Are your drains not flowing like they used to? The big question is – are you dealing with a standard clog or, worse, a sewer line problem? Neither is good news, but the latter can affect your entire household and require a most substantial repair.
A clogged main sewer line isn’t the easiest thing to detect. If you’ve determined that it is for sure the main sewer line and not just a clogged drainpipe, you should see signs like wastewater in the sewer cleanout, water overflow into other plumbing fixtures, and multiple backed-up drains.
Here’s more info about these common signs your sewer line is clogged.
1. Sewage found in the cleanout
Not many homeowners are familiar with this plumbing structure, but the sewer clean-out is a circular plastic or concrete cap labeled (you guessed it) “Cleanout,” which gives you access to the below-ground sewer line. After locating the clean-out cap, remove it, and look inside. If sewer water either flows out of the pipe or stands in the pipe after opening the cap, you have a sewer line clog.
Please note that some homes may not have a cleanout, especially if built before 1978.
2. Excessive overflow of water into other fixtures
When there’s a sewer line clog, new wastewater will have nowhere to go and can back up in your home. This is called overflow and can happen to fixtures and appliances like your toilet, washing machine, or bathroom sink. An easy way to test these fixtures is to use them and see if water rises from your shower drain or toilet. If so, a sewer line clog is the most probable reason.
3. Bonus sign: start at the bottom
Water overflow starts from the bottom of the home, so if you have any sinks or toilets in your basement or lower floors, you should probably test those first to see if you have a main sewer line clog.
4. Backed-up, gurgling plumbing fixtures
Remember, your plumbing system is all connected. So, if one appliance or fixture is causing a problem, your sewer line may not be the cause. However, if multiple fixtures are backed up in your home, it’s pretty safe to say that you have a main sewer line problem. Your ears will likely tell you if your main sewer line needs servicing as you’ll hear a gurgling sound when you use any of the fixtures in your home.
What to do if you suspect a sewer line clog
First, here’s what you shouldn’t do – ignore the problem. Left alone, sewer line clogs can cause extensive damage and pose health risks. If you suspect there’s a blockage in the sewer line, first, avoid sending more water down the drain. Second, call the Austin plumbing experts at Rooter-Man Plumbers. To schedule a sewer line inspection, contact our team today at 281.351.4422.