Mon to Fri:

7:00AM to 5:00PM

Customer Reviews Graphic

How To Unclog Sewer Line (Without A Drain Snake)

3 November

Nothing is more frustrating than a clogged sewer line. When your main sewer line gets backed up, wastewater can quickly overwhelm your plumbing system and create a messy, smelly disaster. Acting swiftly to clear the clog is essential to prevent further damage, but many homeowners don’t have a drain snake. Thankfully, there are methods to unclog a sewer line without this specialized tool.

This article will explore the causes of clogged and main sewer lines. You’ll learn step-by-step instructions for unclogging a sewer line without using a drain snake using home remedies and professional services. We’ll also provide tips to prevent future clogs, like drain covers, avoiding putting grease down drains, and regular drain cleaning. With the correct information, your sewer line can flow freely again.

How To Unclog Sewer Line

What Causes Sewer Line Clogs?

Before learning how to unclog a sewer line, it helps to understand the most common causes of clogs. Some of the top culprits include:

  • Grease/fat/oil build-up: Pouring grease, fat, or oil down drains can cause significant blockages over time. These substances stick to pipe walls and restrict water flow.
  • Feminine hygiene products: Items like tampons and pads should never be flushed. They don’t dissolve and easily get lodged in sewer lines.
  • Tree roots: If trees are near your sewer line, roots can invade the pipes in search of water. Slowly, this causes a complete root blockage.
  • Rusty/old pipes: Sewer lines degrade over time. Cracks and holes from rust or age allow debris to gather and clog the line. Old sewer lines should be replaced.

Sewer Line Blocked Up

Unclogging a Blocked Main Sewer Line Without a Drain Snake

When yacing a main sewer line blockage, a power washer and drain linejetter is an effective way to clear the clog without a traditional drain snake. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect to the Sewer Cleanout

Attach a sewer jetter hose to your power washer wand and insert it into the sewer cleanout. Feed the hose down until you hit the clog in the sewer pipes.

Step 2: Blast the Clog with Pa ower Washer

Turn on the power washer in a high-pressure setting. Slowly push the drain linejetter hose farther down the sewer pipe, letting the powerful water pressure burst through the main sewer line blockage.

Step 3: Listen for Clearing Sounds

Listen for dirt and debris dislodging as you feed the jetter hose. If water flows freely, the clog is cleared. If not, repeat steps 1-2.

How To Unclog Sewer Line (Without A Drain Snake) 1

Step 4:Turn Off the Power Washer and Remove Hose

Once water flows freely again, turn off the power washer. Slowly pull the drain line hose back out of the sewer cleanout.

Step 5: Confirm Clog is Cleared

Run water into the sewer pipes and listen for backups or gurgling that indicates remaining blockage. If clear, the main sewer line clog should be resolved.

When done carefully, a power washer and sewer jetter are effective ways to clear a main sewer line without a traditional drain snake. The key is using the correct pressure and not damaging your pipes.

How To Clean Sewer Clogs Using Liquids

If you don’t have access to a power washer, various household liquids can also help dissolve clogs when used appropriately. Each has pros and cons to consider.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Pour a cup of baking soda down the kitchen sink drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction causes fizzing and bubbling that can break up grease and debris. Let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes before flushing with hot water.


  • Very accessible ingredients
  • Natural cleaning solution
  • Low cost


  • CIt can take time to work fully
  • May need to repeat the process

How To Unclog Sewer Line (Without A Drain Snake) 2

2. Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water down the drain can help melt grease or fat clogs. The hot temperature loosens the gunk.


  • No chemical cleaners nare needed
  • Typically effective for grease clogs


  • Risk of burning if spilled
  • Could damage pipes if overused

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain and sit for 30 minutes. Follow with hot water to flush away debris. The bubbling action helps dislodge clogs.


  • Breaks down organic material
  • Low-cost and non-toxic


  • Long dwell time needed
  • It may take several applications

4. Salt

Pour 1 cup of salt down the drain and lit it for 15-20 minutes before flushing it with hot water. The graininess can scrub away debris.


