Down The Drain: How To Tell If Your Main Sewer Line Is Clogged

Plumbing emergencies, if not recognized, can devastate your household. One such problem is when the sewer drain becomes blocked or clogged. With nowhere to go, the sewage in your home is liable to come back through the your piping and flood your home with filthy water. This is unpleasant not only because of the water damage, but the deplorable smell as well.

There are some warning signs, however, to signal that the sewer drain is clogged. Keep an eye out for the following:

Multiple Fixtures That Are Clogged

A simple sign that your sewer drain is clogged is if multiple fixtures in your home are showing warning signs. If the items listed below are clogging, there might be problems:

  • Toilets - Toilets directly dispose of their waste when you flush them. Therefore, they have the most direct, and largest, drain in your home. With that said, a problem will be most easily noticeable here.

  • Showers/Tubs - While you can also check sinks for clogging, showers and tubs generally show signs before sinks. This is due to them being lower elevation that sinks. If the water drains very slowly, this could be a further sign of a sewer line problem.

Fixtures Are Operating Strangely

If the clogs are present, a little further investigation to how each fixture is operating is in order to confirm it's not a problem with each individual fixtures. Check the following:

  • Toilets - Give your toilet a good flush. If your sewer drain is clogged you might notice water welling up in your shower or bathtub after you flush. This is because the water has nowhere to go when the line is clogged and it comes back out the lowest drain in the home, which is usually the shower.

  • Washing Machine - Run the washing machine through a simple wash cycle. If you find that as the machine runs that water begins to seep out of your shower drain or that your toilet overflows this might be a sign of sewer pipe problems.

  • Sink - Another sign is trapped air in your plumbing line. Run the sink closest to a toilet and watch the toilet. If the water level in the toilet rises or there is any noticeable bubbles, then the sign is most definitely the main sewer line instead of toilet troubles.

Once you are adequately convinced of sewer pipe troubles, call a professional plumber, like MAC Plumbing & Heating, immediately and refrain from using water in the meantime. Any further usage of the system until its unclogged can lead to a deal of trouble in the form of flooding in your home.