How Often Should Sewer Lines Be Cleaned?

Sewer lines are the most important part of your home’s plumbing system. Most of us would not take proper care for sewer lines but it’s a critical piece of plumbing to be inspected. 

Sewer lines are long, and all the waste, water we flush goes down them. If you hear any strange noises, or if they start smelling bad, then it is time to clean them out.

Symptoms of Sewer Line Issues

  • Toilets overflowing frequently
  • Slow or frequently clogged drains
  • Pools of water in your yard
  • Mold growth around plumbing
  • Water backed up in toilets, showers, and washing machines
  • Multiple drains clogged at the same time
  • Foul and abnormal odors coming from your drains
  • Raw sewage backing up into your drain, toilet or bathtub

What causes sewer line clogs?

Tree roots

The tree roots naturally grow toward sewer lines and get inside the pipes in search of the nutrients within. If the roots grow within the sewer pipe, it may result in clogs themselves or catch the waste material to form a large clog in the sewer line.


If you dump grease, oil, and fats down the kitchen sink it may lead to clogs in the sewer line. These materials solidify and stick to the insides of the drainpipe, thus the water flow stops and catches other materials to form a clog.

Sagging pipe

Ground shifting can cause sewer pipes to sag. Materials can be collected thus forming a large clog in the sewer line.

How Often should the sewer lines be cleaned?

You should clean the sewer lines every 18-22 months. Call a plumber and schedule a video inspection of your pipes to know the condition of the sewer lines. This will let you know if there are any serious issues and help you fix it faster. Your plumber will insert a video camera down through your pipes to know what other issues may be causing your sewer back-ups.  This video inspection will help the plumbers to suggest the proper ideas for whichever repair is necessary to correct the problem.

Cleaning removes buildup that sticks into the inner region of pipes, thus increasing the risk of a blockage forming. Professional plumbers use professional tools and techniques like a drain auger to remove the clog material or hydro jetting to remove hard buildup from the inner pipe walls.

Options For Having Your Sewer Lines Cleaned

If tree roots are the issue, use a mechanical auger to clear the problem.  A sewer auger comes with a rotating spiral head with teeth which can easily cut the tree roots. But this is a temporary solution because the roots will grow after some days. Therefore, use a chemical tree root removal. A video inspection is the best choice as it clearly visualizes what needs to be done to fix the problem.

Reasons to Clean Your Sewer Lines

Keeping your sewer lines free of clogs and debris is very important to stay stress-free. The sewer lines will become dirty often and are susceptible to clogs. Some benefits of checking your sewer lines and cleaning regularly include:

  • A healthy plumbing system
  • Better water flow
  • Improved drainage
  • Peace of mind

Keeping your sewer lines clean is essential as you do any other preventive maintenance task on your home. Schedule a cleaning every 18-22 months if you want to avoid the problem in sewer lines and stay free from costly repair.

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