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Warning Signs You Have a Clogged Sewer Line

Warning Signs You Have a Clogged Sewer Line

A sewer drain clog is a very serious problem that can be considered a plumbing emergency not to mention a health problem. With main line pipes being out of sight it is hard to visually see if there is a problem. The signs listed below can be a warning of more serious underlying issues.

If you suspect that you have a sewer drain clog, it is important to contact a plumber to fix the problem as before more damage can be done.

There are several signs that you may have a sewer drain clog:

  1. More Than One Fixture Is Clogged – Although toilets are often the first place clogs are noticed, it is important to check the other fixtures in your house. Bathtubs, showers, and sinks being clogged at the same time are a strong indication that there is an issue with the main sewer line.
  2. Fixtures Are Behaving Oddly – When fixtures are reacting oddly, for example; bubbling water, water overflowing in sinks/tubs while you run the washing machine, and water backing up in odd places (e.g. Washer Machine); a much larger problem is often the cause.
  3. Slow Draining Fixtures or Constant Need to Plunge – Fixtures that show a delay in draining speed or require frequent plunging are signs of a bigger clog in the drainage system.
  4. Sewage Smells – The smell of sewage is unmistakable, and sewage smells inside or near the home are never a good sign. If these odors are present in your home (or outside) it can be another major indication of sewage backup.
  5. Excess Drainage at the Clean-out – If you have a main line clean-out, you may check for signs of a clog by first opening the clean-out (either by unscrewing or pulling to remove the cap). Next, check the clean-out for any waste or water back ups. If water is flowing up and out of the clean-out or standing in the pipe, this is a confirmation that your main line sewer has stoppage.
  6. Wet Yard or Extra Green/Lush Patches in Grass – When waste water cannot be transported through a main sewer line, it has to go somewhere. Occasionally, the wastewater will soak into the yard soil causing an unpleasant smell and an unexplainable wet or extremely lush patch.

Clogs are not the only signs of a Main Line issue. Here are some additional signs that your system may have a bigger issue other than clogging:

  • Mold Problem – Due to the humidity caused by a cracked pipe in a wall, large mold growth accompanied by a foul smell is a tell-tale sign of a larger problem.
  • Indentation In Lawn or Under Pavers – If there is a crack in your main line sewer, the constant saturation of the ground can lead to soil erosion and an indentation in the ground.
  • Foundation Cracks, Settlement, and Sinkholes – An untreated leak can lead to a much larger problem. Foundation cracks, settlement issues, and sinkholes can do more damage to your home and result in a much higher price tag for fixing.
  • Rodent Problem – Rats reside it sewer lines and have the ability to squeeze through an opening the size of a quarter. Seeing them in or around your home can be a sign of a break in your sewer lines.
  • Insect Infestation – Insects also fit in small spaces and are drawn to sewer contents. Seeing an abnormal number of insects can be a symptom of cracks in your pipes.

Though backups and damage to a main sewer line may seem like a problem that wait for another day, that is not the case. If sewer line problems persist, you could end up with raw sewage in your yard or worse, in your bathtubs and sinks, causing significant property damage.

Unfortunately a sewer clog cannot be treated with a plunger or over-the-counter chemicals. To clear the sewer line of roots and debris or to fix a leak, you will need to call a professional. A service technician can perform a video camera inspection of the sewer pipeline to determine where the issue is and what caused it.

If you have any questions or suspect that you may have a larger main line issue, give our office a call at 800-947-1747 and we can help you.