Mainline Clogs

It’s something we’ve been dealing with since the birth of indoor plumbing: a clog in the drain. It could be a stopped-up toilet, bathtub water that doesn’t drain, or a kitchen sink that fills with water even though the faucet isn’t running. There’s nothing like that dread that comes with trying to flush the toilet and nothing happens.

About the only thing worse than any of those situations is when they happen all at the same time. For a clogged toilet, a plunger is the standard solution and usually takes care of the problem. But if the water is backing up through the plumbing system and into a shower or sinks when they aren’t in use, there is a bigger issue at work.

Mainline Clogs

Usually when water backs up into plumbing fixtures like a sink, cleaning out the P-trap (the little curved pipe under the sink) is a quick solution. It’s not so easy when the tub or shower drain does the same thing. Homeowners may be able to use a snake to clear out the offending blockage, although it’s safer to call in a professional plumber.

However, there are times when getting the experts involved is the only solution. If the wastewater doesn’t drain as fast as it should, not at all, or even backs up when not in use, these are all warning signs that a clogged main sewer may be to blame.

Causes of Sewer Line Clogs

The most common cause of mainline clogs is tree roots getting into the sewer pipes a few feet underground. Many Vancouver and Clark County homes are 80, 90, even one hundred years old, built when clay pipes were the standard material for sewer lines.

Over time, these pipes can develop small cracks that allow very small tree roots to enter a pipe, grow, and really cause a mess. These roots can even crack the pipes more, which is a completely different problem that homeowners have to deal with.

Even when newer materials are used, such as PVC, concrete, or steel, every joint is a potential entry point for tree roots. While Rower Plumbing and Drain has the tools to cut through a mass of hair, roots, and other debris, if the pipe itself isn’t addressed, this will be a recurring problem.

In suburban areas, or less densely populated areas, septic tanks are often used when hooking up to local infrastructure is not possible or too costly. If a homeowner isn’t familiar with septic systems like this, they may forget that they do need to be emptied from time to time. This is a mistake that’s usually only made once because it can cause quite a mess. If needed, Rowe Plumbing and Drain can offer recommendations for septic tank companies.

In commercial businesses, especially restaurants, grease, food, and oils can cause blockages. That’s why grease interceptors are often a requirement. However, if the kitchen drain line isn’t up to code or the drain pipe isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, it could affect things down the line.

That means it doesn’t affect just that business but could ruin the day of neighboring businesses as well. Nothing will clear out a business faster than if toilet water, gray water, or any other kind of water starts leaking out into the eating area, sales floor, or showroom.

Mainline clog solutions

It’s something homeowners take for granted – being able to run the water until it gets to the right temperature or to clean dishes. So it’s very disruptive when that ability is taken away in the form of a massive sewer line clog.

There are steps that can be taken to address this problem before it happens:

  • Don’t overuse toilet paper
  • Put uneaten food in the compost, not the garbage disposal
  • Don’t pour grease don’t the drain
  • Make sure all drains have drain grates of some sort
  • Clean hair, soap scum, and other debris from the shower drain grate regularly

One more thing: refrain from using caustic chemicals for drain cleaning. Not only can they damage your pipes, but they also pose a problem for plumbers that aren’t expecting a pipe full of chemicals when they start working on the drains.

These steps won’t help if debris has already been allowed to create a blockage. In these cases, it’s best to call in an experienced crew like Rowe Plumbing and Drain. We will be able to pinpoint the clog, cut through, and then remove it. We have the tools – including industrial snakes and hydro jetting – and the ability to use them properly.

Having a toilet conk out at work is one thing – having drain issues in a restaurant during the lunch rush is something else entirely. In addition to clearing the main lines, we also provide service and maintenance for residential homes and commercial businesses to keep the lines running just fine.

Reduce, or even remove, many issues with regularly scheduled cleaning to keep everything in your home or business running smoothly. Fully licensed, bonded, and insured, Rowe Plumbing and Drain also offers 24-hour emergency services. So whether it’s a clogged toilet or a mainline issue, give us a call!