How often should I clean my sewer line?

how often should I clean my sewer line?

We get lots of questions from customers, and PlumbingGirl is ready to take them on.

Dear PlumbingGirl,

Can you tell me how often I should be cleaning my sewer line? My neighbors replaced their sewer line and I don’t want that to happen to me. Watching their entire yard be dug up, I can’t imagine how much money and heartache that caused! Please help.


Scared in Englewood


Dear Scared in Englewood,

It’s ok. Just because your neighbor dug up and replaced their sewer line doesn’t mean you will have to.

The frequency in which to do a sewer line cleaning is determined by a few factors:

  1. How many people are in the home.

The more the sewer system is being used is important. Vacant homes can have issues because water hasn’t been moving through. Households with several members can also push a lot into the sewer line, and, if there’s roots in the line, can back up quick.

  1. How the people in the home use the sewer system.

If the owners use a lot of products that aren’t particularly sewer friendly, such as ultra or thick toilet paper, or they flush tampons, paper towels or wipes, the likelihood of a back up are greatly increased.

  1. The density of trees and subsequent tree roots in the area.

Lots of trees, whose roots are looking for nourishment, will find their way into the porous sewer line. These roots will then catch items attempting to pass through, causing a clog and/or back up.

  1. Damages or irregularities in the sewer line.

Sometimes sewer lines will settle, just as a house settles. This can cause an offset, which is basically when the pipe separates from another section of pipe at the joint. These offsets will allow easier penetration by tree roots, dirt and allow items to get caught up, which causes a clog and/or back up as well. Additionally, cracks, breaks and bellies can lead to additional problems that would cause the need for more frequent sewer line cleanings.


Overall, the technician who does the sewer line cleaning for you, should be able to make a recommendation about how often you should get your sewer line ran. If you are performing a sewer rooter more than once every 3 months, it may be time to call in a professional to have a sewer scope service done. You may have a more significant issue that needs to be addressed. We have found in the Denver area most homeowners get a sewer cleaning done every 1-2 years.


If you have more questions about sewer line cleaning, want to schedule a cleaning or sewer scope service, give Garvin’s Sewer Service a call at 303-571-5114.