A clogged sewer line is one of the most common, frustrating, and serious plumbing issues our customers encounter. If not addressed quickly and correctly, a blocked sewer line can lead to a giant mess, be a health hazard, and even damage your home or property.
While we recommend you bring in a professional plumber to fix a clogged sewer line, handy homeowners may want to try tackling the job on their own. In that case, you can rent a motorized sewer snake (also called a drain snake) from a home improvement store. These machines are typically available to rent by the hour or day. In this article, we provide you tips on how to pick out the right equipment.
How to detect a clogged sewer line
Even though you can’t see the pipe below the ground, you can usually notice signs that there’s a blockage in the sewer line. If you are dealing with any of these issues, you may need to rent a sewer snake to fix the problem.
- Water draining slowly from multiple sinks, toilets, and bathtubs/showers
- Sewage backup coming from toilet or sinks (usually the lowest open drain in the home)
- The smell of sewage gas
- Extra green grass spots in your lawn along the route of the sewer line
Renting a sewer snake
Here are some tips to make sure you get the appropriate machine for the task at hand.
- Before going to the home improvement store, measure the distance from the clean-out on your property to the street. In most cases, you’ll need a drain snake with 75-100 feet of cable length but you may need a longer cable depending on the measurement.
- When dealing with a serious clog, you will need a fairly large and powerful machine. Don’t skimp on a smaller model to save a few dollars.
- Choose a sewer drain snake with a cable of at least 5/8 inch diameter. If the cable is too thin, it won’t penetrate the blockage.
- Drain snakes can be heavy machines. Look for options that are mounted on a dolly with wheels so you can roll it instead of lifting and carrying the unit.
- Some machines have different heads designed to cut through different materials such as roots.
- Make sure you understand the instructions and safety features. You’ll also want to wear appropriate work gear including leather gloves.
Clearing a blocked sewer line can by a DIY project but only if you have the knowledge and confidence to take on this complicated job. After all, having the right equipment is only one piece to the puzzle.
If you don’t have success clearing the clog yourself or would prefer to have a professional do the job instead, Pratt Plumbing is here to help. We have a full team of experienced licensed plumbers ready to be of assistance. Call us today for sewer line service at (806) 373-7866.