Snaking a Sewer Line FAQs

Q: Can I use a snake to remove the clog even it is coming from my basement?

A: If the problem is just a partial blockage, you can try to use a plumber’s snake with a spade tip. This might be a clog between your basement floor drain and the line going to the city sewer. Also, snaking your sewer line is just one of your options.

Q: The sewer line cleaning company I talked to recommended that I have my clog inspected with a camera. I know this will be extra expense on my part. Should I let them go ahead with it?

A: Clogged sewer systems can be caused by many factors. There are times companies use cameras to check the extent of the problem. However, it is best to be wary of companies that tell you they have to use a camera before even trying to use a plumber’s snake to clear the clog.

Q: My neighbor said that I should have my main sewer line be snaked several times a year as part of preventive maintenance even if it is not clogged? Is this true?

A: This really depends on your preference and the condition of your sewer line. If you have experienced backed ups as often as once every other year, you can opt for cleaning your line. If you have an old plumbing system, say, over 30 years and has not experienced any clogging problem, it is also wise to have it snaked to prevent future clogging problems. However, if you are not experiencing any problems and still want to have your line cleaned once a year, you can do so but this is not necessary.

Q: I just had my sewer line snaked. How long will it take the roots to grow back?

A: To answer this question, there are several factors to consider: the time of year since roots are slow to grow during cold months, quality of cleaning work and thickness of root infiltration. If roots cause the problem and the cleaning company was able to remove them by snaking the roots thoroughly, it might take another two years for these roots to grow back.

Q: What can do to remove the blockage from my sewer line?

A: Normally, tree roots that have infiltrated the pipe cause the blockage of your sewer line. You can ask a professional plumber to snake your sewer line and clear the roots. However, if these roots have infiltrated your line extensively, you might need to have your sewer line replaced.

Q: How can I clear my sewer line if the clog has originated from the main line?

A: If the clog is coming from your main sewer line, a sewer drain snake can be used to solve the problem. It will be able to find and break the clog. Once the clog is removed, waste and water can now freely drain out to your sewer line.

Q: The plumber has already snaked my main sewer line but he was not able to remove the blockage. He is suggesting that I have my sewer line replaced. Is this correct?

A: Snaking your sewer line every two years as preventive maintenance is less expensive than digging and replacing your sewer pipe lines. You might want to ask for a second opinion from another plumbing contractor. If your sewer has been backing up more than once each year and has become a persistent problem, digging and replacement of sewer pipes might be worth it.

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