Blocked drains are a common household problem, but sometimes the source of the problem lies deeper than the pipe that serves a single sink or toilet. Sometimes, a blockage in the main sewer line that takes waste away from your property can cause drains in the home to drain slowly or back up completely. Here are a few key signs to watch out for that can signal this kind of blockage.
1. More Than One Blocked Drain
Sewer line clogs typically result in several drains in the home becoming blocked at the same time. If you notice one sink or shower stall draining slowly, check all the other drains in your home to see if they have the same problem.
2. Worse Blockages Lower in the Home
In the case of a main sewer line blockage, drains located on the ground floor or in the basement are usually the first to be affected. However, if you ignore the problem long enough, the effect is likely to impact drains on higher floors as well. Check the drains in your basement regularly to ensure they are clear.
3. Bubbling in Toilets
Main sewer line blockages often result in air bubbling up from drains. This is very noticeable in toilets, where the water in the bowl visibly and audibly bubbles at random times. You might also notice gurgling noises coming from the toilet or from the drains in your home.
4. Interactions Between Drains
One of the most tell-tale signs of a main sewer line clog is unusual interactions arising between the various drains in your home. For example, you might notice that waste water appears in your shower stall or bathtub when you flush the toilet, or you might hear the toilet bubbling while you take a shower. These effects arise because waste water is not able to leave your home via the main sewer line, so it circulates around inside your home plumbing system instead.
5. Bad Odours
Sewer line blockages can lead to bad smells throughout your home. Sewage and waste water cannot drain away, which means they will hang around in your pipes and start to smell as bacteria break down the solid waste. Sewage regurgitating from drains in the home can be a major health hazard, so it is important not to ignore these smells. Instead, call a plumber so they can find the source of the blockage and give you a quotation for repair.