How to Know When Your Sewer Line is Clogged
A clog in the main sewer line that goes ignored or unnoticed can lead to costly repairs but can also expose your family to contaminated water. To help keep your family and home safe, we’ve covered 4 warning signs that your home’s main sewer line is clogged.
Sign #1: Multiple backed-up drains
Check the following water fixtures:
If more than one drain is slow moving, gurgling, smells bad or has water backing up, you most likely have a main sewer clog. You see, your home’s drain lines carry wastewater away from your home and are designed like a tree—the “trunk” is the main sewer line while the “branches” are smaller, secondary drain lines that connect to each water fixture (all secondary lines feed into your main sewer line). And because every water fixture’s drain eventually connects to the main sewer line, a blockage in that main line will affect various drains in your home.
Sign #2: Drainage in sewer clean out
If you see sewage standing in (or draining out of) your home’s sewer cleanout, you have a main sewer clog. So what exactly is a “sewer cleanout” and how can you find yours? Well, a “sewer cleanout” is a pipe that connects directly to your home’s main sewer line and gives plumbers direct access to clear any blockages. In most Colorado homes, the sewer cleanout is usually located just outside your home or in the basement and is marked by a round or rectangular cap (sometimes titled “sewage” or “cleanout”).
Sign #3: Sewage in floor drain
If your main sewer line is clogged, all the sewage and waste water sitting in the pipes have nowhere to escape. Which means, eventually, the sewage will force its way into a secondary drain.
And when this happens, you’ll soon be able to see (and smell) sewage coming up from floor drains.
Sign #4: Water backs up in shower when toilet flushes
If you notice that water backs up in random places as you’re using water fixtures, you likely have a blockage in the main sewer line.Two common examples of this include:
- When you flush your toilet, water backs up into the bathtub/shower.
- When you run your washing machine, sinks or toilets start to overflow.
You see, a clog in the main sewer line means all the wastewater that is trying to leave your home now has nowhere to go and is eventually forced back up other drain lines.