Sewer lines rarely experience blockages out of the blue. In many cases, the problem starts out small via partial blockages, and only causes serious problems to those who ignore the warning signs. Here are three signs of an imminent sewer drain blockage:
Drain Gurgling Sounds
Gurgling sounds from your plumbing drains probably mean you will soon experience a drain problem. Such sounds usually originate from partial blockages in the drain pipes. The partial blockages block air, and it is the air bubbles that produce the gurgling sounds as they try to escape.
You may not notice the sounds if you haven't used the drains for a long time because the water may have drained out. However, this doesn't mean they are gone. Expect the sounds to come up again when you resume using the drain lines.
If you don't act to clean the drains, then the partial blockages may increase until they become full blockages. That is when your drains may stop working, leaving you with a flooded floor.
Washing Machine Backup
Apart from the drain sounds, your washing machine may also give you a clue when it comes to an impending drain issue. The clue is a washing machine backup, which gives a distinct sound similar to a long tube being filled with water.
This problem can regularly occur if your washing machine drains into an improperly-sized toilet waste line. In such a case, any partial blockage restricts the flow of air and water within the pipes.
The higher the water in the line, the higher the pitch of the sound it makes. Of course, water pressure may build up in the tube enough to cause force its way through the blockage, but this is only a reprieve. When the blockage gets serious, and the water pressure cannot force it through, you will be forced to deal with a flooded laundry room. Contact a plumber to clean your drains before it gets to this point.
Multiple Toilet Flushes
The toilet is one of the plumbing fixtures that provide the earliest signs of an imminent drain problem. Since most toilets are connected directly to the main sewer line, any problem in the line affects them sooner than it may affect other plumbing installations. For example, you should suspect a partial blockage if it takes multiple attempts to flush away toilet wastes. Again, the problem will worsen if left to fester; take care of it (by calling a plumber) sooner rather than later.
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