How to Clean Out a Main Drain

If you have cleared sites of probable obstruction inside the house and in individual drains, but still have water backed up in your house, your main drain – the drain that leads from your home into the city’s sewer system – may be covered. If the main drain has been clogged by tree roots, there is little you can do yourself to remove them without risk of damaging the main drain pipe – you need to call a professional plumber. But if the main drain is simply clogged by debris, you might be able to eliminate it with the help of the energy snake from a rented or purchased plumber.


  1. Locate the main drain cleaning ports. They are short, squat tubes that branch out of the main drain pipes at a “Y” angle, with a steel or plastic top that has a square at the top and can be found in the basement or crawl space. Some homes may have these access ports in the garage, pantry or out of the house throughout the foundation. Just keep exposed the drain pipes until you find them.
  2. Have a trash bin handy to pick up any spills that come out of the main drain wipe out. She spread a tarp, old towels or tarps around the main drain as well as to help contain any plastic overflow.
  3. Loosen the cap with a socket wrench. Water back will probably flow out of it as it opens. Continue to loosen slowly to control the flow of water. Once the water has stopped, you can remove the lid.
  4. Insert the head of a plumber’s energy snake drill through the clean main drain out and into the main drain pipe. Feed into the discharge tube as soon as you can until you find resistance – this indicates an obstruction.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the operation of the power snake. You should feel the vibration while cutting through the obstruction.
  6. Continue the drill in the feed to the limit of its cable length, cutting through clogs as you go. Then pull the entire length of the cable and insert it into the main tube going in the opposite direction.
  7. Cut through Clogs that I find them.
  8. Replace the plug in the drain clean. Make sure it is well sealed and secured.
  9. Wash WC several times to check and make sure there is no other obstruction in the system.

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