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CLOGGED SEWERS

 

                There are three major reasons for backed up sewer pipes when all fixtures in your home are backed up allowing no drainage.

            1. Proper flow has been inhibited by a poor construction practice that has caused a build up and eventual clogging. (too much mortar, not  enough slope, improper fittings)

            2. Plant or tree roots have forced their way into the pipe at the joints after seeing water and caused an obstruction.

            3. A break has allowed foreign matter into the pipe or it has collapsed.

            In Chamberlain, roots seem to be our greatest culprit. A heavy duty 5/8" or 3/4" power sewer "snake" or auger is most commonly used to clear the obstruction. It is inserted into the system through a removable cap in your pipe called a "cleanout" located near where it exits the house to the city line.  Backed up sewage often exists uphill from this cleanout so be prepared for a flood with towels, pails and / or plastic underneath it after removing this cap.  These power augers come with a selection of bits for various problems. Of course in most cases the cause of the clog is initially going to be an educated guess

            Hence the "spear head" auger bit is a good starting point to try to get water flowing and it won't get jammed in a root. The auger is powered and rotated by foot control while you carefully and slowly push and pull it through your pipe until you reach the obstruction.  Keep track of the length that you insert and it will roughly measure the distance to your obstruction. So for instance if your pipe has collapsed, you will have a pretty good idea where in your yard to dig.  At this stage you must use care and caution and apply a sensible amount of force, or similar to driving an SUV recklessly into a snowdrift, you may not be able to back it out later. If roots are suspected a heavy duty saw blade is used to cut them. You may even see evidence of the type of obstruction on the teeth of the cutter you choose. A "corkscrew retrieval" bit is used only to retrieve an obstruction that has been loosened. Even roots may simply wash further down and cause more future grief if not retrieved.

            If drainage is slow in your home and not actually backed up, or if you have successfully snaked out a clog, another great device for cleaning sewer pipes is the sewer jetter. It is similar to a car wash for sewer pipes.  High pressure water is jetted through a needle nozzle at 1650 psi. You simply insert the hose slowly through your pipe and it spins wildly and washes out debris. The water stream is so piercing it will even cut roots. Once the main clog has been released pulling it back and then inserting through the entire length of pipe slowly and methodically will be certain to clean it all completely.  

CLICK HERE FOR HOW TO VIDEO

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                                                                              Last modified: April 10, 2017