A sewer drain clog is a plumbing emergency and can pose a severe health problem. Your home has incoming clean water lines and outgoing sewer lines that remove the used water from toilets, showers and sinks. When the waste pipe gets blocked or breached, the contaminated water will back up into your home through the drains. The water can include waste solids and can cause mold growth. The overflow can result in water damage to floors and walls.
Backed-up sewer lines do not self-correct and are not suitable for DIY repairs. Early detection of a problem with your home's wastewater line and prompt repair will prevent the slow flow from completely blocking all drainage from your home. An entirely clogged sewer line can cause wastewater to overflow into your home, creating a health hazard and a cleaning headache. Learn how to prevent this issue, recognize when the problem occurs, and what to do if it happens. Treating the problem early before sewage overflows into your bathroom is your best choice.
Signs of a Sewer Drain Clog
Slow drains throughout the entire house are an early sign that there may be a problem with the sewer line. If only one drain has a problem, the clog can often be removed with a hair remover or a plunger. However, when an issue appears simultaneously in multiple drains, you likely have a sewer line problem.
When you suspect a sewer drain clog, the next thing to look for is any unexpected or unusual reactions when using plumbing fixtures.
In some cases, your toilet may back up, sending germ-filled liquid onto your bathroom floor. Do not take this situation lightly. Human waste creates a biohazard, and you must avoid the area until you can thoroughly clean and sanitize it. You should also prevent everyone in your home from using the plumbing until you can repair the drainage system. When we receive an emergency plumbing call at Boise Valley Plumbing, we make it a top priority. We provide a free on-site estimate and great advice. Then, we immediately begin work securing your home to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Some sewer backups can be prevented with annual maintenance. Have your home's sewer lines cleared annually to prevent buildup by arranging with a reliable licensed plumbing company to clean the drains that lead into the house and those that lead to the city lines.n
At that time, the plumbers can check your buried lines that link to the city stubs for tree roots, breakage, fat buildup and grease that require more than rootering out the line. Some older homes built in the 40's in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley have Orangeburg pipes made from tar and paper that cause frequent backups until they are replaced.
What to do if your sewer drain clogs and backs up
When you are not sure that your drains are not slow due to typical clogs such as hair, do not use liquid drain cleaners. It is unlikely they would clear this type of clog. If it is a sewer drain clog, the overflowing water contains harmful chemicals. A better choice would be plunging the clogged drains and removing excess hair with an inexpensive hair removal tool available at most hardware stores.
If the water begins to fill your bathtub or overflow out of the toilet, you may have a more significant problem that needs more tools to repair.
For severe backups that send waste or a large amount of water into your home, you must shut off any water going into the drains. Turn off the water to the toilets. Also, turn off the electricity if the wastewater gets near electrical outlets. Turning off the electricity to your entire house is always the safest choice, but if you know the correct breaker or fuse to turn it off, you can shut off power to the flooded parts of your house.
In this situation, it is highly recommended that you call a professional master plumber with the education and experience to assess your situation and develop an immediate action plan. They know how to contain the situation safely by minimizing contamination and determining the cause of the backup. Due to the potential for damage to your home and the nature of wastewater, every step must be executed correctly to resolve the problem.