Unclogging the main sewer pipe can be a bit difficult, but with the help of a couple different tools, you should be able to get the job done. The two techniques we’ll describe in this article should be enough to unclog the drain of most sewer pipes, but in some cases, you’ll need to call in a professional Fullerton plumber to help you.
How do you know it’s your main sewer pipe?
The biggest clue that you need to unclog your main sewer pipe is when you have multiple and simultaneous clogged drains. If more than one toilet, shower or sink is getting clogged or overflowing at the same time, and you need to unclog the drains in your house more than usual, chances are your main sewer pipe is clogged.
To unclog this drain of the main sewer pipe, you will first need to locate it. Most houses have multiple clean out spots where you can unclog a drain, but it’s usually best to find your home’s main one – typically in a basement or outside between your outer wall and the city sewer line or your septic tank.
Unclog Drains of Main Sewer Pipes: Two Techniques
As mentioned, there are two basic ways to unclog the drain of your main sewer line. Each involves a different tool, and we’ll explain each briefly below.
Unclog Drains with a Plumber’s Auger
We’ve discussed plumber’s augers (aka plumber’s snakes) in previous articles, and they will work the same way here. Plumber’s augers come in 3-ft and 6-ft lengths, and we recommend getting the longer one to unclog the drain of your main sewer line. Basically, you will want to find your house’s main cleanout and disconnect the plumbing so you can get to the actual sewer pipe.
Once you have it opened up, spread some newspaper for extra protection and insert the plumbers snake down into the main sewer pipe. You will probably meet some resistance in the first few feet of the pipe, and it is at this point that you will want to begin turning the hand crank and boring through the clog.
You should keep cranking the plumber’s auger until you feel it push all the way through and unclog the drain. It may take several attempts but you should be able to unclog the drain with the plumber’s snake fairly quickly.
Unclog Drains with a Sewer Jetter Nozzle for a Power Washer
If the plumber’s auger method fails to unclog the drain of the main sewer pipe, you will want to try a sewer jetter attachment for your power washer. These typically will clear out a drain more completely and much faster than the previous method.
Be sure to wear the appropriate eye protection and some rubber gloves, and that you’ve connected the sewer jetter attachment securely to the pressure washer. Then insert the nozzle down into the drain’s opening.
Make sure that the tip of the nozzle is at least 1 foot (2 feet if possible) down inside the drain and begin spraying the high pressured water into the pipe to unclog the drain.
The sewer jetter attachment will work its way deeper down into the main sewer pipe and you’ll have to feed it more hose. You may have to pull it back a few feet and repeat the process to effectively and fully unclog the drain, but in time, this method should work very well.