8 signs of a clogged sewer line

A clogged main sewer line can cause major plumbing issues that can cause significant damage and inconvenience. It occurs when something blocks the flow of wastewater from your home to the main sewer line.

A variety of things, such as tree roots, grease buildup, or foreign objects, can cause this main line blockage. If left untreated, a clogged sewer line can lead to sewage backups, foul odors, and even health hazards. This article discusses 8 signs of a blocked sewer line and provides solutions for stopping and fixing the problem.

What Causes a Clogged Sewer Line?

Before we dive into the signs of a clogged main line, it’s important to understand what causes it. Here are some of the most common causes of a clogged main line:

Tree roots: Tree roots are one of the main culprits of a clogged sewer line. As trees grow, their roots can penetrate and damage sewer pipes, causing blockages.

Grease buildup: Grease and oil can accumulate in your main line over time, causing a blockage. This is especially common in kitchen drains where grease is often poured down the sink.

Be selective in what you flush: Things like paper towels, pads, and baby wipes can be flushed down the toilet and block the pipes.

Aging pipes: As cast iron sewer pipes age, they can become more susceptible to cracks and damage, which can lead to blockages.

8 Signs of a Clogged Sewer Line

Now that you know what can cause a clogged line, let’s look at the signs that indicate you may have a blockage in your sewer line.

1. Multiple drains are clogged

If you notice that multiple drains in your home are clogged at the same time, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line. This is because all of your home’s drains are connected to the main sewer line, so a blockage in the main line can affect all of your drains.

2. Slow draining or standing water in sinks and tubs

If you notice that water is draining slowly or not at all in your sinks, tubs, or showers, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line. This is especially true if multiple drains are affected.

3. Foul odors coming from drains

A clogged sewer line can cause foul odors to come from your drains. This is because the blockage can trap food particles, grease, and other debris, causing them to rot and emit a foul smell.

4. Gurgling sounds in drains

If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your drains, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line. This sound is caused by air trapped in the pipes due to a blockage.

5. Sewage backups

One of the most obvious signs of a clogged sewer line is sewage backups. If sewage is coming up through your drains or toilet, it’s a clear indication that there is a blockage in your sewer line.

6. Puddles in your yard

If you notice puddles of water in your yard, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line. This is because a blockage in the sewer line can cause wastewater to back up and seep out of the ground.

7. Unusual reactions when using plumbing fixtures

If you notice that your toilet bubbles when you run the sink or that water backs up in your shower when you flush the toilet, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line. This is because the blockage is affecting the flow of water in your plumbing system.

8. High water bills

If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill, it could be a sign of a clogged sewer line. This is because a blockage can cause water to back up and overflow, leading to excess water usage and a higher bill.

Who is Responsible for a Clogged Sewer Line?

Determining who is responsible for a clogged sewer line can be a tricky issue. In most cases, the homeowner is responsible for maintaining and repairing the sewer line that runs from their home to the main sewer line. However, if the blockage is caused by a problem with the main sewer line, the responsibility may fall on the city or municipality.

Mr. Rooter of St. Louis can help to determine who is responsible for maintaining the main sewer line in your area. Call us today at (314) 628-0826 if the blockage is caused by tree roots, it may be your responsibility to remove the tree and repair the sewer line.

How to Prevent a Clogged Residential Main Line

Prevention is always better than dealing with a clogged sewer line. Here are some tips to help you prevent this issue:

  • Avoid pouring grease and oil down your drains. Instead, dispose of them in the trash. 
  • Only a bite-sized amount of food should be put down your disposal, avoid adding egg shells as they will build up and dry inside your pipes, causing difficult blockages. 
  • Only flush toilet paper down your toilet. Avoid flushing items such as paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and baby wipes.
  • Have your sewer line inspected annually by a Mr. Rooter of St. Louis to catch any potential issues before they become major problems.
  • If you have trees on your property, have them inspected to ensure they are not causing damage to your sewer line.

What to Do if You Have a Clogged Sewer Line

If you suspect that you have a clogged sewer line, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Call Mr. Rooter of St. Louis: Our licensed plumbers will be able to diagnose the issue and determine the best course of action to clear the blockage.
  • Avoid using your plumbing fixtures: Until the blockage is cleared, avoid using your sinks, toilets, and showers to prevent further backups and damage.
  • Have Mr. Rooter of St. Louis perform a main line drain opening: Using a cable with a spoon-like tip can help find and, based on the type of blockage, dislodge and clear the clog, allowing your drains to flow as they should.
  • Have a camera inspection done: Once the blockage is cleared, Mr. Rooter of St. Louis can run a camera scope in your main sewer line to determine the cause of the clog and address any potential issues.
  • Have a Hydroscrub Cleaning done: Cabling is great for a short term fix, but for a more permanent, long-term solution, nothing beats HydroScrub; your drain and plumbing system will feel brand new.
  • Preventative Maintenance: Through our Home Advantage Plan we also offer preventative maintenance plans to keep your plumbing from clogging.Learn more here and enter to win a FREE Advantage Plan Membership. 

In Conclusion

A clogged sewer line is a serious plumbing issue that requires immediate attention. By knowing the signs of a clogged sewer line and taking preventative measures, you can avoid this problem and keep your plumbing system running smoothly. If you do encounter a clogged sewer line, be sure to call Mr. Rooter of St. Louis to address the issue and prevent further damage.