Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Plumbing, Drain & Sewer Cleaning in Yakima, WA | What it takes to successfully unclog a sludge plug

A scene from last night's monster sludge plug in Yakima. A sludge plug happens when the sewer line has sunken in the ground over the years and creates a trap where the waste builds up over a long period of time and eventually clogs up the main drain line.



Working a sludge plug


 Snaking a sewer line with a "sludge plug" can take up to 5 hours sometimes to get it to clear, and some have taken up to 12 hours! What makes this situation so difficult is that the sludge has to be pulverized to a point where it is almost liquified before it will flow through the dip or sag in the line. Sometimes a good plumber will be able to tell if it is going to be more cost effective to continue snaking the line in hopes that it will clear before the cost to the customer becomes too expensive....or bring in a Hydrojetter to finish the job. In this picture from last night I was able to get the line flowing at 2.5 hours, which was cheaper than jetting the sewer line. After the line cleared we filled up the bath tub with hot water twice to ensure any remaining debris was cleaned out of the pipe and into the City sewer line.
  A lot of the main drain lines in Yakima are very old, so although it isn't an every day occurrence to encounter a major sludge plug, it isn't uncommon to see this sort of problem. However, even though this sort of plumbing problem is something that will have to be fixed at some point, a sludged main line is not as bothersome as a root problem and once the line is snaked out and cleared it will usually last much longer in-between  periods where it needs to be snaked compared to root problems.