygiene product. The object may clear the toilet but can become trapped or snagged within the sewer line. Another area of concern is the kitchen sink, especially sinks with garbage disposals. Homeowners often think it is OK to put all kitchen waste down the garbage disposal. This is not true — items that should never be placed into a garbage disposal include grease, oil and bones. All the aforementioned items can harm or clog your home's drain system. It only takes a small shard of bone to become trapped in your sewer line, snagging other items as they pass by, to create a blockage. Over time, what was a small obstruction grows into a larger one, causing a complete sewer line blockage.
When your main sewer line becomes blocked, you will most likely need the services of a professional plumber. Minor blockages can be cleared by simply removing the sink's P-trap and flushing out the debris. However, removing large blockages that lie deeper in the drain system is more complicated. These types of blockages will require the plumber to use a powered plumbing snake to reach and cut through the blockage.
Although it's impossible to predict or prevent a sewer line blockage, you can help reduce the chances of it happening to you. Be aware of what is washed down your drains. If a small object falls into the toilet, remove it before flushing it. Place only items that are recommended by the manufacturer or your plumber in the garbage disposal. If you have concerns about washing a particular item down your drain, throw it in the trash instead.