A sewer drain clog is a serious problem that needs to be taken care of right away. It will eventually affect all the plumbing fixtures in your house and can lead to serious problems.
There are several signs that will alert you to the problem that your sewer drain is clogged.
• Multiple plumbing fixtures clogged – One fixture that is backing up may only be a localized problem. However, when more than one fixture is backing up, that is a sign of a probable clogged sewer drain. Since toilets have the biggest drain line and a direct path to the main sewer line, they are usually the first ones to show the problem. It would be unusual to have a clogged drain and the toilets were working properly. Next in line would be the bathtub and shower, as they are located lower than the sinks. Also, signs of a clogged drain will show up first in the lower levels of your house, so if the lower floor or basement toilet and sink are clogged, you need to call a plumber right away.
• Unusual events when using plumbing fixtures – This could be several different things. If you flush the toilet and the bathtub backs up, that is an unusual reaction. Another would be turning on the tap in the sink and seeing bubbles in the toilet, the toilet begins draining or the toilet water rises. Lastly, if the washing machine is draining and any nearby fixtures backup or a toilet overflows, then you probably have a clog somewhere.
• Main line clean out – If your system has a main line clean out, that can help determine if you have a clog. The main line clean out is a three or four inch diameter pipe that comes up from the ground with a cap on it. Open the clean out by either pulling off the cap or unscrewing it. You will be able to see any backed up water there. If water is flowing up and out of the clean out, or of there is standing water, that will tell you that you definitely have a sewer drain clog.
There are also some other basic signs as well including the following:
• The odor of raw sewage coming from your drains.
• A gurgling sound that might indicate a clog somewhere in the system.
• Water seeping out around a floor drain could be an indicator of a clog.
• Another thing to watch is the toilet as you flush it. If the water level is not the same after flushing as it was before, you might have a problem.
• Lastly, look outside along your sewer line. If there are trees nearby, their roots may have encroached into the pipes and could be clogging the drain.
A sewer drain clog is considered a plumbing emergency. There could be water damage, mold could be forming, or the water could spread bacteria. If any of these signs are apparent, it is imperative to call a plumbing professional as soon as possible.