A blocked sewer line isn’t just inconvenient—it can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare, leading to unpleasant smells, backflows, and costly repairs. Before that minor blockage morphs into a major problem, equip yourself with the knowledge to tackle it head-on. Here, we present a step-by-step guide on how to clear those stubborn sewer lines.

1. Initial Assessment:
Using a sewer camera can be invaluable. This allows you to view the obstruction and determine its nature—whether it’s tree roots, a buildup of grease, or something else.

2. The Power of Plunging:
A force cup plunger can create suction that can help dislodge minor blockages. Ensure you have a good seal and try vigorous plunging.

3. Natural Cleaning Solutions:
Before resorting to commercial drain cleaners:

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pour one cup of baking soda followed by an equal amount of vinegar. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes and then flush with boiling water.
  • Salt and Borax: This combination can break down grease. Mix equal parts and pour down the drain, followed by boiling water.

4. Renting a Power Auger:
For deeper blockages, a power auger or electric sewer snake can be effective. This tool can be rented from most hardware stores.

5. Root Intrusion:
Tree roots can often infiltrate sewer lines. Root killer chemicals can help dissolve these invaders. However, for severe intrusion, professional assistance may be required.


Clearing a sewer line doesn’t always require a call to the plumber. With the right tools and techniques, you can reclaim the free flow of your drains. However, always remember to act with caution and recognize when a professional touch is needed.