5 Signs It's Time for a Sewer Line Cleanout And What To Do Next

sewer line cleanout plumbing sewage pipe cleaning

Everyone likes to have clean bathrooms and kitchens but sometimes a blockage in the plumbing system can cause havoc in the house. And if it occurs in the main sewer line within or next to your home, the whole home will be inhabitable unless act very fast.
There are certain warning signs you can look out for that can help you detect whether your plumbing has broken down. Sometimes the blockage can be at a hidden place that you may not be able to notice and this may require you to hire an experienced plumber who can easily detect where it is using video imaging.

Having plumbing issues? We reveal how to know when it's time for a sewer line cleanout and what your next steps should be if you're overdue.


Interior Drains Have Some Water Backed Up

Whenever a sewer line has a blockage, the first places to be affected are the interior fixtures and these are also the places to give you the first clue that things are not right. You will see water backing up in unusual places and when you flush your toilet, you may notice some backflow in the shower.

This is a clear indication that the water you flushed could not drain away because the route is blocked and since it has to flow, the shower could be the closest outlet. A clogged sewer line may also cause backflow in your showers or sinks whenever you use appliances like dishwashers or washing machines. 

Some Water Drains out Close to or at the Sewer Line Cleanout

The sewer cleanout is a pipe that connects the plumbing system in your house to the main sewer line. It has a cup which when removed can give the plumbers an easy way of cleaning any blockage. In many homes, the sewer line cleanout is located in the basement while in others, it is located outside the homes.

It is usually marked by a rectangular or round cap that is written “clean out” or “sewage.” You should know where it is in your home or where you are living because they are usually placed in hidden places. If you notice any drainage around the sewer line cleanout, it may indicate that there is a problem with your sewer line.

You may notice some water pooling around it or flow from it. This will show that there is an obstruction in the main sewer line.


Woody Plants in Your Yard

Apart from foreign objects that people flush into the sewer system, overgrown plant roots can also obstruct sewer lines. If you know where your sewer line is, follow it to find out whether there is any tree growing directly on top of it or very close to it.

If there is any drainage around these trees, it may be an indication that their roots have interfered with the sewer system. The blockage caused by such roots may also cause dirty water to back up in your bathrooms, toilets or sinks and this may require sewer drain cleaning.


Some Air Get Trapped in the Pipework

Obstruction in the sewer line will make some air bubbles to form in your pipes. When that happens, you will also notice that the water that comes out of your tap has some bubbles. The best place to detect if there is a problem with your plumbing is the toilet because it has a direct connection to the sewer line.

Look for any air bubbles coming from the toilet or if there is a rise in water level in the toilet bowl. The toilet bowl may have some disturbance when the sewer system is blocked so, don’t think that it is the bowl that has issues.


Unusual Noises in the Plumbing System

Blockages in the sewer line will make drainage to be uneven and when water flows through such a system, there will be some abnormal noises. You may hear some glugging or gurgling from your sinks, shower or toilet and this is an indication that your sewer line is blocked.

This is also the case when your toilet keeps clogging.


What to Do Next

When you notice any of these signs or a combination of them, close the main water supply to stop any sewage and water from messing up with your house. 

You should know in advance the location of your main water supply valve so that when such a situation arises, you can move fast and shut it off - this can prevent damages that are usually very costly.


Acting in good time will protect both your sewage system and your home. The next step is to contact a qualified plumbing technician to check your system. These technicians use CCTV to detect and accurately locate where the clogs are. Once they locate it, they will take appropriate action depending on its location and size.

They usually have specialized tools that they will use to remove the clogs and then clean the system. The technicians' specialization is in unclogging all types of plumbing work and sewer system.

They will remove all the obstructive objects using pressurized cleaning tools or an auger that they usually have in their sewer cleaning truck.


Sewer Line Cleanout Will Restore Your Home to Its Former Glory

A damaged sewer system causes backflows and this will result in very bad smell in your home. The smell can become unbearable if you leave the system without repair for a long time. The backflows and overflows can also cause considerable damage to your property.

But once you call the plumbing experts they will carry out the repairs and sewer line cleanout to ensure that your home gets restored to its former status. Be careful not to try to do the unclogging by yourself if you are not an expert in sewage or plumbing because you may end up causing more damage to your home.

You can visit our blog to read more about how to detect sewer system blockages and how to deal with them, along with other home improvement tips, on our Real Estate section.

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