If you’re like most people, you probably think that having your drains professionally is only needed when a clog occurs. While drain cleaning is definitely important during these times, most plumbers recommend having it done regularly even if you don’t think you have any clogs. Drain cleaning is an essential part of plumbing maintenance and can go a long way toward preventing sewage backups and other major issues. Check out this overview of how often it should be done and why it’s so essential.

Why Annual Drain Cleaning Is Important

It is generally always best to have your drains cleaned at least once a year. If you live in an older home with original plumbing or you frequently experience clogs, you may want to have your drains cleaned twice or even three times a year.

The biggest benefit of drain cleaning is that it ensures that your drains and pipes are clear of any solids that could cause them to clog. In addition to cleaning the drains and pipes inside the home, you will definitely want to have the main sewer line outside your house cleaned as well.

If the sewer line ever clogs, all of the solids and wastewater that goes down the toilets and through the drains won’t have anywhere to go. As a result, you will eventually have sewage start backing up inside the home and overflowing out of your showers and floor drains.

Sewage backups are a serious problem that can easily flood your home with waste and lead to extensive water damage. This waste can also contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can pose a health risk. A major sewer line clog also has the potential to cause the pipe to burst and flood your yard with sewage. This is an even more serious issue and one that will always require quite costly and time-consuming repairs. The best way to avoid these issues is to have your drains and sewer line cleaned yearly or more often. After all, you won’t ever know that your sewer line has started to clog until sewag
e begins backing up inside your home.

Signs That You Need to Have Your Drains Cleaned

While yearly drain cleaning is a great way to prevent clogs, you should also make sure that you watch out for any signs that can indicate that one of your drains or your sewer line is beginning to clog. If your kitchen sink or any other fixture suddenly starts to drain slowly, it means that there is a clog somewhere in the drain or that particular drain line.

If all of your drains and fixtures are much slower, it usually indicates that your main sewer line is beginning to clog. This is also true if you hear bubbling or gurgling sounds coming from your drains, toilets or pipes whenever they’re in use. In this situation, you should immediately contact a drain cleaning service as it likely won’t be long before you start to have sewage backing up.

Options for Drain Cleaning

When you schedule a preventative drain cleaning service, the plumber will take steps to ensure that all of the drains in your home are clean and free of clogs. They will also access the main sewer line that runs from your home to the municipal sewer system to ensure it isn’t clogged by tree roots or any other solids.

Drain cleaning is most commonly done by running a plumber’s snake into the drain and then down the drainpipe. A plumber’s snake is essentially an extendable auger that can be run down the length of all of the drain lines to break up and remove any clogs. When using a snake, it is usually quite easy to determine when a pipe is fully or partially clogged as the snake will suddenly meet resistance. The snake is then cranked so that the auger begins twisting through the clog. This works to start breaking up the clog, and then the snake can be extracted to pull the clog back out of the pipe.

To clean out your sewer line, it is necessary to access it through the sewer cleanout in your yard. If your plumbing is older and your home doesn’t have a sewer cleanout, then the plumber will need to access it some other way. This can sometimes be done through a floor drain in the basement, but it may be necessary to either run the snake down the plumbing stack on your roof. The other option is to remove a toilet and access the sewer line through the toilet drain. Not only are these methods more difficult, but they can be less effective. This is why we always recommend having sewer cleanouts installed if your home doesn’t already have them.

When cleaning a main sewer line, it is always best to have the plumber first inspect the line with a camera. This not only helps to pinpoint the location of any clogs and see how severe they are, but it is also the only way to make sure that the sewer line isn’t cracked, leaking or otherwise damaged.

Tree roots are one of the biggest sources of sewer line clogs. Tiny roots will often make their way into the sewer line even if it is in good shape and fully intact. Once inside, the water and waste flowing through the line will fertilize the roots and cause them to quickly grow much bigger. If left unchecked, the roots can eventually cause a complete clog of the line so that no more solid waste can flow through. This is a serious issue as the roots can both cause the pipe to crack and eventually lead to sewage backing up inside the building. For this reason, we always recommend not planting any trees or shrubs near your sewer line. Doing so will eventually cause you to have issues with roots.

When large tree roots are present, a pipe snake or rooting machine is often not sufficient to fully clear the line. In this situation, you will usually need to have your sewer line hydro jetting. Hydro jetting involves spraying a powerful blast of water down the pipe with such force that it easily cuts through roots and any other obstructions. These obstructions are then flushed down the pipe and out into the municipal sewer line that is found out in the street.

Choose Drain Cleaning and Plumbing Professionals

If you need drain cleaning or any other plumbing service in Lincoln and surrounding areas, you can trust the team at John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical. We specialize in drain cleaning, hydro jetting and sewer line inspections, and repairs and excavation. Additionally, we work on septic systems. Our licensed plumbers also install and repair sump pumps, water heaters, water softeners, water filtration systems and all types of plumbing fixtures. Our team of certified HVAC technicians can handle any of your heating, cooling or indoor air quality installation and repair needs. To learn more about the benefits of drain cleaning or to schedule any residential or commercial plumbing or HVAC service, contact John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical today.

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