main sewer

Plumbing Tips and Helpful Hints

Your Main Sewer and Branch Lines.

Most plumbing emergencies consist of mainly 2 situations. 1. Your sewer is backing up or leaking somewhere.  2. Your water system is leaking somewhere.

To deduce if your main sewer is plug-up, waste water will start to back up into your house from the main sewer line. Your main sewer line goes into the city sewer system or a septic tank system. The back-up typically will be observe coming into your bathtub or shower drain. These two fixture have the lowest drain lines.

Why your bathtub or shower drain? Because the drainage lines to those fixtures are the lowest in elevation in relation to your toilet and sinks. If this is the case stop using your  plumbing fixtures because their will only add waste water to your bathtub and or shower.

To deduce if your plugged line is isolated e.g. kitchen sink, washing machine you will not see waste water coming into your tub/shower drains unless those fixtures are clogged on an individual basis.

Now your have a couple of choices, you can go rent a drain cleaner (snake) or call a license professional to clean that plug sewer or drain.

Most drain and sewer lines have what we plumbers call clean-outs (accesses to your drains and sewer lines which are typically located around the exterior of your home. Your main sewer line’s cleanout is usually located in front of your house unless your on a septic tank system then your sewer line will be to the back of the house.  The sewer line; cleanout  is usually a black color pipe with a cap or plug on the top.

If  you deduced that the main sewer line is the line that is plugged-up you can relieve the build up pressure in your house by simply taking the cap or plug off the clean-out. However this waste water will spill out at its cleanout. Better spilling outside then inside.

Kitchen and laundry clean-outs will be located on the exterior of your home or at fixture it serve. Simply remove the cleanout’s plug or cap to relieve pressure. Make sure you have a pan or bucket to catch the water that may still be in the fixture trap or sink compartment.

Toilets and bath sinks along with tubs and showers do not have clean-out and have to be snake at their drains.