How to fix a Clogged Sewer Line

by Team HomeServe |
How to Repair Clogged Pipe

There is no home maintenance issue that brings sheer frustration and disgust quicker than a clogged sewer or septic line. Take it from me (and my personal experience,) this inconvenience can take your day from very bad to worse in just minutes.

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On the bright side, some plumbing issues can be dealt with on your own using some ingenuity and elbow grease. Let's take a look at the big warning signs and how to go about addressing them:

The slow-moving drains

As explained by SFGate Home Guides, there is no sign of a clogged sewer line more obvious than drains that are moving slowly: Kitchen and bathroom sinks (and toilets) will either take forever and a day to drain or, in extreme cases, become blocked up entirely.

Small clogs in the kitchen drain may merely be due to a particularly recalcitrant buildup of food waste (a problem even more common to sinks without garbage disposals). Toilet draining issues, meanwhile, might just be a clump of toilet paper or other material that needs to be plunged or expunged with an appropriate cleaning product. If you try either of those and don't succeed, you'll probably need a plumber. Also, if multiple drains are simultaneously clogged, that's an immediate sign of a big problem.

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The dark water

If you see black or brown water emerging from any of the drains in your house, this is a surefire sign of a clogged sewer line.

What's more, it'll usually be accompanied by a wretched odor of raw sewage. More often than not, a sewer-line clog that produces dark water is one that will necessitate professional attention - especially, as The Spruce notes, if the filth is coming out of the drain in your tub.

The gurgling

This refers to the sound the toilet suddenly makes when water is traveling through other drains, like those in the kitchen or bathroom sinks, according to The Spruce. (It can affect other plumbing fixtures but only the toilet uses enough water to make the loud version of this sound.) It's another major sign that the problem facing the drain extends to everywhere in the house, and is likely something major like overgrown tree roots causing damage to sewage pipes.

Having a home repair plan in place can be a big help should DIY solutions not work out. Look to plans from HomeServe to help manage the costs of covered repairs.

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