Warning signs for sewer repair! 02 Mar 2020

Four Warning Signs Your Main Sewer Line is Blocked

Few people might know what a main sewer line is: pipes that help transport wastewater from your home to the sewer mains that run underground. Beyond this, most people give little thought to this until a major problem arises, such as a blockage. This can lead to a raw sewage backup coming out of the drains and other damage.

Unfortunately, a sewer line blockage is an unseen danger that can cause catastrophic damage to your home. But, if homeowners respond to the early signs of a blockage, serious problems can be avoided.

Below are the main warning signs you should keep your eye out for:

1. Clogged drain or toilet

A clogged drain or toilet is the most common red flag of a blockage and may present itself as water backing up out of a drain or a gurgling sound.

One way to tell if your drain is becoming blocked is to listen to your toilet after you use your washing machine. If your toilet starts percolating—it sounds like a coffee pot dripping—or you get water around the floor drain in the basement, it’s a good indication that you should call a professional.

You should also consider where you are seeing this warning sign. Your house is connected to a maze of pipes. You have one mainline that runs out of the house and smaller ones that branch off. If the mainline is clogged, any water you run in your home will create a problem (water in your basement); if it’s a secondary line, it’s just going to be isolated to that secondary problem (like a percolating toilet).

2. Slow draining sinks and bathtubs

A second telltale sign that your main sewer line is blocked is that your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs might drain slowly or not at all. Try to use a drain-clearing product first to test if this is a minor issue, but if you find that your sinks are still not draining, you should call a professional for help. Other fixtures in your home may be affected as well (for example, a washing machine). The water that doesn’t drain has to go somewhere, so you should be checking your basement for moisture as well.

3. Tree roots

As mentioned above, a sign that you are dealing with a blockage could be if you hear gurgling sounds when you flush your toilet. But, the blockage could be more than built-up debris; it could be tree roots. Root systems are one of the biggest culprits of main sewer line issues, especially if you live in an older home where the sewer is made of clay or concrete. Roots can also work their way inside via pipe joints. So, if you have a large tree near your sewer line, its roots could be the problem, and once they are inside, they will grow larger, acting as a net to catch toilet paper and waste until a clog forms.

4. The constant need to plunge

Do you find that you are plunging your toilet a whole lot more than you used to? It could be an indication that the real source of the problem is a lot further downstream in your drainage system. The same is true with your kitchen sink. The fact is if you have more than one slow drain in your house or multiple slow drains, that’s the best indicator that the source of the problem is a clogged sewer. At this point, you will have to call a professional to resolve the issue.

What to do While You Wait for a Professional

1. Release the pressure

After you have called a professional, you should shut off the water to your home so that you don’t risk further damage. Do not try and resolve the issue yourself; you could cause more damage and end up paying more.
After a professional has cleared the clog, keep up regular cleaning to avoid another one. Fill your sinks to the top and then drain them once or twice a month. That water pressure will help ensure you have proper flow through the pipes and move out any waste that’s sitting in the line.

2. Request a camera inspection

The best and quickest way to assess the extent of your clog is to request a camera inspection.
Your sewer line is one of the most vital parts of your household plumbing. If it becomes blocked, it could wreak unwelcome issues on your property. The sooner you detect a sewer line breakage or clog, the more likely it is you’ll be able to fix it without a huge hassle or cost.

Get Some Help

Do you suspect that you are dealing with a blocked main sewer line after reading this article? Maybe it is time to seek professional guidance. A trained eye will then be able to recommend repair options to the homeowner. Call us at Brothers Plumbing today! We are happy to help you in any way possible.

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