The sewer line that runs from your house to the city's sewer can be clogged by a number of things. When the sewer drain starts to clog up, the drains in your house get slow to empty, and that's an indication you should have your sewer line cleaned out before it starts backing up. These are things that can lead to sewer line clogs and ways a plumber can clean out the pipe.
Threats From Inside The Pipe
All the pipes from drains in your home eventually drain into the main sewer pipe. This means the pipe gets waste from the garbage disposal, waste from the toilet, water from the kitchen sink that might include grease and soap scum, and water from the shower and tub that may contain hairballs. All this waste can clump together and stick to the sides of the sewer pipe. Even the hardness of the water can have an effect on your plumbing when scale from minerals builds up on the sides of the pipe as the years pass. Depending on what the pipes are made of, corrosion could be a problem too that leads to a buildup that can cause clogging.
Threats From Outside The Pipe
Since the main sewer drain is outside, it faces threats of damage from tree roots that are attracted by the nutrients and water in the drain. The roots work on seams in joints or tiny cracks until the roots can get inside the pipe. Once inside, the roots have a plentiful food source that allows them to flourish and grow. If root growth is unchecked, roots can fill the entire pipe and leave just a small opening for water to drain through.
Sewer Cleaning Methods Your Plumber May Try
Your plumber may need to look inside your sewer pipe with a camera before deciding on the right way to clean your pipes. If the pipe is old and fragile, it may not be possible to use a strong water jet inside the pipe without causing damage. If your pipe is in good shape, then blasting out the clog with a strong jet of water might be the best way to clean the line. In addition to moving the clog along, the water jet knocks off built up scale, grease, and other debris on the walls of the pipe so it is completely clear again.
If your pipe is too fragile, a snake might be used instead that punches through a clog so water and waste start moving again. If the only problem with your sewer pipe is a clog, then snaking or water jetting can take care of the issue. Unfortunately, it's possible your pipe has cracks or other damage, especially when tree roots are involved. If the pipe is in bad shape, your plumber may advise you have it replaced or repaired so waste doesn't start leaking into the soil in your yard.
For more information, contact a sewer cleaning service.