Vertex Mechanical’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Blog


Clogged Sewer Line Causes & Signs

We don’t take a lot of time each day to appreciate our plumbing, but maybe we should. Because when our plumbing breaks down, things tend to get foul…quickly. After all, your plumbing does the important job of transporting waste AWAY from your home in a sanitary way. A clogged sewer line prevents your plumbing from doing just that — and the results aren’t pretty.

At Vertex Mechanical, we handle all of the HVAC and plumbing problems that can make your house less comfortable and less sanitary. Today we’re teaching you all about the causes of clogged sewer lines you’ll want to avoid — as well as the signs of a blocked sewer line that you won’t want to ignore.

4 Signs of a Clogged Sewer Pipe

blocked sewer pipe

When any solid substance gets stuck in a sewer pipe, it partially or completely blocks the flow of waste from your house into the public sewer system. So what does that mean for you? Worst case scenario: if you have a clogged sewer line, when you flush the toilet, raw sewage will backup into your sink or bathtub. (Just think about how much bleach it’ll take to get that clean again!)

Before it comes to that, though, you’ll likely notice these clogged sewer pipe warning signs:

  1. Your toilet gets clogged for no reason — Everybody reading this blog has clogged a toilet in their life and they know exactly why it happened. But if your toilet won’t flush and you can’t tell why, that’s a sign your home sewer line may be clogged. Learn how to plunge a toilet like a pro.
  2. Your bathroom smells bad — Unless you’re an investor in scented candles, your bathroom probably doesn’t smell great — and that’s fairly typical. However, if your bathroom smells downright disgusting — kind of like sewage — that’s a serious sign of a blocked sewer line. Bring out a plumber immediately to take a look.
  3. Different drains bubble when you flush — When you flush the toilet, the only thing that should happen is that the toilet flushes. If your sink or bathtub drain starts making noises or starts bubbling, that means the sewer line is getting full — and is perilously close to backing up!
  4. You see water in your yard — If there’s a pool of water in your yard located right around the sewer valve, that’s the clearest sign your sewer pipe has a blockage. The puddle is actually wastewater from your home that’s unable to get into the sewer. Stay away from the putrid puddle — and call an expert plumbing service!

Any of these clogged sewer line warning signs is enough to warrant bringing out an expert — if you notice more than one, you should call ASAP. Just like it’s important to be aware of these blocked sewer line warning signs, you’ll also want to be aware of the most common clogged sewer line causes — to make sure a disaster like this never happens at your home!

3 Most Common Blocked Sewer Pipe Causes

cooking grease causing clogged sewer line

Sewer pipes don’t just decide to stop working on their own — there is always an external factor responsible for it. While flushing anything down a toilet that doesn’t belong there can clog the line, it isn’t common for your sewer pipes to back up. Here are the clogged sewer line causes we run into most often:

  1. Flushing feminine hygiene products — Feminine hygiene products are some of the most frequent culprits behind clogged sewer lines. These products are intended to absorb water and if flushed down a toilet, they sit in your sewer pipe, absorbing water and getting bigger. Never, ever think about flushing one.
  2. Tree roots growing into the pipe — Older homes with older sewer pipes sometimes fall victim to tree roots. If there is a small crack in the pipe, the tree roots invade and grow. Eventually, they get big enough to close off the pipe completely. There’s no DIY remedy to this, so you’re going to need a plumber!
  3. Dumping grease down the sink — The clogged sewer line cause that nobody expects, dumping cooking grease down your sink or garbage disposal can cause your plumbing to fail. Strange, but true. When you dump grease after cooking, it starts out as a liquid, but when it cools down, it becomes a solid…a solid with the consistency of chewing gum that can easily block your sewer pipe. Instead of pouring grease down your sink, let it cool and then toss it in the trash.

Trust Vertex to Handle Your Clogged Sewer Line

If you recognize any of these warning signs, or you know you’re guilty of some of those clogged sewer line causes, we’ve got your back.

Vertex Mechanical is the full-service plumber and heating and cooling company to trust. Serving Lancaster County, Berks County, and beyond, Vertex provides solutions to all of the things that can go wrong when owning a home. Whether it’s a blocked sewer or a dead air conditioner, you can count on us.

Contact us to start the conversation today.

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