Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

Causes Of Main Sewer Line Clogs

by April Rivera

The main drain refers to the main sewer line that connects your house to the municipal wastewater system. When problems affect this drain, raw sewage can back up into your home and cause big problems. The following are some main drain backup causes and how to fix them.


Debris stuck in the drain line is an all too common complaint. Feminine hygiene products, paper, and food items are the likely culprits. The only items that should ever go down the toilet are toilet paper and human waste; everything else should go into the garbage. Paper towels and other thicker paper products must also be kept out of the toilet. As for food, certain items are more likely to clog up in the drain. Grease, rice, pasta, coffee grounds, and fibrous foods like vegetable peelings should be disposed of instead of poured into the drain. Even a garbage disposal may not mitigate the potential danger of clogging. If the drain is clogged, a plumber must use an auger to fix the problem.

Tree Roots

Tree roots seek out water and nutrients, both of which are found in abundance in your main drain line. Over time, the roots can squeeze into the line and clog it. You can minimize the issue by knowing the location of the line so you can avoid planting trees nearby. There are also root killer products that you can pour down a toilet that will help prevent root growth. If roots have already blocked the drain, then you can have a plumber remove them with an auger. In some cases, the roots destroy the line, and you will need to have it either replaced or relined. Relining is preferable because you don't have to dig up the yard. The new line is installed by feeding it into the old line so no digging is necessary.

Old Line

Drain lines can be too small in older homes. Although appliances today are more water-efficient, modern homes are often equipped with more water-draining appliances. This can overload an older and more narrow line. Another issue is that some old materials don't stand the test of time, so they can become broken or crushed. If an old line is causing clogs in your main drain, then a replacement line is your best option. Relining may be an option, depending on the type and condition of the old line. 

For more help, contact a plumbing company, like Windy City Rooter Inc.