Many issues can crop up regarding plumbing, everything from a toilet that continues to run to a dripping faucet to a clogged toilet can be unpleasant to deal with, but a particularly nasty situation is a sewer line clog. Clogs are caused by too much volume, debris, inappropriate items being flushed, or tree roots growing into the line. Then the pipe between the house and the city sewer or septic tank becomes wholly or partially blocked. This is one situation where the homeowner is unlikely to be able to successfully solve the problem, and a professional should be called. Here are a couple tell-tale signs that there’s a sewer line clog that’s causing a problem.
Multiple Clogged Drains
One early indicator of a clogged sewer line is that numerous drains all clog or back up around the same time. While the occasional toilet clog or sink clog is normal, if every sink on the first floor is clogged, something more serious is going on. Toilets tend to be the first place that systemic clogges are noticed, as there is often only one per floor. If the toilet is clogged, and has clogged repeatedly, it can help to run water in the sink for a bit to see if that clogs too. If it backs up within a minute or two, there is some main drain clog.
Water Backs Up In Other Places
The sewer system in a home is gravity-based and clogs impact the lowest drains above them first. For a clog in a bathroom sink, only the sink will be impacted. For a clog in the main drainage line for the second floor, the lowest drain on the floor, often the bathtub or toilet, will back up first. Water can’t be compressed, so it has to go somewhere else, and that somewhere else is often a shower or bath drain. This occurs with other fixtures too, a washing machine draining may cause a toilet to overflow. Weird sounds or behaviors when using a fixture are another sign of a sewer line clog. Toilets that gurgle, bubble, or back up when other fixtures are running are a good sign of a main line clog.
Water in the Sewer Clean Out
A sewer cleanout is a short, vertical pipe with a threaded plug that usually has a square fitting on the top of it. These are typically located in the basement, crawlspace, or just outside the house. It’s important to know that the time to check this is not when there is standing water in the fixtures of the house. If this is the current situation and there is a sewer line clog, all the water in the drains in the house is sitting above this cleanout, which means it will make quite a mess. Second, if the cleanout is in the basement or crawlspace, skip this step, as the mess isn’t worth it. If the clean out is opened and water either flows up and out it or if there is standing water in it, there’s a sewer line clog.
If you’re dealing with a clogged sewer line, it may not be a situation you want to handle yourself. Instead, contact our friendly professionals at Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning: 713-868-9907.