There are a variety of tools and methods to consider trying in order to clean a sewer line and get it working.
How to Clean a Sewer Line
To prevent sewer backup, sometimes you need to clean a sewer line using various tools.
Use Rodders for Sewer Line Cleaning
When you need to work on sewer cleanout, there are many pieces of equipment to help. Rodders are items that most people try first. Rodders are semi-rigid cables that can be inserted into the sewer in order to push a blockage out of the way through the pipe. Sometimes the blockage will get caught on the rod and can be pulled back out that way. There are many different types of rods that can be used for sewer line cleaning. The tape rod, for example, is one of the most basic options. It is a coil of flat steel that sits in a semi-rigid manner. It has a ball or plug at the end, and you use it by pushing its length into the sewer line. This action can break up the blockage and get things flowing again. These rods come in various lengths, the longest being 100 feet. While tape rods can be helpful for sewer cleaning, they are also limited. They are only good for straight runs because they are rigid, and they don't take corners well. Since they can't take turns, they are limited in the types of blockages they can work free. They also only have one type of head, so they can only remove certain blockages.
Try a Closet Auger
If you need to clean a sewer line as a homeowner, the closet auger is one of the most useful plumbing tools you can have on hand. This device has a spring cable end and a self-feeding auger head. You hold a handle on the other end and insert the cable into the toilet. The handle can be turned to help the cable break up a blockage along the way. There are several different sizes, most of which are half an inch thick. The lengths vary from three-and-a-half feet to six feet. The six-foot length is the most helpful in pushing a blockage through the pipes to the main in order to prevent a sewer backup. While the closet auger is helpful for a number of blockage issues, it has its limitations. The auger can help with sewer line cleaning, but since it is only six feet long, if you have a blockage that is further down the pipes, it is useless. The spring cable on an auger is flexible, so there are certain blockages that it simply can't move. Since you can't change the size or type of head, your options are limited. In addition, you turn the auger manually, so you are limited in the amount of torque you can provide. Tricky blockages are tough to handle with a closet auger.
Utilize a Kinetic Water Ram for Sewer Cleanout
A kinetic water ram uses compressed air to knock clogs loose. It can help with sewer cleanout by simply pulling back a handle and pulling a trigger. You can use this device on toilets, showers, sinks, bathtubs and anything else that has a pipe line. You will want to make sure you read the directions thoroughly because the device is intense and requires concentration and correct usage. Since it is powerful, it can be harmful to the user if it is not utilized correctly. While it stops clogs, it cannot break up every blockage. If a blockage is too strong, it can actually push the clog down further and compact it even more. It is even possible to break a fixture when using this tool. The last thing you want to do when trying to break up a blockage is to create a bigger problem that requires sewer line repair.
Call a Plumber
If you know you need sewer line repair or you have a sewer cleaning issue like a clog you can't reach, it is best to call a professional to do the job for you. If your home remedies and tools don't do the trick, it is a good idea to reach out for help before the problem gets worse and you need to clean a sewer line quick. The last thing you want is a sewer to back up into your home. Not only is it a real mess, but it can cause damage to the floors, the furniture and many other items. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem gets and the harder it can be to fix. It's hard to call a plumber when you have a job you think might be easy enough for you to do on your own, but after you try with your home remedy tools and don't have any luck, you will have to turn it over to a professional. The plumber will come with a variety of professional-level tools on hand to take care of any issue you have. They will take a look at the problem and match the right tool to the job to ensure that nothing gets damaged and your blockage or repair is conducted with as much ease as possible. The plumber will work fast, and it might seem like a waste of money for someone who gets the job done so quickly. However, you should be grateful that you caught the problem before it got too complicated for anyone to fix with ease.