If your facility has a clogged drain, your first instinct is probably to grab a plunger. But depending on sewer line issues, standard plunging can be useless. Trying to fix blocked drains with a simple plunger can cause flooding throughout your property. That’s why identifying the reason behind your clogged sewer line is so important—here’s what you need to know.
Common Signs of Clogs in Your Sewer Line
Most pipe blockages happen gradually. Identifying them in the early stages enables you to fix problems before you’re ankle-deep in sewage water. Below are four signs to look out for if you suspect drainage issues:
One of the most obvious signs you have plumbing problems is dark water backing up in your sinks, showers, or toilets. When you try to drain water through blocked pipes, there’s nowhere for it to go. This causes the water to move backward and make its way back up your pipes.
Unlike with leaky pipes, the water won’t be clear. Because a lot of waste material is mixed in, the water will most likely be dark, stinky, and gross. Keep in mind that this water can contain raw sewage, so you need to be cautious around it. If you’re looking to make this a DIY project, be sure to wear the proper protective gear. Otherwise, you can always reach out to your local plumbing contractors.
Think about the drains in your facility. Are they clearing quickly, or do you notice water accumulating after you run faucets? If it’s the latter, that’s a telltale sign you have piping issues. Because clogs in your sewer line don’t immediately block 100% of the pipe, slow water drainage is one of the first signs you’ll notice.
Typically, the first area that slows down is the toilet drains. When you flush the toilet, water may stay in the bowl for a moment before gradually sinking down. While combating clogged toilets with a plunger is tempting, it’s best to find a trusted plumbing service to handle the job.
Because mainline clogs keep your drains from working correctly, you might notice some peculiar things as you use your plumbing system. When you run a sink or flush a toilet, water and air bubbles can form and rumble around in your pipes making noises. Since sound travels through pipes, these noises can sound like they’re coming from:
- Plumbing fixtures
- Other rooms
- Walls, floors, and ceilings
The most common sound people tend to hear is a gurgling noise while they’re using a drain. However, you may also notice strange hissing, bubbling, or trickling.
When you have clogs in your sewer line, it takes a while for water and waste to drain through. That’s why you might hear weird noises long after you shut your drain off.
Clogged Plumbing Fixtures
Of all the signs of clogged sewer lines, blocked plumbing fixtures are one of the last things you’ll realize, as this occurs if your clogged pipes go unnoticed for too long.
Neglecting pipe care causes blockages to build up. Eventually, it gets to the point where wastewater won’t be able to move through the pipe. When this happens, your drains may quit working altogether.
It’s important to note that plumbing fixtures in your building are all connected, and a clogged sewer pipe prevents drainage everywhere in your facility. It’s imperative to address these issues as soon as possible. Luckily, most local plumbing contractors offer 24/7 emergency services to get everything back to normal.
FAQs: How To Unclog Your Drain
Noticing your sewer line is clogged is just half the battle. Once you identify problem areas, it’s time to fix the issue. Take a look at a few frequently asked questions to find the right solution for you:
How Do I Clear a Slow Drain?
So you have a slow drain. The good news is you can usually fix the problem yourself. There are a few household items you can use to clear your pipes, such as baking soda, hot water, and vinegar. Here’s how to clear a slow drain:
- Place a kettle of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Once it starts bubbling, remove it and pour most of the hot water down the drain. Just be careful not to splash yourself.
- Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain and use a skewer to push it down.
- Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the rest of your hot water, then pour this mixture into the drain onto the baking soda. The chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda will help loosen the sludge in your pipes.
- Cover the drain with a plug and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- During these 10 minutes, boil another kettle of water. When the 10 minutes are up, pour the boiling water slowly down the drain.
- Lastly, run hot water from your faucets. If it drains, you’re done. If it’s still slow, repeat the steps or call your local plumbing provider.
How Do I Clear a Main Line Blockage?
Unfortunately, fixing a main line blockage isn’t as straightforward as slow drains. However, there are still some DIY measures you can take, such as:
Drain snakes are essentially flexible augers meant to clear blockages in your drain. The process is relatively easy. You need to:
- Push the end of the snake into the blockage and turn the handle.
- Continue pushing the snake until it becomes stiff.
- If the snake can reach the blockage, it’ll break up and eliminate the debris.
A power washer is another effective method to unclog main lines. First, connect a sewer jet to your power washer’s trigger gun. From there, open the cleanup pipe and lower the sewer jet into your main sewer line. Lastly, spray water until you’ve hit the clog.
If these DIY remedies don’t work, the blockage may be beyond your control. Find a plumbing company you can trust and schedule a service appointment.
Need Your Commercial Drain Unclogged? Turn to the Professionals at A&G Piping
A&G was founded in 1984 in Fort Worth, Texas. Over the past four decades, we’ve developed a reputation for high-quality plumbing solutions our clients can rely on. If you have hard-to-tackle clogs in your sewer lines, don’t worry. A&G has you covered. Reach out to our expert team to get started—we’re happy to help.