3 Warning Signs You’ve Got a Clogged Sewer Line

2014 May 09
Posted in: Plumbing
Clogged sewer line

“How can I tell if I have a sewer line clog or just a regular clog?” That’s the question we’ll answer in this blog.

This is an important question because a sewer line clog can cause raw sewage to back up the drains and into your home, causing costly water damage.

Let’s avoid that shall we?

Look for these 3 warning signs that your sewer line is clogged.

1)  Multiple drains are backed up

Check these plumbing fixtures:

  • Toilets
  • Bathtubs
  • Showers

Are all of their drains making a gurgling sound as they back up with water?

Chances are, you have a main sewer line clog.

2) Water backs up in odd places when using plumbing fixtures

Do these 3 things:

Flush your toilet—Does water start gurgling up your tub or shower drain? That means water is trying to leave, but is blocked by a sewer line clog. So it goes back up into the lowest point, which is usually a shower drain.

Use your washing machine—Does your shower drain or toilet start to overflow with water? Again, that means water is trying to leave, but a clog is blocking it and forces it to go elsewhere.

Run your bathroom sink—Does your toilet water rise or bubble up? Most likely, you have a sewer line clog.

3) There’s drainage at the sewer clean out

“What the heck is a sewer clean out?” you might be thinking. Well, it’s typically a white or black pipe with a threaded cap that provides access to the sewer line so clogs can easily be cleaned out.

To find the sewer cleanout, look around the sides of your home near the bushes. If you have a home that’s built before 1978, you may not have a sewer line cleanout.

Once you find a cleanout, screw off or pull off the cap. If sewer water is flowing up and out of the pipe or standing in the pipe, this confirms you have a sewer line clog.

Clearing a clogged main sewer line

First, shut off your main water supply to your home. To do that, look for the water shut off valve, which is usually located:

  • In the basement or crawlspace
  • Near the water heater
  • In the garage
  • In a water meter box located outside your home near the street

Second, call a professional plumber who can clear sewer lines.

There’s usually a 2-step process most professional sewer line cleaners take to clear a sewer line clog:

  1. Run a drain auger(also called a “plumber’s snake”) through the sewer cleanout to clear the clog. If this does not work, the the plumber will...
  2. Use a fiber optic sewer line camera to look down the sewer line to figure out what to do next.

The clog could be caused by the wrong items being flushed, old pipes not being able to handle the traffic - especially if you have a lot of company over. Or, if you have an older home with mature trees on your property, there may be a chance that the roots have grown into the pipes underground causing the back up. These answers are usually not easy to identify until a fiber optic sewer line camera is utilized.

Need a sewer line cleaner?

Do you think you have a sewer line clog? George Brazil can confirm it for you. If you do have a sewer line clog, we can unclog it, too. We serve Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Glendale and the entire Phoenix metro area.

Contact us online if it is not an emergency or call us right away if you need immediate help at 602-257-9000.

George Brazil has been keeping Phoenix-area homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient since 1955. Contact us online for more information about any of our services.
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