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.




Video sewer scope services from Garvin's Sewer Service

How much does a sewer scope inspection cost?

Video sewer scope services from Garvin's Sewer ServiceWe get calls from a variety of people looking for a sewer scope inspection, which can also be called a sewer snake or a sewer camera inspection. And people really have different reasons for wanting one. The main reasons we see are addressed in the blog post “The Value of a Sewer Camera Inspection in a New Home Purchase”.

In Denver, we have heard industry prices for a sewer scope inspection costs ranging from Free to around $300. That is a very large range, so I’ll break down the differences from our perspective.

Free Sewer Scope Inspections.

We found some companies either offer Free sewer scope inspections for a few reasons:

  1. It sounds like this: “We clean your sewer line and then to prove to you that we did a good job, we will send the sewer camera down the line to show you.”

Our problem with this is that, if you can’t trust them to clean it correctly, then why did you hire them to begin with? ALSO, see point number 2.

  1. It is an opportunity for an “upsell” to other sewer cleaning services. Most sales profit-driven companies know that most homeowners are not aware of what their sewer lines look like and because of this, can tell them there is something wrong with the sewer line. When they do a sewer scope inspection for free, they are looking for a problem to “solve” with the help of your lack of understanding and your fat wallet.
  2. They don’t give you a copy of the DVD without a charge that makes them now enter into the Mid to High Priced range.

Mid-range ($150+) and High Priced (300+). (for 2015)

We put these in the same category because there is not a ton of difference here in what is being offered.

Understand that a sewer camera is an expensive piece of equipment and the repairs are also costly and time-consuming as they usually have to be sent out for repairs. This is what you, as a consumer are paying for when you hire for a sewer scope inspection- that and expertise.

Anyone can run a sewer camera, but not everyone is equipped to interpret what is being seen. Be sure to hire a reputable company (ones that have been in business a long time, or have online reviews or awards that corroborate their skill.)

Keep these tips in mind when you call for a sewer scope inspection:

  1. Ask them their price. If they want to send someone out first to quote you, you will likely be charged a service call charge or the technician will attempt to sell you the service, typically at the High Priced range. Why do we say this? Because the costs involved in sending out a technician need to be recouped somehow. This is not bad, it is a business practice that is chosen by the owner or management. It is why the price can, and usually is, higher.
  2. Ask them if they are going to provide a copy of the DVD and if that is included in the price. Some companies offer the service for a low cost and then charge extra for the DVD.
  3. Be informed about what you will be looking at. This BLOG on Sewer Scope Scams will help with that.
  4. Never feel pressured to take quick action. You have a right to a second opinion. Many city sewer and water departments will take a free second look at your DVD (which is why it’s good to have a copy.)

If you have any questions about sewer scope inspection costs or are interested in a free second look at your DVD, please call Garvin’s at (303) 571-5114 and ask for Mitch.

How to Plumbing FAILS! – Should you try your own sewer cleaning?

Ok, so tons of people every day are looking for ways to save money on their Do-It-Yourself Home Projects.

And, I think there are lots of very valid things you can do.

However, there are some you should not because:

1. You frankly just have no clue and no amount of YouTube How To Plumbing Videos are going to help you

2. Some things really do require professionals due to codes and permits and that pesky thing called “law”

3. It is easier and even cheaper to hire someone

For more on this, see my blog titled, “DIY Plumbing” which goes into more detail of the things that are appropriate and NOT appropriate in How To Plumbing, Do It Yourself Projects.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

So, instead of installing a drain pipe, the toilet bowl (which, yes, leads to a perfectly good drain), is acting as the p-trap for this wash basin. I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Who cares it’s ugly, marginally functional and inconvenient… it’s more inconvenient to pull the dang thing and actually pipe it… stupid basin!

Before you consider watching a How to Plumbing Video

Before even typing How to Plumbing into the search bar

Before trying to do it yourself, ask yourself,

And more important, answer honestly:

When do I know it is time to call a professional?



Do you have any stories or pictures of your own that were complete How to Plumbing fails?

We would LOVE to see them and HEAR the stories! Thanks for sharing!

Homeowners, Considering a Marble Countertop?

dreamstime_4979521Homeowners, Considering a Marble Countertop?

We have partnered with Innovative Interior Solutions, LLC to offer you a special deal in February! Here’s the deal:

• Free stainless steel under mount sink and free cutout, polish and mounting of the sink with purchase of 30 SF or more of granite (most all kitchens will be at least 30 SF. This is a $425.00 value.)

• Bathroom Vanity remnant deal – granite slab remnants starting at $45 per SF. Customers can select slabs from stone yard. Plus 1 free oval or square under mount sink

Please let Jason know Garvin’s referred you!

PLUS, through Feb., he is also offering 15% off any Hardwood floor procedure.

Contact him today at or (720) 454-6524


10 Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Kitchen

My Realtor friend, Ann Taddeo, sends out a very helpful e-newsletter. The articles are always interesting (at least to me) and I felt re-posting one today was appropriate. As the warm weather comes in, I’ve been keeping my windows open and been spring cleaning and suspect you are too. Enjoy!

10 Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Kitchen

The first day of spring has come and gone. To get the cleaning season started right, we looked for the best advice on cleaning the busiest-and maybe dirtiest-room in the house: the kitchen.

For a list of what we should clean, how and when, we asked a bunch of germ experts.

The biggest surprise? People with pets are … Read More

Feeling squeaky clean,


Why to hire a professional for water heater install

I recently watched an episode of Myth Busters where they dealt with an issue of a water heater exploding in a house. Water heater replacement isn’t the cheapest home investment, and some homeowners choose the less expensive option of DIY. Although you may be able to get a budget friendly water heater at a home improvement/ hardware store, most plumbing companies won’t warranty parts they don’t supply. Also, unless you purchase the high-end units at those stores, you can expect it to not last as long as the water heaters that the professional plumbers will have access to. And, as you can see in the video, proper installation is critical. We always recommend a professional when it’s time for a new water heater.