Garvin’s is Denver’s oldest drain cleaning company, founded in 1940. We get the question “How often should I have my sewer line cleaned?” on a very regular basis. The simple answer is: it depends. And yes, we expect that you hate that answer, so let’s spend just a few minutes explaining so you can determine the answer for yourself.
To get to the answer, let’s ask questions:
Do you have issues with tree roots growing into your sewer line?
If yes, then we typically suggest your sewer line be cleaned every 12 – 24 months in order to prevent sewer back ups. The frequency will depend on how intrusive the roots are. If root growth is causing sewer line slowing or back ups more often than yearly, you may want to consider root destroying product such as RootX.
How many people live in your home?
People with larger households use much more water than those with only one or two people. It may sound backwards, but smaller households actually experience more problems with clogged sewer lines than larger households, especially if they use low water fixtures.
For example, a home with a family of 5 is likely running a load of laundry daily, having multiple showers/baths daily, and flushing toilets several times a day. They are likely doing dishes every day, brushing teeth, washing hands… you get the idea. There is A LOT of water being pushed through their sewer line which means toilet paper, waste, grease, and soaps will all be flushed through the line.
However on a smaller household of one or two people, that isn’t happening. Roots plus little water to push through debris means that can get caught on the roots and continue to block the line creating a back up and even a need for repair if it isn’t cleaned out as part of regular maintenance.
Do you have any low spots or bellies in your sewer line?
A low spot, also known as a belly, is a reason to stay on top of sewer line maintenance. Bellies are often caused by ground settling and will begin capturing debris instead of letting it move through the line. This then makes the belly heavier and will lead to a sewer line break / failure, resulting in the need to replace the line.
Cleaning the line is pennies on the dollars to a sewer line repair.
So, how often should you get your sewer line cleaned?
Bottom line, the recommendation for homeowners who have known root problems, small households and/or bellies in the sewer line, is to have your line cleaned every 12-18 months. Homeowners who don’t have these conditions can consider sewer line cleaning as needed. If, however, they notice a pattern of backups, they can be proactive and clean the line before the next one.
In general, without problems, a homeowner can clean their sewer line every 2-4 years.
We understand that you may have a unique situation and like to ask more questions, and we are happy to help. Give our office a call or send us an email and we are glad to answer your questions and/or schedule to have your sewer line cleaned.