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Warning Signs It May Be Your Main Sewer Line

Every home has a sewer line attached that transports waste water away from the home to underground sewer mains.

When a clog occurs in the plumbing within our homes, we notice. It backs up. It causes an immediate problem.

But few of us notice the signs of a clog in the sewer line. A sewer line clog can lead to raw sewage backup coming through the drains in your home, which could lead to significant damage and expensive restoration. Here’s what you should pay attention to.

Clogged Drains and Toilets

The most common red flags show up as water backing up out of the drains or the toilets, or a gurgling sound coming from the drains when not in use. If you notice your toilet gurgling when your washing machine is in use, it’s your home’s plumbing talking to you. If you get water on the floor around the drain in the basement, it’s a telltale sign.

Clogs can occur in both the sewer main or in one of the secondary lines. Think of your house like a tree. It has one main line that enters into your house with a lot of secondary lines branching off once it enters. If the clog is in the main, it means any water used in your house will have problems. If the clog is in the secondary, it’s an isolated incident.

A clogged sewer line will show up in many places. You’ll find backups in different locations in your home: a clogged toilet and a backup kitchen sink, for instance. It also won’t affect it every time. A toilet may seem to flush okay at one point, with problems the next.

The primary cause of clogged sewer lines in older homes are tree roots. If you have an older home with lush, full grown landscaping, chances are the tree roots have searched out the pipes looking for water. In newer homes, the main cause of a clogged sewer line is feminine hygiene products.

If you suspect a clog, the answer isn’t to dump chemical drain cleaners down the pipes. That will do little for larger clogs, and in fact will corrode the system, instead of helping.

Instead, request a sewer line inspection the moment you suspect you may have a problem. Sewer line cleaning involves using a drain snake, or an auger, through the clog to clear it. If they can’t find a problem, they will send a camera down to inspect where the problem lies.

Do you suspect you have a sewer line clog?

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