One of the most devastating circumstances a homeowner can experience is a sewer line backing up and flooding their home. Most people know sewer lines are the main highway for waste water to drain from their homes to underground sewer mains. We tend not to pay much attention to them, out of sight, out of mind, right? Until there is an issue, then it’s too late. We use our home’s plumbing systems every day, they are an important aspect of our hygiene and overall health and well-being. We sometimes take advantage of this great privilege, only to realize how important it truly is once we can’t use it. That’s why it’s so important for us to watch for early warning signs of major issues and not abuse our home’s plumbing. Here are some warning signs that your sewer lines may be on the verge of a backup.
Bathtub or Shower Drain Gurgles when Toilet is Flushed
One of the first signs you will encounter when your sewer lines backup is water backing up out of drains or toilets. All of your home’s plumbing is connected to a main line which carries waste water out and away from your home. If there is just one problem drain, then you may not have much to worry about and it could be a simple fix from a plumber. If your toilets are percolating after you use the washing machine or dishwasher, or if your sinks and baths are making gurgling noises and backing up. This signals a much bigger problem.
Shower Drain Smells like Sewage or Rotten Eggs
This is not a normal occurrence and could be a sign that raw sewage is backing up into your pipes and should be addressed immediately.
Tub or Sink Drains Slowly
If all of your drains are draining at a snail’s pace, this is also cause for concern. If it is just one sink, chances are it is just that plumbing line that is clogged. If it is all of your drains, then you would be best served calling a plumber to diagnose the issue. It is likely to be a clog in your main line.
Common Causes of Main Sewer Line Clog
More often than not, tree roots are the culprits of clogged sewer lines. Older homes are more susceptible to these natural occurrences because they house older, more mature trees in their yards. The tree’s roots become entangled around the sewer line, eventually breaking through and tunneling into the sewer line, which causes it to back up. The tree roots will need to be removed or cut back substantially to fix this issue, along with replacement of the pipes. Other common causes we see are clogs due to the flushing of feminine products, baby wipes, thick toilet paper, paper towels and other foreign objects not meant to be flushed.
How to Clear a Main Sewer Line Clog
When a home’s sewer line backs up and flows into a home, anything the water touches becomes contaminated and will need to be disposed of. This is referred to as “black water” which contains dangerous pathogens that will make people ill. If a person sees these signs and chooses to ignore the problem, it can have devastating and very costly consequences. If you happen to find yourself in the midst of a sewer back up, shut off the water source to that item by turning the water shut off valve to the off position. Next, locate your home’s sewer line cleanout line which is usually a small, round, white pipe with a rubber cap in your yard or next to the house and remove the cap to release the pressure that has built up, so you can drain the contaminated water to the outside instead of inside you home. Then call a plumber right away to come out and assess the situation and make necessary repairs.
Sewer Drain & Line Inspections, Cleaning & More in Staten Island, Maspeth, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers, Queens, NYC Boroughs, New York City NY
The Original $49.95 Plumber offers 24/7 emergency services and will be there when you call. We also offer water draining and extraction from flooded basements if needed. Give us a call if you have further questions or need assistance today!