Step-by-step guide to cleaning the main sewer line with your own hands

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How to unclog a main sewer line DIY

Unclogging a main sewer line can be a challenging task, but there are several methods you can try. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clear a main sewer line clog using a plumbing auger (also known as a plumbing snake):

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clear a main sewer line clog using a plumbing auger (also known as a plumbing snake):

Step 1: First, you need to go to a tool rental store and rent an electric snake (drain cleaning machine). Note that the average price of renting such equipment in California ranges from $70 to $150 per day.

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Step 2: Loosen the cap on the cleanout access point of the sewer line. The main cleanout is typically located outside the house, near where the main sewer line exits the building. Use a wrench to loosen the cap but do not remove it completely yet. Please note that older homes may not have a cleanout and then it is imperative that you contact a professional plumbing company to install one.

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Step 3: Once the cap is loosened, carefully open it and allow any built-up water or debris to drain out. This step helps relieve pressure in the pipe before you begin clearing the clog.

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Step 4: Feed the auger cable into the drain pipe through the cleanout access point. Start by inserting a few feet of the cable and then slowly crank the auger handle to extend it further into the pipe.

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Step 4: Continue feeding the auger cable into the drain pipe until you reach the location of the clog. You may encounter resistance as the auger encounters the obstruction. Keep cranking the auger handle to push through the clog. If you feel the auger break through the clog, continue running it for a few more feet to ensure the entire blockage is cleared.

Step 5: Once you’ve cleared the clog, retract the auger cable by cranking the handle in the opposite direction. Be careful not to pull the cable out too quickly, as it may sling debris around. You must realize that this is a very complicated process. It is not as time consuming for a professional plumber as it is for the average homeowner, as plumbing companies spend thousands of hours of time and invest in their technicians so that you can get the service done quickly and efficiently.

Step 6: After retracting the drain cleaning machine , hose down the drain pipe and the cable to flush out any remaining debris and ensure the pipe is clear. Use moderate water pressure to avoid splashing or creating a mess.

Step 7: Finally, securely tighten the cap back onto the cleanout access point to seal the sewer line.

In this article we have described how you can unclog your main sewer line yourself, but you should only do this if you are sure that the main line does not have any problems or damage. Conduct a visual inspection of your property, particularly around the area where the main sewer line runs. Look for any signs of damage such as cracks, corrosion, or sagging sections of the pipe. Additionally, check for tree roots invading the sewer line, which can cause blockages and structural damage.

If you find or suspect that there is even a minimal risk of damage, contact a professional plumber immediately, because the consequences can be very unpleasant.

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