The plumbing drain system for most residential homes resides within the foundation or crawl space of your home. All the fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers, bathtubs etc…) drain pipes connect inside the home, one pipe exits the home and connects to the city sewer system. This is referred to as the main sewer line.

When this main sewer line gets stopped up, most if not all, fixtures in the home will be stopped up also. This is very important to know if you have a 2-story home with bathrooms on the second floor. When the main sewer line is stopped up between the house and the city lateral connection and you flush a toilet on the second floor the water will back up inside the home and overflow the lowest point usually a shower pan or a 1st-floor toilet. If no one is downstairs this could result in major sewage and water damage to your property. Most insurance companies will not cover this type of claim, they deny it due to neglect which could have been avoided with maintenance.

Main Sewer Line


Depending on the year your home was built it will have either ABS plastic or Cast Iron metal piping under the home. Approximately 3’ to 5’ from where it exits the building the pipe material will usually change to clay sewer piping. At or close to the curb is where there is a test wye fitting used when the home was built to test the building sewer for leaks. After construction is completed and the build approved by the city inspector, this wye fitting is usually capped with concrete which overtime breaks up and allows tree roots to enter the drain line. Tree roots can also enter through microscopic pores, joints, connections & cracks.

Once inside the sewer line they have everything they need to grow.

Main Sewer Line Issues


Main Sewer Line Service


To service the main sewer line proper access is required. This is referred to as the main sewer line double cleanout. It should be constructed with 2 separate wye and 45-degree fittings. This normally is located at the front of the home and allows for large-sized cutter blades to be utilized at the end of a drain cleaning machine for root removal. The reason for 2 separate fittings is to be able to send the cable either towards the house or towards the street.

Main Sewer Maintenance

Another way to clean roots from the sewer line is to use high-pressure water hose referred to as a Jetter. Using a Jetter in combination with an oscillating head will cut right through most roots inside a sewer line. Complete Plumbing utilizes a large-sized portable Jetter with up to 4000 psi and 9 GPM we can handle all residential sewer stoppages.


After the drain has been cleared both ways from a double cleanout, it is always a best practice to use a sewer camera to verify everything was cleared all the way. Our sewer camera system utilizes the best camera systems available. With high-resolution picture-perfect monitors, any issues will quickly be seen. Our camera heads have a built sewer location device allowing pinpoint accuracy should the sewer line need to be excavated. Complete Plumbing’s expert sewer location and detection service are the best available saving the homeowner time and money! If you suspect issues with your main sewer line, call today(click to call)for a free consultation!

Main Sewer Line Consultation