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7 Signs Your Central Long Island Home has a Main Line Sewer Clog

Chances are if you're reading this, you're concerned that you might have a main line sewer clog. Or, maybe you're being proactive and trying to educate yourself to prevent an emergency.

Either way, all responsible Central Long Island homeowners should be at least familiar with sewer clog symptoms, so they can watch for warning signs that would indicate a problem. Your main drain line, also called your sewer line, is the pipe that all the other drains in your home feed into. In municipal properties, this drain then feeds into the city’s sewage system. In a rural property, it will feed into your septic tank.

Since a main line is the biggest and most important part of your drainage system, the effects can be devastating when something goes wrong. For instance, you may wind up with a major main line clog resulting in a broken sewer pipe. This could spill sewage out into your yard and/or basement.

When the worst happens, you need a professional plumber you can trust to come to your aid—such as the team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island. It's also important to take preventative measures to ensure disaster does not strike. While it's never too late to hire a drain cleaning service, if you're seeing any warning signs of a main line sewer clog, then you should call a professional plumber right away.

1. Multiple Backed-Up Drains

It's common for a drain to back-up every now and then. After all, your plumbing system gets a lot of use. Depending on how many people live in your home and how hard you are on your pipes–like consistently pouring grease into your kitchen sink—you're bound to have a clog or two.

However, if you have multiple clogs in your home—say your kitchen sink is blocked and so is your shower drain—it could be a sign of a bigger problem. If you're constantly battling blockage, it may be that your main sewer line keeps clogging.

2. Drainage in Sewer Clean Out

Your sewer clean out is a pipe that connects to your home's main line. It gives plumbers direct access to the line, so they can clear any clogs and check for problems. Usually, it's located just outside your home or in the basement. It looks like a round or rectangular cap protruding out of the ground. Often, it will be marked as “sewage” or “cleanout.”

If you see raw sewage spilling out of the clean out, then your sewer line is clogged. The waste water can no longer move through the system to the municipal sewer, so it's coming up any way that it can.

3. Sewage in Floor Drain

If you see, or smell, human waste in your home, then you certainly have a serious problem. One reason that clogged main lines are an issue is because the waste that should be moving into the municipal system or your septic tank is getting stuck somewhere along the sewer line. If you don't realize that’s happening and continue to use your toilet, sinks and showers. All that added waste water with nowhere to go will seep back up into your drains.

4. Water Backs Up in Appliances When Toilet Flushes

If you flushed the toilet only to notice water coming out of your shower, sink or even washing machine, this is another sign that you have a main line sewer clog. Like we stated above, the waste water has nowhere to go if it can't exit properly through your plumbing. So, it moves back and forth between different drains.

5. Sewage Odors Coming From the Drains

Do you smell sewage coming out of your sinks? There are typically two reasons why this happens. The first is a main line sewer clog, which could cause smells to drift out of sewer outlets. The second reason is that your P-trap has dried out.

The P-trap is a section of pipe below your sinks shaped like a “P.” It serves two purposes: to catch debris before it enters your plumbing system, and to prevent sewage gases from infiltrating your home. It achieves both these functions due to its unique shape. The “P” part of the pipe holds a small amount of water in it; this helps block gases. If it dries out, smelly gases will float up through your home.

6. Slow Drain

Similar to having multiple blocked fixtures, if you also have more than one slow-running drain then that's an indication of an issue with your main line. Pay attention in particular to clogged showers and clogged bathroom sinks. If the water pools for a long time before emptying, you should consider calling a plumbing expert to check for a problem.

7. Gurgling Noises

Many Long Island homeowners think that gurgling is a normal part of a working plumbing system. This is not the case. Gurgling noises in your toilet, sinks, or in the walls means air is trapped within the pipes. Air gets trapped when there is a clog impeding its ability to move through the system.

What Causes a Main Sewer Line Clog?

There are a couple of things that can create a clog serious enough that it compromises your main line. The biggest culprits are usually tree roots or shrub roots. Drawn to the moisture and nutrients within your plumbing system, the roots will get in through any crack or crevice available. Then, they continue to grow until the entire system is blocked. Unfortunately, when this happens the section of pipe affected generally needs to be replaced.

The second way your main line could become blocked is due to an excess of debris in the system. A number of items can congeal in the pipe, building up over time until there is a clog.

Some of These Items Include:

  • Paper towels

  • Toilet paper

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Wipes (even “flushable wipes”)

  • Waste

  • Grease

  • Food scraps

  • Soap

  • Hair

  • Foreign objects, like children's toys

So You Have a Main Sewer Line Clog, What Now?

If you suspect you have a sewer backup, it's important that you call a professional plumbing service right away. This issue is very deep in your plumbing system and requires either a pipe replacement or sewer cleanout service right away. Conventional methods like a plunger or drain snake won't cut it.

Instead, our experts are likely to suggest a main drain cleaning service like our HydroScrub® jetting tool. This cutting-edge technology shoots extremely high-pressure water through your system. Similar to a power washer, it cuts through and blasts away even the most stubborn grime. It's a treatment that should be completed at least once a year for optimal results, and can be used to prevent plumbing emergencies.

Call Our Expert Plumbers Today!

When you have plumbing issues, trust the team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island to present an effective and efficient solution. Each of our team members has years of experience providing plumbing solutions to clients throughout Ronkonkoma and nearby areas, including in Centereach, Westhampton and Smithtown—to name a few.

We're available 24/7 for emergency plumbing services, or you can schedule a convenient appointment time with one of our friendly office staff. To get started and to hire one of our sewer line cleaning services today, we invite you to give us a call at 631-542-2194.