Among the most important components of your home’s plumbing system, the main sewer line holds a special place. Responsible for connecting all your home’s drain lines to a single line that runs out of the home and to your public utility supply, the main sewer line sees some of the most action of any pipe or drain in your home — and can be one of the most demanding to fix if problems take place within it.

At 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, we’re here to offer a variety of services that assist in keeping your sewer line functioning optimally, from basic drain cleaning and repair methods through main sewer cleanout, sewer line repair and many other themes. It’s also important for homeowners to have a bit of knowledge on this system too, though — where it’s located, what might cause problems within it, and what the signs of these problems could be so you can quickly get our plumbers on the job if any of them happen to arise. Here’s a primer on each of these important areas.

Main Sewer Line Basics and Location

First and foremost, let’s go over exactly what the main sewer line is and where it’s located. This line runs from the piping in your home and out to your public utility supply, located in an underground line that runs along streets and through neighborhoods. It supplies all houses in the area with their wastewater — or drain water — which then gets sucked into a larger line that can be hooked up to main sewers for large cities, or local treatment plants for smaller communities.

More precisely, your home’s main sewer line will be connected to the city or town piping by a connection called a ‘street lateral’. This pipe comes directly from your home and down along the side of your house, usually covered up by landscaping so it’s not immediately visible. It leads out to this junction point with your local sewage system, where it then get funneled to the sewage line.

Common Reasons for Main Sewer Line Clogs

There are several possible reasons why your sewer line may clog, some of which are easily avoidable. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Repeated flushing of improper products (hygiene products, food, wipes, etc.) down the toilet
  • Grease and oils being regularly poured down the drains and into the main sewer line
  • Large amounts of hair getting caught up in the piping and causing a clog over time
  • Tree roots getting into the line and causing blockage
  • Extreme changes in temperature

Now that you know all the basics on a sewer line and why it might become clogged, our next sections will go over some of the most common signs that such a clog is occurring, plus what you should do if you notice any of them.

Low Water Pressure

If you’ve noticed a sudden, major drop in water pressure inside your home, there’s a strong chance that your main sewer line is clogged. You’ll want to get our 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning professionals on the job right away; it could be something as simple as grease buildup affecting the flow, or it may be much more severe like multiple blockages. You may also see water draining from a showerhead or bathroom faucet when the washing machine is running, another sign of low pressure.

Water Backups in Multiple Fixtures

If you have a backup in just a single sink or toilet, this could be limited to just that drain and due to issues like a minor blockage that’s easily remedied. However, if you notice multiple water backups happening simultaneously, then your main sewer line is probably the culprit.

In addition to signs like back up in sinks and toilets, you may also notice sewage smells coming from drains, see water coming up from floor drains, or simply see standing water where it shouldn’t be — a sure sign that something serious has occurred with your main sewer line. If you flush your toilet and see water coming up from a basement drain, for instance, this is usually a main line issue.

Slow Drains

Down similar lines, a single slow drain might not be cause for much concern, especially if there’s a simple reason for it; multiple such slow drains, on the other hand, certainly will be. This can be another sign of something going on with your main sewer line, and you’ll want to get our Rooter 24 team on the job right away to make sure your home’s plumbing systems are in good working order.

Poor Odors

Once again, a sewer line issue isn’t the only potential cause of poor plumbing odors — if these are in just a single location, you should look for other explanations first. But if you’re smelling a sewage odor coming from most or all of your plumbing fixtures, then this will be a clear sign that something has gone wrong with your main sewer line.

Flooding Yard

Finally, has water that’s clearly not coming from your sprinkler or hose system begun pooling or collecting in your yard, especially above the area where your main sewer line runs underground? This often means damage has occurred to the line itself, such as a tree root creeping into the line. You’ll want to get in touch with our team at Rooter 24 for a thorough analysis and repairs as soon as possible, to ensure that your sewer line is repaired quickly and doesn’t continue to leak.

For more on spotting the signs of a potential main sewer line clog that indicate a need for repair or cleaning, or to learn about any of our drain cleaning or main sewer line services, speak to the staff at 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning today.

