Home > Blog > Sewers & Drains > Is My Sewer Clogged?

A clog in your underground sewer line is a very serious problem, especially if not detected in a timely fashion. Once clogged, the water has no place to go.  That means it will flow backwards into your household plumbing.

But since you can’t see what’s going on underground, how would you even know the above-ground problems are being caused by clogged or cracked sewer pipe? Here are the most common warning signs:

Multiple Fixtures Are Clogged – A clogged toilet could be a sign of a clogged sewer. But that same underground clog could also result in shower and tub drain back-ups. These sit lower than a toilet and, since sewer water flows upward, it’s going to impact the tub and shower first. When all three are blocked at the same time – toilet, sewer & tub – you can safely assume you have a below-ground problem.

Flush the toilet – If flushing the toilet results in water backing up or coming up into the tub or shower, chances are you have a clogged sewer. Flushed toilet water that can’t go down the drain flows back up and comes out at the lowest point.

Turn on a sink Faucet – If a toilet bubbles while you’re running water in your sink, turn off the sink’s water supply valve. If the toilet still bubbles with no water flowing to the sink…guess what?  Clogged sewer.

Washing Machine – If washing machine drainage causes a toilet to overflow or backs up into the tub or shower, it could be the sewer main at fault.

Drainage at The Clean-Out – If you have a main line clean-out, you have an additional way of verifying a sewer drain clog. Locate the clean-out, open it, and check for waste or water. Under normal conditions, you shouldn’t be able to see either.

Damp spot on your lawn.  If it hasn’t rained in a while, and your whole lawn is dry except for one damp spot that you can’t otherwise account for, there’s likely an underground sewer leak.

Since early detection is key to minimizing the problem and keeping repair costs down, contact Burton if you suspect an underground sewer pipe problem. Among our other many resources, we have sewer and drain video cameras that enable fast and accurate problem diagnosis.  “Fast and accurate” are two more keys to helping you save money.