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How Do You Unclog Your Main Sewer Without a Cleanout?

Plumbing issues are a dreaded aspect for anyone residing in a home with, well…plumbing, and a clog in your main line could be a costly culprit. With a little detective work, elbow grease, and a few modern tools, you may be able to avoid a costly visit from your neighborhood expert.

If water is still draining and toilets are still flushing, you may have a partial clog. This could be due to grease and food buildup, a flushed sanitary napkin, baby wipe, paper towel (these items do not dissolve in water and easily get stuck in the pipes), hair down the shower drain, or even your three-year-old jamming his/her Thomas the Train down the drain with the bathwater.

Begin by running water on its hottest setting for 5 to 10 minutes. The heat should cause the pipes to expand, could liquefy any grease, loosen food built-up on the pipe wall, and/or dislodge any other obstructions. This alone is not likely to resolve the issue but may assist in the success of the next step. However, if at any time you are not comfortable with DIY, contact Four Seasons Plumbing to take care of your Weaverville, NC, or Asheville, NC, clogged drain.

Plumbing tools

With any luck, your efforts thus far have paid off, and taking a plunger to the affected drain will do the trick. Please wear gloves and goggles to protect from splashing, especially if any chemical drain cleaners were recently used. A plunger can handle clogs in all your major drains. To improve the plunger’s suction, begin by adding a little water to the toilet, bathtub, sink, or shower if none is already present. Begin plunging, using an upward and downward motion to create suction in the drain. Plunge ten to fourteen times. If the water begins to drain, you have resolved the clog. If the water is still standing, repeat plunging another two to three times.

A chemical drain cleaner could be employed. Whether doing so before or after plunging is a personal choice, as some folks prefer to use chemicals after exhausting as many options as possible. There are several kinds of chemical drain cleaners on the market, most working primarily the same by changing the chemistry of the clog to break it down. If you decide to go this route, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results, along with all safety guidelines. After using the chemical drain cleaner, you may choose to plunge again.

Note, if a chemical is specific to a certain kind of pipe, for example, “For use with PVC only,” or “Do not use with copper piping,” and you are not sure what material your pipes are made of, it is best to contact Four Seasons Plumbing for their Clogged Drain Cleaning Services. Doing so could prevent damage to your pipes, a potential safety risk to you and your family, and avoidable expenses.

If, at this point, you’re thinking, “I didn’t come this far to quit now,” there is one more tool for you to call Four Seasons Plumbing – high-pressure water. You’ll need a high-pressure nozzle for your hose, and you’ll need to know where your cleanout plug is. When ready, we recommend proceeding with caution.

There are many reasons a line may be clogged, including pipe erosion, broken pipe, or even tree roots penetrating and invading the pipe, causing a blockage. Sometimes the issue will be simple, and the Do It Yourself steps above will solve the problem, at least in the short term. Other times you will require a professional with the tools and know-how to resolve the problem. The professionals at Four Seasons Plumbing will. There’s also some regular maintenance that can decrease the likelihood of clogs.

Pouring vinegar and baking soda into your drains once a month with extremely hot water will cause a chemical reaction that will loosen any debris settling in the pipes. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then pour another cup of hot water down to wash away what the baking soda and vinegar loosened up. The second benefit of this process is that vinegar and baking soda will eliminate any unpleasant smells building up in the line. Enzyme cleaners can also be used monthly. These are safe and chemical-free alternatives.

Consider removing any trees that are close to the lines and/or septic tank, and keep in mind the only items going down your toilet should be human waste, water, and septic-safe toilet paper. It’s also important to have your system inspected by a professional plumber regularly as a preventative measure.

Contact Four Seasons Plumbing to set up your first inspection. If you have a clogged drain and live near Asheville, North Carolina, our plumbing company can help you. Our professional plumbers have the tools and knowledge to make even the most stubborn clog an easy job, saving you time and money and getting your household back to being fully functional.

Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing


Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.