Products to Clean Sewer Lines


A blocked sewer pipe can cause problems for the plumbing in the buildings it serves, as well as potentially creating health hazards for the occupants. Keeping sewers clear of blockages helps to maintain free flow and avoids the problem of waste water backing up. Regular maintenance is the key, with a number of specialty products and tools commonly used by plumbers.

Sewer Rods

  • The simplest cleaning tools include sewer rods, which comprise a set of flexible metal or plastic rods. These are manually fed into a sewer through a rodding eye or manhole, with individual rods connected together to suit the length needed to reach a blockage. The head of a sewer rod can come in a few different shapes designed to force through a blockage. This tool typically works best on smaller pipe sizes.

Hydro-jet Cleaners

  • Hydro-jetting equipment directs a high-pressure jet of water into a sewer to loosen dirt and debris, as well as wash it through and out of the system. Typically powered by gas or electric motors, the hose on the equipment can be fed into a sewer to place the nozzle close to blockages for maximum effect. Styles of hydro-jet cleaners can include small, portable devices as well as larger truck-mounted models.

Sewer Cleaning Pumps

  • Sewer cleaning pumps typically comprise truck-mounted equipment with the capability to suck sludge and debris from a sewer line to clean it out. These generally feature a large-diameter hose dropped into a manhole so that the suction pump can remove the debris. In many cases the pump equipment comes in combination with a jetting machine, which helps to loosen debris, making it easier for the pump to remove it to the holding tank on the truck.

Root Cutters

  • In many cases, sewers can suffer infestation by tree and plant roots, and these require cutting before removal. Products designed for this job include root cutters, usually motorized or robotic equipment fitted with a cutting head or saw. When run through a sewer, the cutting head severs the roots to remove the blockages they create.

Sewer Inspection Camera

  • While a sewer inspection camera does not actually clean a pipe, it has an application in identifying sewer problems. The camera equipment, which can be inserted into the sewer line, can be used independently or be combined with sewer-cleaning equipment. This can improve the effectiveness of cleaning, with the ability to view the interior of the pipe during the job.

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