When the main water and sewer lines of your home become compromised, major issues can result without professional repair. Clogs, damaged pipes and tree roots can all lead to sewage backup. Many older homes have clay pipes, which are more susceptible to issues than modern iron or plastic pipes.

Seeking prompt attention for common sewer line problems can prevent flooding and severe interior and exterior property damage. Fortunately, these solutions can be used to clear sewer line blockages effectively.


This modern machine flushes out the pipes with a powerful pressurized water stream. The strong spray can clear foreign objects, debris, grease and mineral buildup and even small tree roots. In older homes, regular hydrojetting can be used to keep the pipes clear before a problem arises.

Pipe Snaking

The first line of defense is a long metal device called a snake. The plumber will run the snake through the sewer lines and use it to dislodge clogs. Although snaking works well for minor clogs, it may not be sufficient to remove tree roots or access blockages deep in the main sewer lines.

Video Inspection

If problems persist after the pipes have been treated using the first two methods, a tiny video camera can be attached to the pipe snake. This allows the plumbing professional to visualize issues such as tree roots or deterioration or collapse of the pipes. These issues may require full excavation.


When a blockage doesn’t respond to conservative solutions, the ground must be excavated so that the affected section of pipe can be removed and repaired. Tree roots that have grown into the sewer system will be cut free. Corroded, damaged or collapsed pipe sections can be replaced with modern PVC pipe.

If you experience water backing up into your home’s drains and toilets, seek professional assistance to remove the issue before it worsens. In most cases, these three methods can effectively treat problems with the main water and sewer lines.