When the sewer system in your home is dealing with your waste water efficiently you are unlikely to give a second thought about the state of your plumbing, but there could easily be problems mounting that you will soon find out about when things go wrong.
You will usually have to get a company with sewer jetters to help you fix a problem with a clogged sewer line, but it often pays to be alert to any signs of a problem at an early stage so the problem doesn’t get any worse, leading to avoidable damage to your pipework.
Bad habits such as pouring grease down the sink will lead to a gradual buildup of solid particles and when it creates a blockage this can cause waste water to get trapped inside the pipes in your home.
Here are some of the telltale signs that indicate you may have a clogged sewer line.
What’s that smell?
One of the first and most obvious signs that you have a blockage problem is the unmistakable stench that is coming from your sink, toilet, or shower cubicle.
A really unpleasant odour coming from these exit points is usually a clear indication that the drain has become clogged and the water can’t drain away properly.
A long time to drain away
As well as suffering from a really unpleasant smell in your bathroom that you can’t seem to get rid of, you could also notice that the waste water is taking an age to drain away each time you use the sink or bath area.
A good clue that you have a drainage problem is when all of the drains are noticeably slower in letting the water go down. Every one of your drains is connected to the sewer line and it is highly likely that you have a clogged sewer line when they are all slow to drain.
Keep an eye on the water level
Another good clue that you might have a clogged sewer line is when the water level in your toilet is higher than usual.
You might notice that the level rises and falls for no apparent reason. If this is happening it is due to changes in water pressure caused by a blockage.
If you notice a gurgling sound
As well as using your eyes and nose to spot a potential problem you can also use your ears to listen out for a gurgling sound coming from your drains.
A typical scenario would be to flush your toilet and hear a gurgling sound coming from the sink.
If your plumbing system has become noisy it should be investigated.
Water coming out of the cleanout
Plumbers install an upright pipe that is designed to clear a clogged line. This is called a clean-out, and if you discover that water is flowing out of that pipe it is a clear indication that your sewer line is clogged.
If you spot any of these problems in your home you should call in a professional straight away as waste water is a health hazard and the damage could get worse if you don’t tackle the problem immediately.