A clogged sewer can be a serious problem. When the sewer line becomes slow or completely blocked, all household plumbing activity must stop. Toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs and washing machines are all impacted by a clogged sewer drain. Knowing the warning signs of a clog and what to do about it can help you return your house to proper working order.
Causes of Sewer Clogs
Tree roots are one of the main causes of sewer clogs. Over time, tree roots can cause the wall of the line to collapse, or may simply fill up the pipe with tiny roots, causing a total backup. This is an especially common problem In times of drought, when trees send out long roots looking for sources of moisture. The best way to prevent this problem from occurring is to keep your trees watered and to plan the placement of your trees carefully.
One of the other common causes of sewer line clogs is flushing of non-flushable products. Take a look at our post about what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet to prevent clogs in the future.
Warning Signs of a Blocked Sewer Drain
In the days and weeks leading up to a complete sewer drain clog, you may notice a variety of symptoms, like gurgling noises and air bubbles coming up the drain. If the sewer becomes completely blocked, you’ll notice the following symptoms:
- Multiple plumbing fixtures are clogged. Usually when the sewer line clogs, the lowest drains in the house are the first to be affected. Toilets, floor drains, showers and bathtubs will drain slowly or not at all. Sinks may or may not seem to be clogged when this happens, because they sit up higher.
- Water from one fixture flows to another. Flushing the toilet may cause water to backup into the nearby bathtub or shower, or running the washing machine may cause water to run into a nearby toilet.
Actions to Take if Your Sewer is Blocked
If your sewer is blocked, taking fast action is important. A blocked sewer drain can send raw sewage flowing back into your home and up through your drains.
- Turn off the water. Turning off the water main, which will either be located outside your house or in your basement. If you can’t find your home’s water main, check out our previous post on the subject.
If you still can’t find the water main, turn off every plumbing fixture one at a time. Ask all members of your household to stop flushing toilets, running water through the sinks, bathing and showering. Turn off the washing machine, dishwasher and other appliances that use water.
- Relieve pressure through the sewer clean out line. The clean out line can often be found in the yard. Look for a short, round white pipe with a cap on it. Remove the cap and the water inside the sewer clean out line may come pouring out into the yard. Relieving the pressure like this prevents the water from running into your house, causing expensive damage.
- Call the plumber! A sewer clog is no joke. If your sewer is clogged, contact a licensed, experienced plumber right away. At Terry’s Plumbing, we use hydro-jetting to clear sewer lines. To make an appointment, contact us today!