How to Clean Sewage Pipes

Tree roots, grease and dirt can clog a sewage pipe, causing your toilet to flush incorrectly and your sink and shower drains not to work properly. Eventually, the waste backs up into your toilets, sinks and lawn, causing an unsightly and possibly expensive mess. That is why it is important to perform routine maintenance on your sewage system and take care of any blockage problems in a timely minor.

Place a bucket under the clean-out plug to catch any water that may be left in the pipes. The clean-out plug is located in a trap or drain. For sinks, the clean-out plug is usually located underneath the sink at the lowest point of the drain. For sewage pipes, the clean-out plug can typically be found in the basement--or just outside your home--where the sewer line and the wall connects.

Remove the clean-out plug using a monkey wrench.

Insert the drain snake into the pipe. Drain snakes are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at local hardware store

Work the snake in a back and forth motion. This will either push the blockage through the pipe or break it into small pieces that can travel through the pipe. Once you have cleared the blockage, remove the snake.

Poor a box of rock salt into the drain. Allow the salt to sit in the drain without flushing it down with water, this will push the rock salt too quickly through the pipe. The rock salt needs to move slowly through the pipes to kill the tree roots. It is recommended to perform this step on a monthly basis.

Run hot water down the drain. This will help free clogs and remove debris, giving you clear and clean pipes.

Replace the clean-out plug.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Money wrench
  • Drain snake
  • Rock salt
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.