A main sewer drain clog is one of the more serious household plumbing problems—and only worsens the longer it is left untreated. If you believe there is a sewer drain clog in your house, it’s important to get professional help as soon as you can. If you think you might have one but aren’t entirely sure, there are signs to look out for. Here’s a quick rundown on what causes a main sewer drain clog, the signs, and what to do if you suspect one.
What Causes a Sewer Line Clog?
Quite a few things can cause a sewer line clog, and, sadly, not all of them are preventable. Tree roots may have grown into the pipe, the pipe may have been installed incorrectly, or the pipe may have collapsed due to age and corrosion. Sometimes sewer lines sink into the ground, which is just something that happens over time. Shifting soil and work above the pipe can also cause it to burst.
However, you can reduce the risk of clogs by carefully watching what actually goes down the drain or is flushed down the toilet. Food, oil, baby wipes, children’s toys, and more can cause backups in either the pipe or sewer line.
What Are the Signs of a Main Sewer Line Clog?
There are several signs you should keep an eye out for if you suspect a sewer drain clog:
Multiple Clogged Fixtures
One of the most obvious signs of a main sewer drain clog is clogs in multiple fixtures at once, like the toilet and the shower drain. This happens because your entire plumbing system converges on your sewer line. If you’re suddenly having issues with your toilet, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and/or shower drain, it could point to a clog within the sewer line itself.
Check your plumbing fixtures one by one to see if they’re backed up. Since the toilets in your home are closest to the sewer and have the largest drain line, check them first for signs of backups. Evidence of a sewer drain problem will almost always show there!
Fixtures Reacting Strangely
You should also be on the lookout for fixtures behaving in strange and unexpected ways. If you start to hear running water, like a rippling or bubbling noise, from your toilet while washing your hands in the bathroom sink, it could point to a problem. Air may be trapped in your plumbing system, which is a fairly common problem when it comes to sewer line clogs.
Likewise, watch out for water backing up into your bathtub when you use your washing machine or toilet—and vice versa.
A Sewage Smell and Changes to your Lawn
Another obvious—and unpleasant—sign that you have a clog in your sewer drain is a smell that causes you to hold your nose. The scent of sewage is not good news. It usually means you have a ruptured sewer line due to a clog. This should be taken care of immediately, as it can negatively affect your health and home.
Changes to your lawn can also point to a ruptured sewer drain from a clog. If the grass suddenly appears greener, you might have a sewer problem. While you’re holding your nose, your lawn is benefiting!
If you often experience backups, you could have a serious main sewer line clog on your hands. Getting rid of a clog in the kitchen sink, and another appears in the toilet a week later? It’s time for more investigation.
What to Do If You Suspect a Sewer Line Clog
If you suspect a sewer line clog, it’s important to act quickly before it gets worse, causes major backups within your home, or ruptures.
Check the Drainage at the Clean-Out
If you suspect a main sewer line clog, check the drainage at your clean-out. Open the clean-out by taking out the cap or unscrewing the device, and search for any build up. Although you might see waste in the area, it’s more important to take note of water coming up the clean-out pipe because that’s not normal. Water shouldn’t be flowing upward or standing in the pipe.
If it is, you probably have a sewer drain clog.
Call a Professional
One of the best things you can do for your drain if you suspect a problem is to call a professional plumber. They can get to the bottom of your clog before it gets any more serious. Plumbers have detection methods that can pinpoint the exact issue.
One tool that is used is a camera. By sliding it down the pipe, your plumber can see the problem and understand how to remedy it. Smoke detection can also be used to ensure no sewage fumes are leaking into your home or yard.
If there is a clog in your main sewer line, there are a few steps your plumber may take. An auger is mechanically powered to break up the clog and may do the trick. In other cases, the professional may choose to use a high-pressure water jet. In severe cases of damaged or cracked lines, you may need new sewer line.
Rather than risking further damage to your pipes or home by using the tools yourself, it’s best to call a professional to handle the issue for you—for peace of mind and expertise.
If you spot any of these problems in your home, stop running any water and call a plumber to investigate the issue. They can get to the bottom of the sewer line clog and fix it for you, saving you time and the potential costs of further problems.
Feel free to give C&W a call anytime at 972-395-2597. We offer 24/7 service in case of plumbing emergencies.
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