Nicolette Forbes

By: Nicolette Forbes on June 6th, 2022

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Do I Need To Descale My Sewer Line?

Plumbing | Drains

Did you know that sewers get buildup? Did you also know that your sewer line needs to be descaled regularly to prevent blockages? But what is descaling and how do you know if it is right for you and your home? Well, you’ve come to the right place - your plumbing system (and its terms) can be confusing and Monkey Wrench is here for the rescue. 

We have helped thousands of customers since 2007 with more than just their plumbing problems. We’re passionate about teaching people about their home’s plumbing and helping them understand the cause of their plumbing issues, along with how to address them. One often-overlooked form of plumbing maintenance is descaling your sewer line.

In this article, we’ll discuss what sewer scale is, how a sewer descale works, and how to tell if your sewer line needs to be descaled. 

What is Sewer Scale? 

Scale is the buildup of substances inside of your pipes. But what is sewer scale made of?

Sewer Scale is a combination of several things including grease, hair products (like conditioners), and hard water. Often when you hear about scale buildup, it's the calcium and magnesium from hard water that create white chalky scale buildup, also known as limescale. Hard water scale buildup is most noticeable around your shower heads, faucets, and inside of your water heater. Learn more about hard water and how it ruins your plumbing here.

This hard water buildup, combined with grease, hair products, and other products that go down the drain, can then cause blockages or clogs in your sewage system.

Sewer scale found in pipes 

While most pipes can develop scale, cast iron pipes tend to get scale buildup worse than other kinds. This is because the inner surfaces of the cast iron pipes become coated with all kinds of minerals over time. So what do you do to address this issue? It may be time to consider descaling your sewer line.


What is a Sewer Descale?

When you have a blockage in your sewer line, most of the time the blockage can be cleared using a snake. While a snake is an effective way to clear a blockage, this is usually only a temporary fix. Descaling your sewer line can help you clear out build-up inside of your pipes to prevent future blockages.

A sewer descale is the process of removing scale buildup from inside the pipes. Descaling can also remove smaller roots that have grown inside the pipes. Read this article here to learn more about the effects of roots growing into your plumbing system. Yikes!

But how does it work? First, a plumber will find the blockage by placing a camera inside your plumbing system. Once the blockage is found, to clear the area, your plumber will use what is called a “descale machine” which is a cable covered by a vinyl sleeve with a chain link at the head. With a descale machine, your plumber will be able to cut through the blockage, removing the rust, debris, and scale from inside your pipes.

Descale machine 

Then with the help of a hydro-jet, they will be able to flush all the debris down into the city’s sewer system with the heavy water pressure. Hydro-jetting is the process of clearing out a blockage in your pipes with up to four thousand pounds of water pressure. After completing the descale, your plumber will run the camera through your pipes to ensure that the blockage has been cleared. 

We do not recommend that you descale your sewer system yourself as you could potentially cause damage to your pipes. We recommend that you call a plumber for this service.

Overall, descaling extends the life of your pipes and helps you avoid drain replacements, which can be pricey.


Signs It’s Time For A Sewer Descale

We recommend that you get a sewer descale once every year. But how can you tell it is time for a sewer descale? The major sign that you may need a sewer descale service is when you experience a local or partial block.

A partial or local stoppage is when sections of the house are experiencing a blockage or a clog instead of the entire home. This is not the same as a main stoppage. However, read this article to learn the differences between the two kinds of stoppages and how to address both.

While it is not impossible for you to figure out when it is time for a sewer descale, a certified technician or plumber can help you identify the issue, the possible issues that are causing it, and the best options for your home and situation.


Consider Your Sewer ‘Descaled’

Dealing with blockages in your sewer system can be frustrating but it does not have to be. With methods like descaling, you can prolong the lifespan of your pipes and clear blockages in your home. We recommend that you have a sewer descale once every year as a preventative measure to keep your sewer system running smoothly. We also suggest that you are mindful of the things that go into your drains or pipes in order to maintain a healthy (and happy) sewer system.

Having helped thousands of customers since 2007, we are passionate about helping people understand the cause of their plumbing issues, along with how to address them with services like a descale.

Read the article below to learn about other methods of addressing issues with your pipes like hydro-jetting, snaking, and whether or not those methods are suitable for your plumbing issues. 

What is Hydro-Jetting?

Is It Bad To Snake My Pipes? 

If you live in the L.A. area and are experiencing any issues with your drains and may need a sewer to descale or have any other questions regarding any of your plumbing needs, hit the ‘Book’ button below to request an appointment. Or you can call us at 310-853-8690, and one of our call center representatives would be happy to help you.