Signs of Clogged Sewers

After you’ve tried plunging the pipes to unclog them, there are other signs of sewer clogs that you can look out for in order to get your drains flowing smoothly again. The following are common signs of sewer clogs or blocked drains. If you see any of these signs, call a local plumber immediately before the clog worsens and you have an even bigger problem on your hands. 

Toilets That Are Running

A common sign of clogged sewers is a toilet that constantly runs. Before calling a plumber, check that there isn’t too much toilet paper in it or an item like a diaper, which could be blocking it. Also make sure you are not running anything down your drains other than water and soap. These objects can easily clog up your pipes. 

Bathroom Faucets That Are Running

Leaky faucets, if left unattended, can waste hundreds of gallons of water a year. If you’re noticing drips or other signs that your faucet might be leaking, have it checked out by a plumber immediately. Also make sure your toilet isn’t running—check by flushing it and listening for any noises from under your sink or in another part of your house. 

A Slow Drain

One sign that your sewer is clogged is if your toilet, bathtub or other fixture takes a long time to drain. This can mean that something has been flushed down a toilet and has become stuck in a pipe, but it can also mean there's simply too much solid matter for drains to handle at once. 

No Hot Water 

The most common sign that your sewer is blocked or clogged is no hot water. When you flush your toilet or turn on your faucet, you want to be able to enjoy hot showers and sink fulls of steaming dishes, not cold or tepid ones. If there’s no hot water when you try to run it, don’t rush out and buy a new water heater; more likely than not, there’s just a blockage in your sewer. 

Low Water Pressure

Many people don’t realize that they have a clog in their sewer lines until they notice an unusually low water pressure, even when taking a shower. Often, if you’re experiencing low water pressure, a clog may be to blame. If you aren’t sure what could be causing your low water pressure, or it just doesn’t seem to go away on its own, then it might be time to contact your local plumber for a consultation. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar for Unclogging Pipes

If you’re noticing a slow drain or clog in your sink, tub, or toilet, give baking soda and vinegar a try. It’s an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative to commercial chemical drain cleaners. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down your drains followed by 1 cup vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes (it’ll bubble and fizz). Then, follow with boiling water to flush out clogs.

Summary on Clogged Sewer Symptoms

The first sign that you have a clog in your sewer lines is an increase in water pressure, which can happen if grease has accumulated or a foreign object has been caught. Other signs include a drop in water pressure and even sewage backing up into your bathtub or toilet. If you notice any of these things happening, look for additional signs like discolored or smelly water coming from your drains. In order to properly diagnose a clog, call a professional to help you determine where it's located and how severe it is so that you can take appropriate steps to address it. What’s Causing Your Sewer Backup? Identifying where in your house or business the problem is originating will help both you and your plumber better understand what needs to be done to solve it.

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More on Sewer Line Cleaning & Repair

If you are looking for more info, see our Sewer Line Cleaning & Repair Q & A or more Sewer Line Cleaning & Repair Blogs below! 

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