Is your bathtub or kitchen sink pooled with dirty water?
Blocked drains are a tell-tale sign of a clogged sewer drain– when wastewater isn’t directed to the sewer system or the septic field, the flow is reversed. That means it goes up through toilets, bathtubs and drains.
A clogged sewer drain isn’t only a plumbing issue but a serious health concern because sewage contains microorganisms and harmful bacteria.
Sure, your DIY tricks will clear the clog for the time being, but you will have to get to the root cause of the issue. Or clogged drains will occur again, and over time they will damage the foundations of your property.
Unless you’re a certified plumber, you won’t know the causes of a sewage backup in your drain and how to fix the clogged sewer line. But don’t worry; this guide will help you identify clogs in the sewer line and fix them by trying out a few simple things. So, let’s get to the nitty gritty!
Signs Your Sewer Lines Are Clogged
Clogs don’t happen overnight; rather, they result from materials getting trapped within the sewer lines over time. Identifying clogged sewer lines is challenging, especially if you don’t know the fundamentals of plumbing.
The signs of a blocked sewer line are as follows:
1. Gurgling Drains
A normally functioning drain won’t make weird sounds, so gurgling noises from your sinks or toilet indicate that the sewer line is clogged.
2. Migrating Wastewater
Wastewater migrating to other drains of the home is also an early warning sign that your sewer lines are clogged. More often than not, you’re likely to notice this after flushing the toilet or doing the laundry.
3. Water Draining Slowly
At times, you’re doing household chores like washing utensils and water pools in the sink and drains very slowly or overflows. Homeowners often ignore water draining slowly, but it’s an indication that something’s wrong with the sewer line.
4. Frequent Clogs
If dealing with clogs has become a regular thing, something obstructs your sewer lines. Using a snake auger or vinegar-baking soda mixture may unclog them, but clogs will reoccur after some time unless you get rid of the build-up in the main sewer line.
Why is There Sewage Coming Up Through My Drains– The Root Cause
There are a variety of things that may lead to a sewage backup in your household drains. Here is a quick rundown of the five things likely to prevent water from flowing to the main sewer system or the septic tank.
Unintentionally, most homeowners pour grease down the kitchen drain while washing utensils or cooking food without even realising the damage it can cause to the plumbing.
Initially, grease tends to float on the water, but it settles on the top of the pipe after a while. When more grease and fats are poured down the kitchen sink, they clog the pipe, hindering water from flowing.
Another culprit responsible for the malfunctioning of sewer pipes is hair. When household members shower, multiple strands of their hair slide down the drain but cannot reach the sewer system.
Since hair passes through the bathroom drain daily, the accumulated hair strands form large clumps along with soap suds, obstructing water from flowing. The same holds true for pet hair, so a drain cover might be a better choice.
3. Garden Debris
The trees in your garden may also be responsible for clogging the sewer pipes because leaves, debris, rocks, tree roots, and twigs can make their way into the yard drain. Even rodents can clog the sewer lines by building nests with mud and sticks, preventing water from passing through the drain and leading to sewer backups.
4. Food Scraps
Much like grease, most homeowners thrust leftover food down the drain when rinsing the dishes. Generally, these food scraps settle in the drain pipe housed beneath the sink, which over time, turns into a smelly mass and clogs the drain.
5. Foreign Objects
Among the items that lead to drain clogs are sanitary napkins, toilet paper, toys, jewellery, bar soap bits and wet wipes. Whenever these foreign items are flushed down the drain, they get settled in the pipes, preventing water from flowing to the sewer system.
Easy Ways To Unclog The Sewer Line
1. Shut Off The Water Supply
Whenever you figure out a clog in the sewer line, the first thing to do is to shut off the water supply. Any extra water that passes through the drain will further aggravate the sewer line problem.
Generally, you’ll find the main shutoff valve in the basement of your home. For homes with an outside sewer cleanout line, unfastening the cap will allow the sewage backup to flow down the drain.
2. Inspect Vent Pipes
A blocked vent pipes also obstructs the water from flowing down the drain, so the next thing to do is inspect them. Rush to your home’s roof, look for the pipes and check to see if there’s any blockage. If they are clogged, use a retriever tool to unclog the pipes.
3. Use Drain Snakes
Drain snakes help clear clogs in the sewer line by “snaking” down the toilet line. First, spin it clockwise, then counterclockwise and take it out carefully to prevent damaging the toilet bowl.
4. Call Professionals
Even after using a drain snake, your sewer line remains clogged; calling for professionals would be the best bet. Professional plumbers are trained individuals who can locate the source of the clogs and have state-of-the-art equipment to unclog the sewer lines in the best possible manner.
Don’t Flush Your Problems Away: The Consequences Of Sewage Backup
Sewer line clogs are a nuisance for every homeowner but call for immediate attention like other plumbing system issues.
Since plumbing lines are complicated, it’s best to avoid taking the DIY route to unclog the sewer line. Even the slightest mistake could lead to severe damage, so calling for professionals is the best way forward.
The experts at WP Plumbing are the best team to call if you need a plumber in Melbourne. Thanks to our vast experience, expertise, and a range of modern tools, we can quickly locate the source of the problem and fix it. Call us today to speak with one of our friendly team!