Sewage Drains & Sewer Line Clogs

If you have a sewage drain system, you probably don't worry about it very much...until something goes wrong. And when a main sewer line to a house gets blocked, a lot can go wrong. Here's what you need to know.

Sewage Drains: How Do Clogs Happen?

Bad news! Sewer lines are typically managed by the local government and are heavy duty lines designed for efficient waste management. When sewer lines clog, this poses a big problem for your home. It can cause damage, a serious stink, and a cascade of plumbing troubles.

When people talk about a sewage drain clog, they typically mean a main line clog, which means that all the wastewater drains in your house will start malfunctioning. Several different issues can cause this problem, but the most common are broken pipes. When pipes are broken – say, by growing tree roots – sewage cannot drain and backs up.

Signs of Sewer Drain Issues

  • Multiple sewage drain issues: You flush the toilet – wastewater starts gurgling in your bathtub. You try draining your bathtub – your sink begins to overflow. These are classic symptoms of a main line clog. If only one drain is clogged, this is a more localized problem. If your whole house is experiencing backed-up, stinking drains, then you have a real issue.
  • Bubbling water: If your toilet water or filled sink is bubbling weirdly, this indicates some serious backflow issues deep down in your sewer line.
  • A filled "sewer clean out" drain: A sewer clean out drain is often attached to your house or nearby, with a threaded cap on the pipe that allows access to your sewer line (mileage may vary here: some homes do not have these pipes). If you see sewage flowing out of, or building up in, this clean-out drain, it is 1) very gross and 2) a sign of a serious sewer clog.
  • Really bad smells: Sometimes your first and best sign of a sewage drain clog is that stench permeating your house and smelling...well, like a sewer.

Fixing the sewer clog

If a main sewer line becomes clogged, you need to get it fixed ASAP to prevent some very widespread, expensive plumbing problems. Before you do anything else, call the experts at Ragsdale. We'll walk you through how to shut off your water and we'll send out a technician pronto to help locate the problem.

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