Sewer Stoppage FAQ

Frequently asked questions about main line & sewer clean-out, repair, and replacement by Houston's best and most recognized licensed plumbers since 1965.


What are signs that my main line is clogged?

If you have a main line stoppage, you will usually notice it in the drains of fixtures that are closest to the ground: tub drains, stand alone shower drains, and toilets on the first floor. If you flush a toilet and see water coming up through your tub or shower drains, or if you take a shower or use a washing machine and hear your toilet making a gurgling sound or overflowing with water, than you probably a a stoppage in your main sewer line.

What causes a main line stoppage?

Essentially, main line stoppages are caused by any obstruction in your main line that prevents waste-water from draining normally. Common obstructions include grease and waste buildup in a bellied or offset section of pipe; tree roots and root balls; or mud buildup after a main line has snaps or rots all the way through.

How does John Moore fix a main line stoppage?

  1. Run a Cable to Poke a Hole in the Stoppage - The first thing we do is attempt to poke a hole in whatever is blocking your main line. To do this, we use a snake cable along with several attachments including spearheads to poke through grease and cutter blades to cut through roots.
  2. Run a Camera - Once we poke a hole and allow some of the backed up sewage water to drain, we ask to run a camera and diagnose what caused the main line stoppage in the first place. When we run a camera to visually inspect the pipe, we can usually determine where the problem area or areas of the pipe are and whether the problem was caused by a belly in the pipe, tree roots, or a hole in the main line.
  3. Hydrojetting - Sometimes, a main line is too clogged up with grease build up to run a camera. In these cases, we use a hydrojet that spray water at up to 4000 PSI to clean any grease and waste clinging to the side of your main line.
  4. Provide a Long-Term Solution by Either Repairing, Rerouting, or Replacing your Main Line - From there, we will discuss main line reroute, reslope, and replacement options that involved either digging a trench or tunneling under your home, depending on where the problem areas are. If your home has a cast iron or concrete main line with holes in it, we can replace the entire line with schedule 40, solid core PVC. If your main line has a belly and no holes, cracks, or obstruction, we can usually reslope the pipe so that waste-water can easily travel down the main line. If we notice excessive channel rot in a cast iron pipe, we may recommend a reroute where we cap off the old line, and install a new drain line that ties into your main line.

How long does it take to fix a main line stoppage?

How long it takes John Moore to solve a main line stoppage issue all depends on what’s causing the stoppage and the type of solution you want. For an immediate fix, which is essentially poking a hole in the stoppage to allow water to drain, we may be able to complete in a day, depending on if we can poke a hole through the obstruction. Although this will allow water to drain in your home again, it’s likely that you will experience the same problem shortly after we leave.

A comprehensive solution to a main line stoppage- where we diagnose all problem areas and either repair, replace, or reroute you main line- can take a few days to a few weeks depending on how extensive the job is.

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