Unblocking the toilet

Unblocking the toilet

Clogged Sewer Line: Causes, Signs, and Prevention Measures

by Nicholas Chambers

The sewer line transports all the wastewater from the home to the underground sewer mains. Sewer lines are usually installed underground and out of sight; therefore, many homeowners rarely think about them until they are clogged. A blocked sewer line can cause a major headache as all the water in the home has nowhere to go. If they are not unclogged in time, they can lead to major plumbing problems such as raw sewage coming up through the interior drains. To avoid this, you need to understand the causes of clogged sewage lines, the common signs, and how to prevent this catastrophe in your home.

Causes of a clogged sewer line

The primary cause of a clogged sewage line is clogged drains. Usually, one clogged drain may not paralyze the entire sewage line; however, if many interior drains are clogged, the water will not be able to go through to the sewer line. Such drains include those that dispense water from the toilet, showers, kitchen and other plumbing fixtures in the home.

Another common cause of clogged sewer lines is overgrown tree roots. Tree roots can break the sewer line pipe, grow into it, and prevent the efficient flow of wastewater into the sewer mains. Also, once the pipe is broken, mud, stones, and other debris may find their way into the line and clog it. In many cases, this problem isn't easily identified, unless there is an apparent leak along the sewer line.

Signs of a clogged sewer line

The following problems with your home's plumbing system could be indicators of a clogged sewer line.

  • A loud gurgle sound coming from the toilet or the drain.
  • Multiple clogged drains in the home.
  • Water coming up through the bath or shower drain when you flush the toilet.
  • The water level in the toilet rising every time you run a faucet in the bathroom.
  • A foul smell of raw sewage coming from any of the drains in your home.

Prevention measures

Here are some actions that you can take to avoid clogging the pipes in your home and eventually the main drain line.

  • Avoid flushing tampons, wipes, cotton, or any other hygiene products in the toilet as they will not dissolve. Instead, they will accumulate in the drains and cause a blockage.
  • Don't pour cooking grease, oils, fat, coffee grounds, and other solids down the sink drain. Instead, make use of the disposal.
  • Install a cover or a hair trap under the shower drains to trap hair and prevent clogged shower drains. Remove and clean the hair trap regularly.

Call a professional plumber if you notice any of the above signs with your plumbing system. DIY unclogging of the sewer line may fail, especially if you don't have the necessary equipment and expertise to identify and resolve the underlying problem.


About Me

Unblocking the toilet

If I didn't know better, I'd think my toddler started each day with a challenge to throw something new and different down the toilet. He has managed to put nearly anything can imagine down the toilet. I have gotten pretty good at figuring out what has gone missing down the loo and whether it's something I can fix or something that I need to call the plumber to help me fix it. This blog is for other mums of toddlers who need to get toys out of the toilet and get the toilet back to working condition as soon as possible!