How to Unclog a Sewer Drain in Basement

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Do you remember the time when your home was dry and peaceful? Oh, the good old days.

Back then you did not have to battle with uncontrolled floods. In the days of glory, everything was shining bright and life made sense.

But now, that is your everyday battle. It is repeating day in, day out and I suppose you are very tired. Exhausted. But the end of the problem is not in your sight. What you need is this. These few lines can help you.

So, if you want to win this battle you will read them with no hesitation.


How do you know when your sewer drain is in trouble?

When the problems arrive, you will start to notice some of these things.

All of your house water fixtures will be backed up. Or at least some of them.

For example, when you flush the toilet, the water from the tub will rise. When you run one water fixture the other will not work as it should. But where is the headache?

All of your backed up water is the result of clogging in the basement. Precisely, the clogging in your basement sewer drain system.

Reasons for your sewer drain clog

The clog can be consisted out of all materials that can go through the pipes and that can stick in them. Those materials are mostly food that cannot be dissolved properly.

For example, pasta or rice can become sticky and create an unnecessary problem. You have to pay attention where you throw out your egg shells. It can be tricky.

Flour is another reason for a clog. It serves as natural glue when it is mixed with water. It can stick to the sides of your pipes and catch other garbage that is passing through. You can find it in your pipes' - believe it or not- tree roots. Yes, you heard it right. They can dig in deep in your pipes.

Toilet Clogged with Toilet Paper

So, you must be careful in dealing with this situation. Common paper products can become an issue. In this group, we can list products such as paper towels, cotton balls, etc. Dispose of them properly, do not let them trouble you.

When you have read all of this then you are ready to move on.

Must-do's before unclogging

There is hope! You can be saved, just follow the next few steps on how to unclog your sewer drain.

You must be acquainted with the basics. First of all, you will need to know where to turn off the water. You will have to find the main supply and then turn it off there. When you notice that your drain is clogged, look for the cleanout sewer line.

Check out your basement first. If you cannot find it there, then check out the yard. You will eventually find your cleanout sewer line. It is ordinarily short, white pipe about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. On top of it, there is a cap.

The cap can be a screw-on type, which means that you can remove it using just your bare hands. Or it can be a regular cap. That one you must remove with a wrench.

Simply remove it. This should release the pressure in your basement sewer line and force any water that is backed up to drain.

Once you have done all of this, you are ready for the next level.

How to Unclog a Sewer Drain in Basement

There are a few ways of how you can clear your pipes. So, are you ready?

1. Mechanical drain cleaning

One of two ways of settling this is mechanical drain cleaning.

  • First on the list is the auger. It is more commonly known as the drain snake. That is because it has a really long hose as does the body of a snake. It comes in various sizes but they all have one same goal - to help you clear your pipes. This particular tool is used by professionals but you can also manage it. Just follow the instructions.

    As I stated earlier, the auger comes in different shapes and sizes so, you can choose whatever you need depending on the problem. But, in the end, the process is pretty much the same.
  • The drain snake is a flexible cable specially designed for unclogging the toughest complications in your pipes. It is often power-assisted but it can also be truck-mounted. Firstly, you will put the machine into a sewer line that has an issue.

    You are going to do that very gently until you hit the place that you want to hit. When you have hit the clog, start progressing further. The point is to break the existing clog. That is all to it.
  • Another method that is proven to be of significant value is high-pressure water jet. It is an effective way to clear your drains using just the power of pressure. All the clog or other debris will be blown down your sewer line in no time.
How to Snake a Tub Drain

2. Chemical drain cleaning

The second way of fixing the problem is chemical drain cleaning.

If you have tree roots ingrained in your sewer system - that can be a problem. A big one for sure. But do not worry, we are here to help you.

  • All that you need to remove them are some chemical substance. Some professionals recommend copper sulfate.

    Flushing down this substance through your toilet can dissolve these stubborn roots. The downside is that the chemical will just pass through the pipes. So, you will have to repeat the process a few times.

    You must be warned. This chemical is banned in some communities. Also, it can become a problem for your septic system. It is not septic friendly.
  • If this would not work for you there is something a little bit different. We are talking about root-killing foam. You can flush this down your toilet and it will stick to your pipes and destroy the culprits. The goal is achieved in a matter of hours. Try it!

All of these tools you can get for yourself. It will cost you a little bit more but your agony will come to an end.

Prevent unnecessary clogging

We explained to you how to resolve basement sewer line problems. These techniques are reliable and you are free to try them.

But we must also tell you the ways on how you can prevent these complications. If you do not want to have a swimming pool inside your house you have to read the following lines. 

  • Use a regular maintenance system. It is specially designed to cut down some of the growth in your pipes.
  • Do not empty any materials that can become solid into your drains or toilet.
  • Do not flush the things that cannot go through the pipes. It will eventually come to your basement and cause a problem.

Final Word: How to Unclog a Sewer Drain in Basement

Although a clogged drain is a big problem, all of the methods listed above have been proven to work. If you do not believe me, try it for yourself. You will have to get your hands dirty and put some effort into it but it will eventually pay off.

You can watch out and do all that is necessary to prevent these things but some things are not in your power. So, if you ever get in one of these situations, you will know what to do. The knowledge is on your side.