The Difference between a Main Line vs a Drain Line

Gainesville Mechanical North Georgia Plumbing

Are you confused when you hear the terms main line and drain line? Aren’t they both the same thing? Plumbers get this question from confused customers all the time, and it makes sense why you’d be confused. It’s time to set the record straight. In this post, you’ll learn more about the main line, drain lines, and the roles they play in your home.

What Is the Main Line?

Simply stated, the main line is your home’s sewer line. It’s the line that connects your home to either a municipal connection or to the septic tank if your home has a septic system. This is the line that every bit of water that leaves your house through, which is why it’s called the main line.

Plumbers in your area don’t always use the term sewer line when referring to this pipe because it doesn’t just carry toilet waste. Many people are under the assumption that only human waste moves through the sewer line. However, when you think about all the water that leaves your home, it makes more sense to use the term mainline.

Here is some additional information you need to know about your home’s main line:

  • Do you know where your main line cleanout is located? This is how plumbers access the main line when it needs to be hydro-jetted or when you require a sewer camera inspection.
  • Knowing where the cleanout is located saves you money when you need plumbing service.
  • Don’t have a main line cleanout? It’s still possible to access the line. Most plumbing companies will remove a toilet in the house to get to the line.
  • Having problems with backups in drains at the lowest point in your home? This is a good sign you have a main line backup.

What Are Drain Lines?

These are the lines that are within the home. They don’t lead directly to the sewer system or septic tank. However, they do dump into the main line. Issues with drain lines are more common in households. When you have drain line issues, you’ll likely experience problems with sinks, toilets, or shower drains that aren’t widespread. Only one drain at a time is usually affected, and you’re able to use the rest of the drains in the house.

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Why Should You Know the Difference?

You might think it doesn’t matter if you recognize the difference. That’s what a licensed plumber is for. However, when you know how to recognize the differences, you’re able to anticipate the time involved for repairs and the cost.

Generally, the main line clog is going to require a plumber and involved more steps. Many drain line problems are easily solved with a hand plunger or a drain snake, although tough clogs tend to need professional intervention.

Does the main line cleaning cost more than regular drain cleaning? Plan on paying more for this service, but there are often specials offered for both services.

If you need drain and rooter services, contact your local plumbing company in North Georgia, Gainesville Mechanical at (770) 532-9130 to schedule an appointment.

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