Dear Burton,

I’ve noticed some strange plumbing symptoms lately—our downstairs toilets are gurgling when the dishwasher runs, and our bathtubs are taking a long time to drain. I’m nervous this could be a big issue. What should I do?

  • Gurgling in Gretna

Dear Gurgling,

One noisy toilet or slow-draining tub typically isn’t a cause for immediate concern, but you’ll want to have a plumbing service out as soon as you can. Your home plumber should perform a drain opening before the pressure damages your pipes and connection points.

While a single slow drainer may not be a significant concern, multiple slow-draining fixtures coupled with gurgling toilets can be a sign of a bigger, badder issue—like a clog in the main sewer line that leads from your home to the city sewer.

A big clog in your main sewer line constitutes a plumbing emergency because the pressure that builds up on the other side of that clog can force a mess up through your pipes—and into your bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures. The sooner you call an emergency plumbing service out to clear that clog, the better!

For quick reference, here are 3 signs it’s time to call a plumber for a potential main sewer line clog:

  1. Clogged plumbing throughout your home, especially on the ground floor, closest to your city’s sewer line. We often see drain slowdowns start at the toilet, then your main level bathtubs and sinks will start backing up next.
  2. Funny fixture behaviors. Watch for gurgling toilets, rising water in your toilets when you run a nearby sink, or water backing up into your bathtub or sinks when you run the washing machine.
  3. Funky smells. A sniff-check in your basement or around your lower-level drains can reveal a main sewer line clog before you experience a serious backup.

If you notice any of these signs, do these two things, fast

The best way to stop a clog from becoming a major mess is to immediately shut off your main water supply. If you’ve got a stopped-up sewer line, every ounce of water that drains through your pipes will add to the pressure pushing against that clog. The sooner you stop that pressure from building, the better!

Next, call your local plumbing company to schedule a drain opening. And if you’re here in the Greater Omaha area, Just Call Burton.

When you call Burton, ask about our $93 or FREE drain opening special!

If you’ve got a single slow-moving drain, our quick and simple drain opening service can get your water flowing in no time—or the visit’s on us! Call (402) 343-0011 to schedule service.