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How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked

21 October

Homeowners must be vigilant when maintaining their plumbing system because blocked drains can significantly threaten their health and hygiene.

You need to identify sewer problems and fix them immediately to avoid long-term plumbing damage. Since removing and cleaning sewer drain blockages can be tricky, it’s best to hire a professional plumber to get the job done.

That said, blocked sewers have some distinct signs that you can identify to determine the condition of your sewer drains. So today, we’ll highlight some of these signs to help you quickly fix the issue.

How Can You Tell If You Have A Blocked Sewer?

1. Foul Smell

The foul sewer smell typically remains within the pipelines except if you stand before the plumbing vents. If you smell the sewer odour coming from any of the drain pipes in your property, it indicates a sewer leak or a blocked sewer.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 1

There can be a blockage in the sewer branch line, and you can use DIY drain cleaning techniques or home remedies to remove it. However, if the smell persists or comes from an outside drain, call a licensed plumber to check the main sewer line. They use high-tech CCTV drain cameras to detect sewer blockage.

2. Recurring Drain Clogging

Recurring drain clogs are another clear indicator of blocked sewers, but they are pretty easy to avoid in most cases if you’re a bit mindful.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 2

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 2

For instance, laundry and bathroom drains mostly clog because of hair, gunk, and soap scum, while kitchen drains face recurring clogs from oil, grease, and solid food scraps. You can quickly eliminate these sewer drain clogs by regularly cleaning your filter or drain stoppers.

However, if recurring drain clogs are accompanied by other signs, such as gurgling sounds or sewer smell, it’s time to call a professional plumber to check the sewer line.

3. Overflowing Drains

If water is constantly backing up inside your drain, you’ll face the risk of flooding within the property due to sewer blockages. The first step is identifying what’s blocking the drain: a solid object or an underground tree root.

Standing Water In Clogged Drain

You can hire a professional to identify the source of the blockage and get it fixed to avert major issues. They can also check for pipe damage and repair it immediately to prevent water from backing up.

4. Slow Water Drainage With Gurgling Sounds

Generally, residential sewer drains get blocked because of deposited hair, food scraps, oil, grease, or cooling fat, disrupting the flow of water and air through the drains. But you can easily remove these clogs using a drain snake or plunger to clean the drain filters.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 3

In other cases, poor plumbing ventilation can be the reason behind slow water drainage and gurgling sounds in the sewer drain. Vents are responsible for releasing sewer gas while allowing outside air to enter the drains to facilitate smooth water flow.

So, when your sewer drain isn’t vented correctly, it’s best to contact your local plumber to avoid severe sewer damage.

5. Blocked Plumbing Fixtures

If multiple plumbing fixtures in your household get clogged, you most likely have a blockage in the main sewer line. For instance, if water starts overflowing every time you flush the toilet or the shower drain backs up, it usually points to a sewer blockage in the main line.

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There’s no easy way out of these situations because DIY techniques won’t be good enough to remove clogs from the main sewer line. Thus, your best course of action is to hire a professional plumber.

6. Blocked Toilet

Blocked toilets are common in every household, but if your toilet is clogged frequently, it’s probably a sewer drain problem. The first line of attack is to use a plunger or a drain auger to remove the clog while cleaning the bathroom. But, if the blockage is persistent, call your plumber as soon as possible to avoid flooding.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 5

And remember, never flush wet wipes down your toilet because they can bunch together to create nasty drain blockages.

7. Wastewater In The Yard

When you have a blocked sewer, the dirty water tends to overflow and escape the sewage system to pool in your backyard. In most cases, you can locate the clogged or broken sewage pipe directly under this pool of wastewater.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 6

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 6

There are steps to follow when dealing with sewage in the yard. And since the sewer water contains toxic waste materials, don’t try to clean the pool of water without wearing appropriate protective gear. Also, avoid messing around with the damaged sewer pipe and call a licensed plumber to fix it.

8. Soil Caving In

When a sewer pipe continuously leaks water, the soil in the surrounding area becomes damp and soft after a while and can easily crumble. In extreme cases, continuous water leaks from underground sewer lines can cause your concrete walls to collapse, leading to severe property damage.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 7

However, subsidence only occurs in severe cases; you can identify the clear signs of sewer blockage much earlier. Ground subsidence can also occur for other reasons, so it’s best to consult a licensed builder or a plumber whenever you notice continuous damp soil.

9. Insect And Rodent Infestations

Even though there can be several reasons for rodent and insect infestations in your house, sewer blockages can also attract rats and cockroaches. These creatures feed on the organic waste materials inside the sewer system, such as cooking fat, solid food scraps, oil, grease, and other particles.

How To Tell If Your Sewer Is Blocked 8

If these waste products are not drained properly, and there’s a sewer blockage, it’ll instantly attract pests. Always contact a pest control company as soon as possible to guarantee health and safety and to prevent damage to your sewer pipes.

Can’t Fix The Severe Blockages? Call Us!

Ignoring sewer blockages can lead to severe plumbing problems, and you might need to spend thousands of dollars repairing those damages. Not to mention, constant water leaks from a blocked sewer can also affect the structural integrity of your house, affecting the building foundations.

That’s why always make sure to keep your sewer drains clean by performing regular maintenance, and it’s essential to look for the signs and symptoms mentioned above to detect a blocked sewer at the initial stage. You can use DIY techniques and drain cleaners if the blockage is small and within the boundaries of your residential property.

But for severe blockages in the main outside sewer line, contact a fully licensed plumber to check and remove it. Contact our professional plumbing experts and let us handle the severe blockages. We’ll keep the damage to a minimum. Contact us today!