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How to Unclog your pipes: An Interview with Mike Mauthe of Appleton Drain and Sewer

By Mike Mauthe

How to Unclog your pipes: An Interview with Mike Mauthe of Appleton Drain and Sewer how-to-unclog-your-pipes

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I started my small company in 2005 after I had been doing drain cleaning for friends and family when they had a problem.

Here are some of the services I offer:

  • Drain snaking of sink lines to main sewer laterals
  • Sewer jetting "Pressure washing the inside of pipes"
  • Main sewer lines from the home to the street

I also do sewer and pipe inspections and locations of sewer lines and pipe thawing.

Some common causes of clogged household drains.For bathroom sinks and bathtubs, it's definitely hair and soap buildup for kitchens, it would be grease and soap

Most people don't think about what they put down their drains - until there is a problem.

Water Conservation and "Low Flow" Appliances

Before everybody was concerned about water conservation, all of the home's water fixtures would put out 3-5 gallons per minute and this was more than enough water flow to push most of the things put down a drain into a bigger pipe in the home.

Now you add "low flow" water appliances and anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners, and you create a combination for potential issues.

Food and waste that gets introduced into a sewer drain system would break down fairly fast in years' past, but now with all the cleaners.food preservatives, and water saving appliances ,things do not digest as fast.

Cast or Clay Tile

In older homes with cast or clay tile, the most common cause of a backup is tree roots and wipes. Once you have tree roots in your sewer, you will need to have your sewer snaked every year. You can go longer, but it will allow the roots to grow to a bigger diameter and this will cause your sewer to fail sooner than later.


In homes with PVC, I see a lot of grease and soft clog issues or waste clogs. This is usually caused by a sewer line that has very little pitch or a belly in the line. However, I have seen roots and abuse in PVC pipes also.

Home Inspections

I also do sewer lateral inspection for new home buyers. A sewer lateral replacement can run from $3,000-$5,0000; of course, the high end would be under a 4-lane concrete road.

Most homeowners aren't aware that they are responsible for their lateral all the way to the city connection.

For most clogged sewers and drain lines, they can be mechanically cleaned with a drain cleaner "snake".There are times when a sewer or drain will need to by hydro-jetted. Hydro-jetting is using high pressure water to liquefy a soft clog or cut out tree roots.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Mike Mauthe



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