How to Tell if Your Sewer is Backed Up
Plumbing systems are made up of two primary components. These are the water supply and waste disposal. The part of the sewage system that handles the waste disposal is fantastic for handling all of your home’s waste until that system gets backed up.
Thankfully, there are some early warning signs that your system may need some attention. Often times, if you can recognize these signs early on, you can mitigate future problems before they become truly problematic.
Warning Signs of Sewer Backups
Multiple Drains in Your Home are Clogged
All of the drain lines of your home are connected to one central system. When this system is backed up, all of the attached drainage lines will be affected. This will result in water backing up – instead of draining to the waste disposal portion of your plumbing, it will sit stagnantly.
Worse than that is if there is a loud gurgling noise in your drains. Primarily this will happen in the bathtub or shower, sinks, and even the toilet. This noise and gurgling action are caused by the wastewater coming in contact with air pockets as the water tries to drain passed any clogs in the drains, pipes, or your septic system in general.
This forces air bubbles to the surface of the water. The more water that you use, the louder and more persistent the gurgling will become until there are no more air pockets left.
Sewer has Strong, Unpleasant Smells
You can’t mistake the scent of sewage. It’s unpleasant and if you’re particularly sensitive to strong smells, it can even make you sick to your stomach.
If you catch a strong sewage smell in your home from your drains, toilet, or shower, it’s often a strong indicator of a backup in the main sewage line or system.
Water or Waste Overflow
Water may not flow back into the same source it was released from to reach your septic system. If your sewer clog is bad enough, it may overflow into other fixtures entirely. Water or sewage coming up through the bathtub or out of the shower drain is a clear sign that your sewer is backed up and needs to be addressed accordingly.
Check Your Sewer Cleanout
Not every home has a sewer cleanout, but they’re great to have. It is marked by a circular lid made of either plastic or concrete and is usually marked and labeled as “Clean Out.”
If your home does have one, make sure you check it routinely, especially if you believe there may be a clog in your sewage line. Remove the cap and check for any standing sewage water. The water may be flowing out of the pipe or standing in the pipe itself.
Sewer is Backed Up, What you need to do?
If you find that your sewer line is clogged or otherwise backed up, there are steps you can take to prevent any further complications or, worse, possible damage.
Shut off the main water supply valve immediately. This will help to stop any excess water or sewage from flooding your system. It will also help to prevent thousands of dollars in damages and further repair.
After that, make sure that you contact a plumber in your area that has experience in, or even specializes in, sewage repair or blockage removal. They should arrive with a line cleaning machine to force any clogs out of the system for removal and should be able to use a camera scope to be sure that there are no further concerns.