While most homeowners know that they will need to manage maintenance issues once they buy a home, many people neglect to consider the plumbing system. Here are four signs that your sewer line may be clogged and what you can do to fix it.

What is your main sewer line?

Your home’s sewer system consists of one main line and several branches of pipes that lead to other water sources, such as sinks, toilets, and tubs. The main sewer line is responsible to transport all waste from your house to the main sewer system. It then moves it to the water treatment facility.

Four Signs That Your Sewer Line is Clogged

A clog in the main sewer line can cause problems with all of your plumbing systems. If it isn’t addressed quickly, it could be costly and potentially dangerous. The following signs indicate that your main sewer line may be clogged:

Water backing up in your toilet or sink

Water backing up in the toilet or sink is one of the signs that there’s a problem at the main sewage line. A gurgling sound or water coming back from the drain may be heard. It is possible that the backup is isolated and affects only one part of your home’s plumbing.

A clogged toilet will not back up into your kitchen sink. If water is coming from the basement drain after flushing the toilet, it’s likely that the main line is the problem.

Slow Drainage

When washing dishes, washing your hands, or showering, keep an eye on your drains. It is not unusual for hair to block the shower drain, causing water to slow down.

If you notice a slow draining problem in multiple parts of your home, it is likely that there is a blockage in the main line. If slow drains are a common theme in your home, you may need to inspect your main line.

Funky Smells

If your sewer line is blocked, you may smell a foul odor from your basement sink, tub or drains. You may smell sewage if you have a blocked pipe. You should be on the lookout for sewage that is being pushed up from the floor or into the sink.

Flooded Yard

Your main line could be clogged if water collects in your yard. You might not see problems right away because sewer lines are often buried many feet below the ground. A sewer line clog can cause standing water in your yard or a foul-smelling smell. The smell might be present before water surfaces.

Are You Located Near Your Main Sewer Line?

Access to the main sewer line should be found in your crawl space, garage, basement or garage. The main line pipe is approximately 4 inches long with a screw top. You may also find your main sewer line outside of your home. You can check near your foundation or the municipal sewer lines.

Why is my main sewer line clogged?

There are many reasons why your main sewer line may become blocked. The most common reasons for clogging your main sewer line are:

  • Broken or damaged pipes
  • Tree roots grow into the sewer line
  • Flushing unsafe products repeatedly (hygiene products and toys, food, diaper wipes etc.).
  • Grease and oils are poured down the kitchen sink
  • Multiple clogs in different drains
  • Extreme temperature changes

Keep your sewer lines clear by making sure that no toilet paper is flushed down the toilets. To prevent potential problems from getting out of control, keep an eye on your lawn.

What to do if your sewer line is not working?

If your toilet is blocked, it’s best to call a local Long Beach, CA plumber to inspect the pipes. Local plumbers will insert a camera into your pipes to find the problem. After locating the problem, a plumber can give you a list of solutions for your sewer line repair.

Depending on the reason for your sewer line clog you might need to:

  • Clear the main line and remove any debris or roots
  • Pipe broken?
  • Use a sewer rod to remove any debris
  • The entire sewer line should be replaced