  • Natural abrasive
  • Common pantry item


  • Slow-acting
  • Could corrode metal pipes

How To Unclog Sewer Line (Without A Drain Snake) 4

5. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Mix 1 cup each baking soda and lemon juice and pour down the drain. After 15-20 minutes, flush with hot water. Acidity dissolves gunk.


  • Natural acidity dissolves clogs
  • Items easy to find


  • It takes time to work fully
  • Multiple rounds may be needed

Using common household liquids can clear clogged drains without harsh chemicals. However, they require more time and repeated effort than a power washer. Consider the pros and cons of choosing the best home remedy.

Clearing Stubborn Sewer Blockages

For severe sewer clogs that resist other drain cleaning methods, chemical drain cleaners provide added strength to break through blockages. Strong alkaline or acidic cleaners can dissolve organic material and grease and cause persistent sewer backups.

When using chemical cleaners:

  • Carefully follow product instructions for safety. Wear gloves and eye protection.
  • Never mix cleaners, as this risks dangerous chemical reactions.
  • Allow the chemical cleaner to work for 15 minutes before flushing with water.
  • Start with small amounts and increase gradually if needed.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water when finished.

Chemical drain cleaners should be a last resort for serious sewer clogs unresolved by other methods. With proper precautions, they provide added power to clear persistent blockages. However, they can damage pipes if overused. Call a professional if clogs continue despite chemical cleaner attempts.

Preventing Future Sewer Line Clogs

While dealing with a current clog is frustrating, preventing future blockages is wise. Consider these tips:

1. Use Drain Covers

Drain covers and screens prevent hair, food scraps, and other debris from entering your pipes. Install covers on sinks, tubs, and showers to stop clogs at the source.

2. Avoid Pouring Grease/Solids Down Drains

What goes down the drain directly impacts your risk of clogs. Never pour fats, oils, or grease down sinks. Dispose in the trash instead. Avoid flushing solids like food scraps, tampons, other solid feminine hygiene products, and paper towels.

How To Unclog Sewer Line (Without A Drain Snake) 6

3. Schedule Regular Drain Cleaning

Professional drain cleaning regularly removes any built-up grime or blockages before they grow problematic. Every 1-2 years is ideal for residential sewer lines.

4. Inspect and Replace Old Pipes

Old, damaged pipes are prone to catching debris and clogging. A replacement can prevent future headaches if your plumbing is outdated or deteriorating.

Following these simple precautions helps keep your drains free-flowing. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for sewer line clogs! Installing drain screens, avoiding grease in drains, and scheduling maintenance can save you from clog-induced disasters.

Calling In The Professionals

While DIY methods can clear simple clogs, some blockages require professional-grade equipment and expertise. Consider calling a plumber for:

  • Recurring clogs that home remedies cannot resolve
  • Clogs deep in your main sewer line
  • Suspected damage to pipes causing debris build-up. Slow drains throughout your home indicate a more extensive issue.

The right tools, high-powered jetters, and camera pipe inspection allow professionals to thoroughly clear blockages and assess your drainage system. This can restore flow and prevent future headaches. Their expertise is well worth the cost for stubborn or complex sewer issues.

How To Unclog Sewer Line (Without A Drain Snake) 7

When To Replace Your Sewer Line

If you have an older sewer line, replacement may be needed if you notice:

  • Frequent clogs and backups
  • Cracks or damage letting in roots/debris
  • Corrosion and leaks
  • Plumbing backing up elsewhere

Replacing your sewer line has advantages:

  • Prevents future clogs
  • Allows better water flow
  •  Stops leaks
  • Improves functionality

Consider costs vs. frequency of repairs. Replacement averages around $3,000-$8,000 AUD (estimated amount), but ends recurring clog issues. Get professional input to determine if replacement makes sense.

In Conclusion

As we’ve seen, several DIY methods can clear clogged sewer lines, from using a jetter hose to liquid drain cleaners. Key points include:

  • Understand causes like grease build-up before unclogging
  • Use power washer jetter hoses for forceful blockage clearing
  • Liquid drain cleaners dissolve gunk but require time to work

Prevention is ideal – install drain screens, avoid grease in pipes, and schedule regular maintenance. Call the professionals for severe or recurring clogs –  Gold Coast Plumbing Company. With years of expertise handling complicated sewer blockages, we provide simple, effective solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need dependable drain cleaning services.