How Often Should My Sewer Lines Be Cleaned?

How Often Should My Sewer Lines Be Cleaned?

If you’re new to home ownership, you may be surprised by the amount of maintenance it takes to keep everything in good working order. You may not even be aware that cleaning sewer lines will help you prevent future problems. Now you’re wondering what’s involved and how often you should have your sewer lines cleaned.

Why Would You Need Sewer Lines Cleaned?

You wouldn’t be the only person to wonder why sewer lines should be cleaned. After all, they’re constantly filled with soapy water being flushed after. You’d think they’d stay clean enough from the force of draining water.

But there are several reasons to have your sewer lines clean, and you should schedule to have this service performed by a professional about once every other year.

Why Clean Sewer Lines

So, what advantage is there in having your sewer lines cleaned out every two years?

Because they’re on your property

Most municipal water treatment services don’t service the lateral runs on your property. These organizations manage the main sewer lines. However, in most cases, the sewer drains from your home to the mains is your responsibility.

Considering the expense of replacing underground drainage lines, you should do whatever you can to extend their useful lifespan.

You can prevent many by having your sewer lines cleaned regularly:

Better drainage

Do you have slow drains? Does it take forever for your bathtub to empty out? Does it seem to take even longer after heavy storms during the rainy season?

In some areas, municipal water treatment services drain both stormwater and wastewater through the sewer system. A heavy rainfall or summer storm can slow the drainage in your home if your pipes are dirty.

Avoid backups

If you’ve ever had sewer lines back up into your shower, you know how disgusting it is. Clogs and obstacles in the sewer lines prevent water from draining, and that means there’s nowhere to go but back up into your bathtub.

It’s also something you can avoid by having your sewer lines cleaned regularly.

Prevent breakage

Over time, the sediment buildup in your sewer drains can permanently clog the system. This thick layer of gunk can also cause corrosion, rust, and breakages in the lines.

Forestalls replacement

If you have trees growing near your sewer lines, you’ll definitely want to have your sewer lines cleaned regularly. Tree roots can grow into the drain lines, seeking the rich effluent for nutrients.

Regular cleaning removes that temptation, as well as the tree roots that have infiltrated your sewer lines.

How Sewer Line Cleaning is Performed

It sounds complicated, but professional technicians have several ways of quickly and efficiently cleaning out your drainage lines. They use several different methods, depending on the age, type, and placement of your lines.

Hydraulic sewer cleaning

Hydraulic, or hydro-jetting, uses high pressure water hoses to remove the gunk and residue remaining on the interior walls of the sewer pipes. It is one of the more popular methods, as it also removes obstructions.

Chemical sewer cleaning

Chemical cleaning sounds dangerous and unsafe. However, most modern technicians use biological products such as natural bacteria and enzymes that normally eat the kind of residue found on sewer pipes.

Mechanical sewer cleaning

This is probably the most well-known form of sewer cleanout because it’s been around so long. It’s currently used on pipes smaller than 12 inches in diameter.

Some technicians use “rodding,” where a rotating head spins at the end of a long, flexible rod to break up any obstructions. It’s particularly effective for removing tree roots. They also use “poly pigs,” foam devices used to remove debris from the inside of the pipes.

Signs Your Sewer Line Needs to Be Cleaned

If you’ve never had your sewer lines cleaned, you may be worried. Look for the signs that you shouldn’t delay any longer:

  • Frequent sink clogs

  • Gurgling pipes

  • Foul odors over the drains

  • Tubs and sinks drain slowly

Keeping Your Drains Clean Between Service

Once you’ve had them cleaned, there are a few things homeowners can do to make sure they stay clean.

A few DIY tips will keep your drains working well and your sewer’s running well:

  1. Don’t flush grease or oil down any drain in your home, even if you have a garbage disposal

  2. A monthly enzymatic treatment reduces any buildup of gunk in your drainage pipes

  3. Clean out your drains with baking soda and vinegar when you clean your kitchen. It prevents bad odors from the drain and reduces the chance of clogs

Avoid disgusting drain backups and costly repairs. If it’s been more than 2 years since you’ve had your sewer lines cleaned, make an appointment with the plumbing experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Port St. Lucie. We offer hydro-jetting for squeaky-clean, fast-flowing drains every time.