Zeek Plumbing responds to sewer main backups on an almost daily basis. Customers typically notice a clogged tub drain or a toilet first, without realizing there is a bigger issue at hand. A sewer main backup can cause significant damage to your home if not handled quickly and properly. Sewage will come up through your shower drains, toilets will not flush, and sewer water can flood your home.

Please refer to the following warning signs of a potential sewer main backup.

1.    Multiple backups in the plumbing around your home

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If several sinks, shower drains, and toilets are all draining slow and backing up this is typically the biggest giveaway that your sewer main is clogged. All of your drains run through the sewer main, and if the main becomes clogged, it will back up the drains/lines that are connected to it.

2.    Bubbling or gurgling sounds coming from the drain

The bubbling inside your line is typically caused by the air pocket after a clog. If your sewer main is completely clogged it will block all water flow through the pipe. Sometimes you will get bubbles or air pockets that work through the clog and float through the line. If you are hearing bubbles or gurgling noises when you are not running any water then you may have a sewer main backup starting to form.

3.    When using one fixture another drain backs up

For example, if you were to flush your toilet and then water was coming up from another bathroom shower drain. You may also see your sinks or toilets start to overflow when running the washing machine. This is caused by water not being able to pass a clog and it flows to another open drain which is usually attached to another line/fixture.

4.    Older Homes vs Newer Homes

Older homes may have a mature tree that can crush or break a sewer line. If any moisture or condensation is around any pipes, tree roots will begin to grow in that direction.

5.    Flushing wipes or paper towels down the drain

As explained in another Zeek Plumbing blog post, flushable wipes are not “flushable”. The more paper towels and wipes you flush down your drain, the more likely you will have a sewer main backup. We advise our customers to never flush anything down the toilet besides toilet paper and human waste. All other objects, paper, fabric, garbage, etc. should never be flushed down the toilet. Paper towels and wipes will flush fine, but they do not break down easily in your pipes. If they reach a poorly pitched section or get caught on something else, a backup will form. Refer to the picture below of paper towels one of our crews recently removed from a sewer main.

If you are experiencing any of these signs and would like to have a licensed plumber snake your drain, please call 866-635-0200. Our Book Online Form is also available to schedule your drain snaking service.