We service hundreds of drain repairs and clogs every month here at Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air. A drain clog is probably the single fastest way your home gets your attention! It’s also largely where our company slogan, “When you need us, you’ll know!” comes from. The good news with drain clogs is that there are numerous ways to fight back and get your drain line back up and flowing.

Drain clog by roots
Drain roots clogged sewer

Cable, Snake, Unplug, Rooter
Assuming it’s possible and the line does not have a critical failure, this is typically the least expensive and most common method used to clear your drain or sewer line. It starts with our plumbing technician locating an access point to the sewer line. If the house is plumbed properly, there will be a cleanout access where the plumber can access the drain line, and cable / rooter it. Without a proper cleanout, we can still sometimes clear the clog; however, there is a risk of flooding the house or, at a minimum, creating a mess.

Drain cables are designed to push soft stoppages, such as toilet paper or sanitary napkins, through the line. They can also be equipped with a blade to trim back small roots. However, we caution homeowners that continual trimming of roots will eventually lead to complete failure of the line. If you have ever trimmed a hedge and watch it grow back twice as big the next year, you can understand that the roots in your sewer line act the same way. Plus there is always the chance that, as roots are cut and pulled from the line, they will take pieces of pipe with them.

Hydrojetting, Hydroscrubbing, Jetting, Hydroscour
A jetter, or hydrojetter, is essentially a big, fancy, expensive pump that jets water through a hose at up to 4000 psi; this is strong enough to cut through wood! The hose can be equipped with various heads or nozzles that send water in all directions. Jetters are great for removing accumulated sludge and grease from lines. Grease is difficult to clear from sewer lines using a drain cable because the cable simply stirs up the grease but cannot push it down the line.

Spot Repairs
A spot repair is the best method when a sewer line has only one or two bad spots that appear to be in the early stages of failure. Often, inferior fittings or poor workmanship have led to these instances of single root intrusion. Using a sewer camera and line locator we can pinpoint the exact point of the failure, then remove and splice in a new section of pipe.

Trenchless Sewer Replacement / Full Line Replacement
In some cases, a line fails beyond the point of repair. This is often due to roots, shifting soil or certain types of pipe materials that, thankfully, are no longer used. If more than two spot repairs or more than ten feet of pipe need to be replaced, this typically justifies full line replacement. The most common sewer replacement method is trenchless sewer replacement; in which, an entirely new sewer line can be installed with only minimal impact to the yard, street, and property. Most trenchless sewer jobs can be done within a few days, minimizing downtime for you, the homeowner. When trenchless sewer replacement is not possible, we can always dig up the line and replace it the old fashioned way!

If you are currently experiencing a sewer or drain clog, or you know you’re close to needing a new sewer line or spot repair, give us a call. We would be happy to meet with you and discuss options. Remember, it’s best to take care of any sewer or drain issues before your home steps in and tells you it’s time.

To learn more about the drain and sewer system in your home or business, please give us a call 831-219-8644 Santa Cruz & Santa Clara or 415-949-0935 in Marin County. Our plumbing advisors are happy to meet in person, assess the situation, and give you the advice you need to make a decision between repairs, replacement and refurbishment in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Los Gatos, San Rafael, or any of our towns we service. Stay drain clog free even during the busy holiday rush with the help of Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air.