What to Do If You Have a Clogged Sewer Line

November 20, 2020

Nobody wants to deal with a clogged sewer line in their Nacogdoches, TX, home. When it happens, it requires a rapid response to avoid major damage to your home and serious consequences to your health. While you’re waiting for one of our Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. plumbers to arrive and assess the situation, follow these tips.

Call the Plumber

Don’t try to unclog the sewer line yourself. Doing so could cause worse damage and put your health at risk. Our plumbers offer emergency repair services, so you won’t have to wait long for us to arrive at your home. As soon as you realize the main sewer line is clogged, make a call for assistance. Waiting will only increase the risk of structural damage from the sewage backup.

Don’t Use Any Plumbing Fixtures

While you’re waiting for your sewer line to be cleared, don’t use any of your home’s plumbing fixtures. This will be inconvenient, but it’s necessary to avoid worsening the situation. Avoid using the toilet, shower, water faucets, dishwasher, washing machine, ice maker, or any other fixture. If you have a water softener, turn it off to cycle while the sewer line is clogged. Turn off your whole-home dehumidifier if you have one. They usually drain their wastewater into a condensate line that’s connected to your main sewer drain.

Avoid DIY Solutions

There’s no tool or chemical that a homeowner can use to clear a clogged sewer drain. This is a repair that must be left to experienced plumbers. Pouring chemicals into the sewer line could result in more damage to pipes or fixtures. Those chemicals could also spill out with the rest of the sewage backup, injuring your eyes, throat, or skin. Don’t put anything down the main sewer. An everyday plunger or drain snake won’t fix a clogged main sewer line.

Clean the Contaminated Area

It’s important to clean any area that’s been contaminated by the sewage backup from the clogged sewer line. When cleaning raw sewage, you’ll need personal protective equipment. Raw sewage may contain parasites, bacteria, and viruses that cause serious illnesses in humans and animals. Wear thick rubber or latex gloves, shoe covers, a rubber apron, goggles, and a face shield or face mask. Items made of metal, porcelain, and glass can be sanitized with a diluted bleach solution. Fabrics, including carpeting, should be removed and properly disposed of through local waste pickup services. Most plastics should be salvageable. Wood and upholstery will most likely need to be thrown away. Hard surface flooring may need several sanitizing treatments. If the sewage reached several inches in depths on the floor, you might need to have some of the trim and drywall removed and replaced.

Shut Off the Water

While you’re waiting for the plumber to arrive, shut off the main water supply to your home. This prevents any automated use of water, such as water softener cycling. It also prevents someone from using one of the plumbing fixtures when they weren’t supposed to. In most homes, the water main is located next to the water meter.

Locate the Sewer Clean-Out Opening

Your main sewer has a clean-out opening. It’s usually located in the basement or near the place where the sewer pipe enters your home and connects to the line under the street. There should be a PVC or similar type of cap on the clean-out line. You can open this cap to release some of the pressure in the sewer. Be aware that doing this could cause a splash of sewage. Be prepared for a foul odor.

Prevent a Relapse

After the plumber cleans out your clogged sewer line or repairs it, take action to prevent a relapse of the clog. Avoid using products that are known to cause clogs. These include thick toilet paper. Don’t flush things that aren’t safe for plumbing. Some items to avoid flushing include menstrual care products, diapers, incontinence pads, plastic wrappers, and paper towels. Don’t pour grease or fibrous food waste into your drains.

Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. is the trusted provider of sewer line maintenance services in Nacogdoches. Homeowners also turn to us for reliable drain and sewer repairs, water heaters, water softeners, and plumbing repairs. Our heating and cooling maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation services keep you comfortable all year long. For more tips on dealing with a clogged sewer drain, call us at Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. today.