Blocked Sewer Pipe: 4 Signs You Can’t Ignore

A blocked sewer pipe can send raw sewage flowing UP into your house — disgusting! Nearly as nasty, sewer line replacement costs between $5,000 and $10,000! For these reasons, a clogged sewer line is a plumbing disaster like no other. Stay ahead of this one: learn how to identify the 4 most common signs of a blocked sewer pipe.

Blocked Sewer Pipe Basics

As the name implies, a blocked sewer pipe occurs when a foreign object prevents waste from flowing away from your home into the sewer. With a clog in the sewer pipe, everything you flush has nowhere to go — and that can lead to a catastrophic, unsanitary disaster!

These are some of the most common causes of blocked sewer pipes:

  • Dumping grease down your sink/garbage disposal
  • Accidentally flushing garbage/hand towels down toilet
  • Using “flushable” products—like flushable wet wipes
  • Tree roots growing into the sewer line
  • Old sewer line cracking or disconnecting

Some of these causes are common and some are not. This disaster can happen to anyone, so pay attention.

Tree Roots Lodged in a Broken Pipe

Recognize These Warning Signs?

Most of the time when looking for warning signs, you need to start to see a pattern before you get worried. That’s not the case when investigating your sewer line.

Because blocked sewer line signs are so unusual — and because the threat of a clogged sewer pipe is so nasty and costly — any one of these four signs warrants a professional investigation.

Unexplained Toilet Clogs

Sometimes you know why your toilet is clogged—this isn’t what we’re talking about.

If the bowl is clear yet your toilet won’t flush, chances are the problem is a sewer pipe blockage. Since sewer pipes carry the waste from your toilets out of the house, if the pipe clogs (even partially) the toilet won’t work.

Sewage Smell in Bathroom

Not the time to buy an air freshener (we doubt they’d make one strong enough, anyway).

Along the lines of an unexplained toilet clog, an unexplained smell is another serious warning sign. If your sewer line is clogged, the sewage (and the stench) sticks around. Never ignore a smell this terrible—it’s almost surely a sign of something heinous.

Pools of Water or Sewage in Your Yard

If it didn’t rain but your yard is soggy, pay attention.

The sewer lines on some houses feature vents to the outside, often located in a front yard. These vents are meant to relieve gas pressure in your sewer line. If you start seeing unexplained puddles of water appear around them, pay attention.

If you notice a wet and filthy mess in your front yard, you know it’s trouble. Those outlets aren’t just relieving gas pressure, they’re relieving sewage pressure caused by a blocked sewer pipe.

Gurgling Drains

The big key to all of these warning signs is unexplained activity.

Homeowners with a blocked sewer line often notice that their drains or toilets will gurgle inexplicably when they run water. This strange activity is due to the fact the plumbing in your house is a connected system. The blockage in your sewer pipe causes disruption elsewhere.

While the superstitious might see it as a poltergeist, the reality is actually far scarier. If you hear gurgling drains and toilets, a tide of raw sewage might not be far behind.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Wilmington DE for Blocked Sewer Line Repair

All of these signs are unnerving and unpleasant on their own. Knowing they’re a sign of one of the nastiest plumbing disasters possible is just another reason to take note.

Sewer Pipes with Blockage

Fixing a blocked sewer pipe is no small job. In fact, many independent plumbers won’t even consider attempting it.

However, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Wilmington DE is no small plumbing company. We specialize in fixing blocked sewer lines with state-of-the-art techniques to repair your sewer line quickly and with as little disruption as possible.

Bottom line: any of these warning signs demand a call to your plumber. Contact us today.