3 Warning Signs of a Main Line Sewer Clog

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While any plumbing clog in your home can be frustrating, a clog in your main sewer line is especially serious and should be repaired by a professional plumber as soon as possible. Your main sewer line removes waste and water from your home via the pipes that run from every sink, shower, and water-based appliance in your home, so it's important to keep it clear.

Luckily, it is often simple to determine that your main sewer line has been blocked in some way, whether it's by a tree branch or other debris. Here are three main warning signs to look out for:

Gurgling and Bubbling

A clear, well-maintained plumbing system should be pretty quiet. If you have noticed that your various sink and bathtub drains now make gurgling sounds, this is usually a sign that your main sewer line is clogged and causing water and waste to backup. The gurgling sounds are often accompanied by visible bubbling of water around your drains and in your toilet.

Frequent Clogs Throughout House

Clogged toilets, bathtubs, and sinks happen from time to time and usually have an identifiable cause, such as excess hair clogging your bathtub drain or a toilet that gets backed up when someone uses too much toilet paper. These incidents should be relatively easy to clear and only happen once in a while. If it seems like there are suddenly clogged drains and toilets throughout your home on a frequent basis without any obvious cause for the clogs, this is a good indicator that your main sewer line is clogged.

Unpleasant Odors

Your home's plumbing system should effectively remove waste and wash it away from your home so that you never have to be aware of it. Once a main line clogs, however, the sewage waste has nowhere to go, so it remains in your home's plumbing and pipes, often just under the drains. As the waste begins to decompose, it causes strong, unpleasant sewage smells to emit from your toilet, as well as your sinks and bathtubs. This is a telltale sign that your main sewer line is likely clogged and needs to be inspected and cleared by a professional.

When you notice any of these signs—or especially a combination of these issues—it's time to call a plumber to learn more about sewer services. They can run a scope camera into your main sewer line, in order to verify the problem and then repair it.