The last thing any homeowner wants to deal with is a clogged sewer line, but they can and do happen. It’s important to act quickly if a clog occurs to avoid a bigger, more expensive problem in the future.

How do you know if your sewer line is clogged? Here are four signs to look for.

1. The Toilet Gurgles or Has Trouble Flushing

The toilet is usually the first place that you notice issues with a sewer line, as the toilet has a direct path to the main drain.

If you have a clog in your sewer line, you may notice that the toilet has trouble flushing or gurgles when the water is running down the tub, sink or washing machine drains. This is one of the most obvious signs that your sewer line is clogged. 

2. Your Home Has Multiple Backed Up Drains

If you’re dealing with multiple backed up drains, there’s a good chance that you have a sewer clog. Check your toilets, showers, sinks and bathtubs. If more than one drain smells bad, is slow moving, making gurgling noises or has water backing up, then you probably have a sewer clog.

Every drain in your home connects to the main sewer line at some point, so a blockage would affect multiple drains in the home. 

3. Water Backs Up in the Shower

If water is backing up in weird places, like the shower, when you use water fixtures, then you probably have a clog in your sewer line.

Maybe water backs up into the tub when you flush the toilet, or sinks and toilets start overflowing when you run the washing machine.

When there’s a clog in the sewer line, all of the wastewater that is trying to leave your home has nowhere to go. Eventually, the wastewater is forced back up into other drains in your home.

4. Toilet Gurgles or Overflows When You Run the Sink

Clogs can sometimes cause trapped air in the plumbing system. When this happens, the toilet may start gurgling or water levels may rise when you start running water in the sink or you use the washing machine.

Depending on the severity of the clog, the toilet may start overflowing if you run the water for too long. This can create a messy and potentially expensive issue, particularly if the overflow causes a flood in your home.

Another telltale sign of a sewer issue is a sewage smell coming from the drains in your home. The odor is usually strong and impossible to miss. If you’re smelling raw sewage in your drains, it’s time to call in a professional. That smell is an indication that there is a clog that needs to be repaired as soon as possible.

If you notice any of these signs, call a local plumber. You may need to have a drain inspection performed. An inspection will allow the plumber to look inside of your pipes and pinpoint the problem. Don’t wait to call in a professional. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.


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