The Importance of Annual/Bi-Annual Sewer Maintenance. What Every Homeowner Should Know and Do


We received a service call from a customer in Skokie in early October. When we arrived, their pump was going off and water was coming up in their kitchen sink. Our immediate attention shifted to the main sewer line.


I had asked them if they had access to their sewer system. They had told me that everything was in the crawl space. So I went down into the crawl space with a flashlight and noticed a pool of water around their 4inch sewer stack. However, there was no access and their main sewer line was blocked. This was obvious because the pump was kicking on and the water still had nowhere to go.


The lowest drain opening was the kitchen sink because it was a tri-level home. The next was to install a cleanout outside, which gave access to the outside sewer for future plumbing maintenance. Their sewer had never been rodded before, so the tree roots completely blocked the sewer line.


The next step was to remove the customer’s toilet and insert a see snake camera into the plumbing line so that we could get an exact location to work from. Once this was located, we went outside and dug down to the location of the camera excavating approximately 2 feet of sewer line. The hole was filled with dirty water, we immediately had to start rodding until the sewer line had been cleared so that the water could drain properly.


Once the water dissipated, we installed a 6-inch clean-out service, with a riser to ground level for future maintenance purposes. We did this to make their plumbing system more accessible. Every homeowner should rod their sewer once a year to avoid these types of tragedies. So the most important thing to know as a home owner is where your sewer access is, and if you do not have one, you should get one installed so you do not get caught in an unfortunate situation like our client above.


The North Coast Family



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