A sewage backup can be alarming and hazardous; once it starts, it can lead to a host of costly damage and problems. The longer it gets overlooked, the worse the toll can be. However, by becoming familiar with signs of a sewage backup, you can take immediate action to fix the problem and prevent further issues. Before diving into the red flags, let’s explore why sewer lines back up in the first place:
What Causes a Sewer Backup?
There are several causes of sewer backups. Here are some of the most common:
Recurring clogs could be why a sewer line keeps backing up. If substances like oil, grease, hair, and “flushable” wipes enter your drain and sewer line, you may experience frequent clogging.
Sewer Line Damage
If your sewer line is cracked, has holes, or is otherwise damaged, it can back up. A cracked sewer line can allow dirt and rocks to pile in, amassing a new blockage and, since there’s nowhere else for it to go, force wastewater to back up into your home.
If tree roots are growing close to your sewer line, they can damage it, resulting in misalignments where solid matter buildup can lead to blockages. When that happens and the line leaks, roots can get nutrients from the leakage and begin growing toward, possibly growing into, cracks and creating more substantial blockages.
A Sagging or Collapsed Sewer Line
Sewer lines can break for various reasons, from pipe aging and corrosion to soil shifts and above-ground construction. No matter how it happens, you’ll be sure to experience backups in your home if the line is broken.
What Are Signs of a Sewage Backup?
Here are a few common signs you might have a sewage backup:
More Than One Drain Is Clogged
It is not unusual for your drains to get clogged from time to time, but if more than one drain is clogged simultaneously, it may be the sign of a bigger problem. This is of particular importance if one of the clogs is in a drain you rarely use, such as a guest bathroom, workroom sink, or laundry room sink.
Your Water Is Backing Up Into Other Drains
This is something that will be easiest to identify in your bathroom because it has multiple drains. Water will typically back up into a lower drain. For example, if your bathroom sink or toilet is backing up into the shower or bathtub, it is a sign that you need either a thorough sewer cleaning or a trenchless sewer line replacement.
However, keep an eye out for backed up drains in other areas of your home. A common example would if the toilet begins to unexpectedly overflow while you are using your washing machine.
Bubbles Around Your Drains or Toilets
Another great way to identify a sewer backup is the presence of bubbles. Bubbles are caused by trapped air created by water trying to pass through the clogged area of the drain. To check for bubbles, fill your sinks and tubs with a few inches of water, then watch for bubbles while they drain. Also, watch your toilet to see if it bubbles after you flush.
Your Toilet Is Not Flushing Properly
One of the most common signs that you have a sewer backup is when your toilets are not flushing as they should. You can, of course, attempt to plunge your toilet. But if that does not immediately solve the problem, something bigger is likely going on.
As mentioned above, bubbles are a sign of a sewer backup. But keep in mind that it is normal for bubbles to occur directly after plunging.
Slow Draining in More Than One Fixture
When wastewater cannot pass through pipes and the sewer line, you’ll have multiple drains that run slow. This issue usually begins with the lowest drains in the residence, as the backup creeps up the piping and sewer line.
Sewage Coming Out of a Cleanout Pipe
Usually located outside or in the basement, the sewer cleanout pipe is a capped pipe that provides access to the sewer line. When the sewer line backs up, wastewater is forced up through the cleanout pipe.
Foul Odors Coming From a Drain
By design, your drains are to transport wastewater away and outside of your home. So, if you begin to pick up on sewage-like odors coming from rooms that have drains, the drains themselves could be the culprit.
My Sewer Line Is Backed Up: What Should I Do?
Sometimes a sewer backup means you will need a trenchless sewer line replacement, but sometimes all you require is a thorough sewer cleaning. However, the longer you ignore a clog or blockage, the higher the potential for costly damage. Mister Sewer offers a simple, 3-step trenchless sewer line replacement, bringing you same-day results while saving you money.
Whether you’re picking up on any troubling signs or are already dealing with sewer complications, contact the professional and courteous technicians at Mister Sewer today for a sewer video inspection!