How to Clear a Clogged Septic Line

woman with clogged septic line

If you have ever dealt with a backed-up drain, you know the cleanup process is less than fun. A clogged septic line is typically caused by an obstruction in the pipes or when septic pipe levels out and keeps gravity from doing its job.

drain cleaning

Symptoms of a Clogged Drain

When you have a clogged drain or pipe, you will almost always experience at least one of two things.

1. A Foul Odor

An unpleasant aroma coming from the sink, toilet, drain, etc. usually means that there is an equally unpleasant item blocking the path in the pipes. In sinks, it is generally food that is holding up traffic. In toilets, it could be that someone flushed something they shouldn’t have or maybe they really unloaded and should have used a mid-session flush.

2. Water Going the Wrong Way

Naturally, water is supposed to wash down the drain, not come back up. If your sink or shower is taking a long time to train, something is backing up.

Even though a clogged line is usually due to something that was put down the drain, sometimes, the root of the problem lies deep in the heart (and pipes) of the septic system. Tree roots might be causing your septic back-up. If that’s the case, then you will definitely need to call a professional.

Frozen septic lines might also be the problem. If your pipes are buried at the proper depth, they can freeze during the winter, keeping water from flowing freely.

toilet cleaners

Tips for Clearing a Clogged Drain

Before you call your septic company, there are some things you can try yourself that might unclog your drain.

1. Avoid cleaners with chemicals

Chemical-laden cleaners often break down the enzymes in your septic system, which are in place to help break down waste. Instead, use a septic-safe drain cleaner that is free of harsh chemicals. It is always wise to keep such a cleaner in the house for emergencies.

2. Pour hot water down the drain.

Especially in kitchen sinks, the rush of hot water is often enough to loosen or dissolve any obstruction in the pipes. Before taking any professional action, see if boiling water helps.

3. Use baking soda and vinegar.

If water alone does not do the trick, try dissolving the blockage by using a baking soda and vinegar reaction. Put a few spoonfuls of baking soda down the drain, following it with a cup of vinegar. The fizzy explosion helps break down waste and make things flow again.

woman with a quizzical look

Nothing is Working!

If you are unable to clear the clogged drain on your own, it could be that the root of the problem is too deep. A pipe in the septic system might be collapsing, or there could be a larger obstruction than just food. In these instances, it is important that you call on the services of a professional.

septic tank pumping company truck for Norway Septic granger indiana

Call the Professionals

Norway Septic Inc. is a service oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area.  We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. ” Our motto stands, “they pump, we clean!”

With over 40 years of experience, we know septic systems and can handle just about any septic emergency, including a clogged drain or septic line. Call us if you suspect that there are any problems with your system. 

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