August 5, 2022
Plumbing issues and specifically main sewer blockages can be a major headache. The longer you let them go unchecked the worse the problem can grow and the sooner you can recognize the warning signs of a main sewer line blockage, the better. A clog in the main sewer line that goes ignored or unrecognized can lead to costly repairs or can expose you and 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.
Let’s take a look at the tell-tale signs of a clogged main sewer line…
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).
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. The visual will help you understand how your home drains and show how a main backup can impact multiple drains in your home.
To diagnose 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.
If you see sewage standing in your yard or draining out of your home’s sewer line cleanout pipe, you likely 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 to give 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”).
Examples of what your sewer cleanout might look like:
After you find your sewer cleanout, look and see if you see sewage standing in (or draining out of) the sewer cleanout. If sewage or dirty water is coming out of your home’s sewer line cleanout, or if there is water standing around the cleanout pipe, this confirms you have a main sewer line clog. You should immediately call the professionals at Plumbline to clear the main sewer line clog of your Colorado home.
Most homes built today are required by local code to have floor drains that lead to a collection pit where a sump pump carries the water to the surface. Many times the floor drains are located on the base level floor or in basements.
If your main sewer line is clogged, all the sewage and waste water sitting in the pipes have nowhere to escape. This 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 that are commonly located in bathrooms, kitchen, laundry rooms, and basements.
As the name would suggest, floor drains are secondary drains that are commonly installed on the floor in places where standing water could become dangerous or hazardous. Floor drains commonly function as a secondary gateway for excess water to flow out of an area. If your floor drain backs up or becomes slow to drain, it’s most likely because your plumbing system has a main sewer line clog.
A floor drain backing up is usually due to wastewater looking for a place to escape when there is a clog in the main sewer line. If sewage is backing up in your floor drain, it’s likely a sign of a main drain clog that needs to be cleared by a professional plumber. If you have periodic floor drain back-up problems, scheduled, routine maintenance performed by a professional plumber is also something you should consider.
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:
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.
If your toilet is backing up and sewage is coming out of your shower or bathtub drains, you most likely have a main drain clog. It’s important that you call a professional plumber to to evaluate your main sewer line to determine the source of the problem and to make repairs before the issue gets worse.
A clogged plumbing system can be quite frustrating. And if not rectified fast, it can cause serious and expensive damage to your home. Though some homeowners have the plumbing knowledge to take on a DIY drain clearing project, seeking the help of a professional plumber is always the best solution, especially if you prefer to avoid making the situation even worse.
It may be difficult to determine the source of the main drain clog without having the right tools. This is where a professional plumber can help. They will have the experience, knowledge, and technology needed to pinpoint the location of the clog that is affecting your home’s plumbing system.
Sometimes, hot and soapy water can help loosen whatever is clogged in the drain. However, it’s important to note that hot water works best on clogs caused by grease, fats, oil, and organic matter. It doesn’t work so well on clogs caused by hair or other substances.
This may take a few tries to work, and you should definitely avoid using this method if you have PVC pipes or porcelain sink bowls.
Dish Soap and Hot Water
Boil eight cups of water it in a pot and mix in a few tablespoons of dish soap. Slowly pour the mixture down the sink or drain.
The best way to unclog the main drain is to use a professional plumbing snake system. However, if you’re a first-timer, it’s important that you know how to use a plumbing snake, because it can actually damage your pipes if used improperly. We recommend always seeking the help of a professional plumber rather than attempting to snake your plumbing system on your own.
In Colorado, the average cost for drain clearing ranges from $100 to $500. The price varies depending on factors such as the severity and location of the clog.
For your convenience, you can request an appointment in one of two ways: