You work hard to keep your kitchen and bathroom drains clean. But clogs can strike anywhere in your plumbing, including in the main sewer line. These hidden, and often difficult-to-detect, obstructions pose even more of a threat to your home since they can affect multiple appliances and even multiple rooms.
Luckily, an experienced plumber shouldn't have any trouble locating a clog using specialised video imaging. The trick is noticing the clog before it causes any serious backflow, odours or other issues.
In this blog, we list five of the most common warning signs that you have a clog in your main sewer line.
1. Backed Up Water in Interior Drains
One of the first symptoms of a blocked sewer line is issues with multiple interior fixtures. This trouble typically manifests as backed up water.
You may notice water backing up in illogical places when you use your plumbing. For example, backflow may appear in your shower when you flush the toilet. This means that the water which would usually drain away doesn't have a clear route out of your home and must flow elsewhere.
You may also notice backflow when you use appliances outside of your bathroom. Homeowners with blocked sewer lines often notice backflow in their sinks or showers when they run the washing machine or dishwasher.
2. Drainage Water Near the Sewer Cleanout
Most sewer lines have what's called a 'cleanout'. This pipe gives plumbers more direct access to the line and allows overflow that consists of wastewater but not sewage. The cleanout usually consists of a black or white pipe on your property near your home, but placed out of sight. Most cleanouts sit in patches of bushes so they don't create eyesores.
If you suspect sewer line trouble, locate the cleanout and look for any drainage there. If you have water flowing from the cleanout or pooling around it, there's an obstruction in your main line.
3. Overgrown Trees in Your Yard
Aside from foreign objects flushed down the toilet, intrusive tree roots represent the most common obstruction to sewer lines. Think about where your trees grow in comparison to where your sewer line leads.
If you start noticing other symptoms and you have one or more large trees, you likely have tree roots intruding into your plumbing.
4. Trapped Air in the Pipework
Sewer line obstructions can also result in air bubbles forming in your pipes. These air bubbles can cause water to bubble when it comes out of taps or goes down drains.
Because toilets have the most direct connection with your sewer line, look for air bubbles to appear there. You may notice surface disturbances in the toilet bowl or observe that the toilet water level rises above the typical water line. These symptoms usually indicate an issue in the line rather than in the toilet itself.
5. Unusual Drain Noises
Like localised blockages, sewer line clogs can cause uneven drainage. This abnormal draining may cause abnormal noises when water leaves your home.
If you hear excessive gurgling or glugging from your toilet, shower or sinks, it may indicate a blocked sewer line.
To protect your home and sewage system, take note of these warning signs. If you notice any combination of the symptoms listed above, contact your trusted plumbing technician. As we mentioned, these professionals can detect and precisely locate hidden clogs using CCTV.
Once your plumber finds the leak, he or she can make recommendations based on its size and placement. Often, plumbers use pressurised cleaning tools to eliminate these obstructions and clear the pipeline.
For more information on your home plumbing and drainage systems, visit our blog section .