SIGNS YOUR MAIN SEWER LINE IS CLOGGED
AUG 03, 2017
A sewer clog of any kind is a hassle. But if your main sewer line is clogged, the problem is even more pronounced. In this article, we tackle some of the common symptoms of a clogged main sewer line and what homeowners should know if they suspect that they have such an issue with their plumbing system.
ABOUT THE MAIN SEWER LINE
Plumbing is one of those things that most people do not know a ton about … So long as it is working properly, out of sight, out of mind, right? But to help you understand what may cause your main sewer line to become clogged, it is worth getting a brief explanation. All of the plumbing fixtures in your home (toilets, sinks, bathtubs, etc.) have pipes that connect to a main sewer line that is then responsible for moving all of your home’s waste water away from your house and into the sewer. So knowing what a pain isolated clogs can be, it is easy to see how a clogged main sewer line multiplies the problem.
HOW DOES A MAIN SEWER LINE GET CLOGGED?
Your sewer lines can get clogged in a number of ways and should be expected at some point eventually over the course of owning your home, provided you own it for a significant amount of time. Tree roots, for instance, can interfere with sewer lines. This is especially true of older, more mature trees. As their roots grow in length, they also expand, making it even more likely that they will clog your sewer line. This is a very important thing to keep an eye. Much of the time when you discover that roots have interfered, it is too late and very expensive.
Sagging sewer lines are also a common culprit in homes with older pipe systems. As a standard rule of thumb, sewer lines drop about ¼ inch per foot. But as pipes age and the ground settles, the drop can increase in intensity, leading to backups in the sewer line.
Flushing inappropriate items down the toilet or washing down other drains in your home can also contribute to a clogged main sewer line. You would likely notice an isolated clog in one plumbing fixture in your home first, but in some cases, things like grease, feminine hygiene products or other products that do not easily disintegrate will find their way and accumulate in the main sewer line as well.
Alternatively, it could be that age or some other factor has led to the sewer line becoming broken or collapsed. One thing to also keep in mind in addition to age is past history of the neighborhood. Ask your neighbors or the utility companies if there have been any major problems and what they were. This can help you get ahead of any potential problems.
CLOGGED SEWER LINE WARNING SIGNS
If you have a clogged main sewer line, the good news is that there are lots of warning signs. In contrast to when you have a isolated clog, rather than impacting drainage in a single plumbing fixture, you will find that all are impacted. For instance, when running your dishwasher, you might notice you toilets acting up or water backing into sinks.
Toilets and other drain may make odd gurgling noises or make another sound similar to coffee percolating. If you have any in-ground drains, you will likely notice water backing up there first.
If the main sewer line is clogged seriously, you will likely even have raw sewage backing up through the drains in your home, leading to significant potential damage.
CAN I PREVENT A CLOGGED SEWER MAIN LINE?
While some of the causes for a clogged sewer main line are unavoidable (tree roots and collapsing pipes, for instance), but proper plumbing maintenance is the primary way to avoid plumbing issues where possible. Being diligent about what you put down your drains, snaking your pipes annually and following any other recommendations a plumber may have for your home in particular are ways that you can minimize the chance of a clogged main sewer line.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A CLOGGED MAIN SEWER LINE?
Shut the water off in your house completely if you have a clogged main sewer line. While clogs in secondary lines allow you to continue using other plumbing fixtures, a clogged main line will be impacted by any water flowing through your pipes. Then, seek out the opinion of a reputable plumber as soon as possible (we offer same-day appointments). Once a professional is on the scene, they will be able to let you know for certain if the main line is the issue and assess the severity of the clog.
To remedy your clogged main sewer line, there are a number of options available ranging from a traditional snake all the way to trenchless sewer replacement. Call us today for an appointment ASAP and we will help you confidently make decision about how to best handle your main sewer line clog.