Main Drain Line Woes

 A main drain clog is much more serious than the average homeowner can handle. Please call a plumber!

A main drain clog is much more serious than the average homeowner can handle. Please call a plumber!

Let’s face it; no one likes to think about their drain line. A homeowner needs to keep a drain line clear. It’s an underappreciated mechanism which silently, continuously moves wastewater away from our homes and out to the sea.

Well, not really. Wastewater goes to the wastewater treatment plant. Some of it ends up at the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant, the only power plant in the world which isn’t near a body of water, thanks to folks like you who provide the means for them to run the PV plant without one.

There may come a time when a bath or shower drains start to drain slowly, or perhaps the homeowner may notice an unpleasant odor coming from them. In fact, a drain may even back up when a water appliance such as a washing machine or dishwasher is running. Any of the following is a cause for concern for several reasons. A sewage flood in the home can have far-reaching ramifications. Backups can happen even when a homeowner is careful what is put into their drains. Debris or even tree roots can cause the main drain line to clog. Since it is the homeowner who is responsible for keeping the pipe clear to the city sewer system, it needs to be dealt with by the homeowner. 

A wastewater backup

A backup will negatively affect the whole household. In most cases, it’s necessary to turn the water mainline off to prevent further backups. If the homeowner hasn’t done so already, it’s essential to find a local plumber. Meanwhile, water use and cleaning are severely restricted.

Regardless of the problem, once the plumber arrives, he can give the homeowner a clear understanding of the situation and the options available. Each case is different, due to the type of pipe and the specific cause of the backup.  Once the plumber makes a recommendation, the homeowner will have the information needed to decide what would work for him.

 Some Valley wastewater goes to the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant.

Some Valley wastewater goes to the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant.

Find the cause

The plumber may recommend the main drain line be snaked and cleared. First, it’s essential to know what type of pipe is in the line.  An exterior access line may be needed. If the home doesn’t have an exterior access point, one may need to be installed.

The next step is to do a camera inspection to see what is happening in the waste line. A camera will show if there are any breaks in the pipe: it’s much easier to deal with a break when it’s small before it gets out of control.  

Once the line is examined and cleared, the plumber will let the homeowner know if a regular rooting service is needed to prevent a recurrent problem.  In some cases, it may be the best option due to tree roots, etc. It may be this is more efficient than tearing up the whole yard to replace the drain line. 

Future prevention

After the pipe is cleared, if it wasn’t caused by tree roots, the plumber may have some recommendations for the homeowner regarding things to not put down the drain or plumbing, such as grease, tampons, or flushable wipes. Those suggestions should be followed diligently to avoid plumbing backups in the future.

If you need an honest, dependable plumber in the Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe or Chandler area, call Jimmy at 480-757-1273