Avoid Sewer Line Backups and Know When to Call a Professional

Opinion & Expertise
April 6, 2015

by David Balkan

Sewer Line Backup Know When to Call Professionals

If you step outside one morning only to be greeted with soggy ground and the smell of fresh sewage, you may be dealing with a sewer line backup. Backups of this kind are not only foul smelling but can also be detrimental to your health. Luckily, there are often warning signs before the sewage begins backing up. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs of a sewer line backup so you know when to call a professional.

Sewer Line Backup Know When to Call Professionals

Sewage Smell

When a sewage line is clogged, it is quite common for gasses built up in the pipes to escape through drains in your home, or through porous joints in the pipe itself. You will notice a foul sewage smell coming up from your sink drains or toilet. You may even be present when the sewer gas bubbles come up. In some cases, there may be residue from where material has been ejected up into the fixture.

Drainage Problems

Unusual drainage may occur. For instance, running your washing machine may cause the soapy water to back up into the bathtub or come up from drains in the basement. Additionally, you may flush the toilet only to find water coming through the bathtub or bubbling up in the sink. Signs like this that there is a sewer line backup are often misconstrued and should be interpreted by a professional.

Multiple Clogs

If multiple drains in your home are slow, gurgle, smell of sewage, or altogether clogged, this can be a sure fire sign of a sewage line backup. Although not as common, multiple clogs do happen due to stagnant waste water sitting inside the pipes. They can be confusing and can appear to be a main sewer line backup even though they are not. A video inspection of the main sewer line can determine if you are experiencing multiple clogs or a backup of the main sewer line.

Gurgling In Pipes

As the sewer line backup progresses, drainage pipes in your home may gurgle, or make noise. This sound is the ‘belching’ of sewer gas bubbles from your plumbing fixtures. The sewer line backup gurgling can become noticeably loud and even be heard from another room. If you hear these sewer line noises, it can be a strong indicator of a backup.

Avoid Sewer Line Backups

Most backups are caused by the accumulation of items that should never have been flushed in the first place. Fats, grease, and cooking oil solidify around items and cause clogs and sewer line backups. You can help reduce the strain on sewer pipes by avoiding flushing or putting certain material down drains. Some examples include;

  • Grease, fats, and oils
  • Diapers
  • ‘Flushable’ wipes
  • Feminine products
  • Paints, solvents, sealants, and thinners
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Bandages and bandage wrappings
  • Automotive fluids
  • Paper towels

By remembering the proper disposal of these items, you can help avoid a sewer line backup. Additionally, recognizing the early warning signs can help prevent more damage being done to the pipes, drainage systems, or your property itself. If you notice any of the above warning signs, contact a professional sewer and water main contractor like Balkan Sewer And Water Main. We can determine if the clog is localized to your home or if it exists in the main sewage line.

Get A Free Quote
David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

Ready to Get Your Sewer or Water Main Issue Fixed?

Get An Instant Quote
  • We manage every project from start to finish
  • We work quickly with instant quotes & rapid responses
  • We are licensed as a Master Plumber
  • Our GPS fleet ensures we are on time, every time
  • We are available 24/7 for emergencies
  • We back all replacements with a 10-year unconditional guarantee