The world of plumbing is one that features a unique interplay between clients and professional plumbers. While there are certain jobs that should only ever be carried out by professionally-trained plumbers, there are other simple plumbing tasks around the home that homeowners should handle for themselves — basic stuff like clearing drains, preventing clogs and ensuring you know the location of various shut-off valves, for instance.

At 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, we’re happy to work directly with clients to assist them with any of their plumbing needs — including some of our more handy clients who like to try and DIY as many of their home needs as possible. While we encourage this in many cases and will provide support where we can, we’ve also seen situations where DIYers make costly mistakes that could have been avoided by simply calling our plumbers. Here are some of these mistakes to avoid — if you’re in these situations, it might be best to give our team a call.

Overtightening Plumbing Connections

Many home DIY plumbing tasks will involve connections, whether from one section of piping to another or from the supply end of a pipe into a fixture like a sink. When connecting these things, it’s very important that you tighten them as much as possible — but not so much that you break the products themselves.

If this happens, this means replacement parts will be necessary and likely also means you’ll need to get a professional plumber involved to ensure the connection is watertight and functional once more. Overtightening can also damage components like gaskets, which result in leaking fixtures that you’ll need to repair or replace before getting back to business as usual.

Using Drain Cleaners Too Often

If your drains are having minor clog or buildup issues, your first option here should not be chemical drain cleaners. While these tools can be effective on some occasions, they can cause damage to the internal mechanisms of your fixtures over time and should only be used in situations where more natural methods have failed.

Rather, your first attempt should be using a plunger, drain snake or some other barbed drain cleaning tool that will not eat away at your pipes. If these methods don’t do the trick, call on our team of professional plumbers at 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning.

Handling a Major Job Without Spare Parts

One quick way to tell an experienced DIY homeowner from a newbie in the plumbing world: Do they have a collection of spare parts handy? Plumbing is a world that requires precision; the more precision you have in your work, the fewer problems you’ll run into.

If you plan on tackling a new plumbing project on your own and don’t want to call our team of professionals, make sure that you’re carrying out all tasks with several spare parts ready for use. This will include standard items like washers and gaskets, but also more specific items like shut-off valves, air vents and piping connectors.

Using Improper Tools

Down similar lines, one of the most common DIY mistakes we see involves using the wrong tools for a job. If you’re trying to remove a corroded nut with a wrench when it’s best done with a socket wrench, you’ll end up causing significant damage to the nut and likely also scratch or warp the surface of your fixture in some way.

If you’re going to take on plumbing projects around your home, make sure that you’re using the appropriate tools for each task — this includes both standard hand tools and more advanced tools like pipe cutters, drain snakes, crimpers and saws. If you have questions here, call our team; if you’re inexperienced with using a recommended tool, this is one of those situations where leaving the job to the pros might be the right call.

Confusing Wyes, Tees and Elbows

Drain fittings are often an area DIYers try to attend to on their own, but they will commonly mix up the difference between wyes, tees and elbows. The primary function of all three is to join different pipes together — that said, there are key differences between them:

  • Wyes: Wyes feature a circular base that is connected to three different hoses, making them best suited for use in sinks.
  • Tees: Tees are similar to wyes but feature a more pointed joint between the circles’ connection points.
  • Elbows: Elbows are used when you want to turn a pipe at an angle rather than allow it to continue its original direction.

If you’re unsure of the difference between wyes, tees and elbows, our team can help — or, better yet, invest in some reliable reference guides so that you’ll know for next time you’re tackling a job around your home.

Using the Wrong Tape (Or Using the Right Tape Incorrectly)

Another common need within the plumbing world is the use of tape, including Teflon tape that’s often wrapped around various pipe threads. This tape must be wrapped in the right direction — but some DIYers wrap it backward, inadvertently causing major leaks and other issues. If you’re going to be using Teflon tape on your own, make sure that you double check the direction of the wraps (toward the pipe threads rather than away from them) both before and after you’ve completed the job — this will ensure long-term effectiveness.

In addition, it’s vital to ensure you’re using the right tape to begin with. Thin white or thick pink thread tape should be used for fittings that carry water; yellow gas-rated tape should be used for threaded gas line connections. Thread tape should never be used on compression or flare fittings, either.

For more on avoiding common DIY plumbing mistakes, or to learn about any of our drain cleaning or other plumbing services in Utah, speak to the staff at 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning today.