Most people don't think about their sewer line until it's too late. To avoid a mess in your home from backed up sewage, it's important to understand that there are signs that indicate your sewer pipe is beginning to get clogged. Especially if you have an older home and there are trees growing near your sewer pipe, the signs that the pipe is not as clear as it should be can't be ignored.
Two or More Plumbing Fixtures Are Draining Slowly
While one slow drain can indicate a small clog, if two or more of your plumbing fixtures are draining slowly, then it is likely that there is a blockage in the main sewer line. While you can try to clean out both drains to see if that is the solution, if the water continues to drain slowly then it is time to call in a professional plumber.
Weird Things Happen When You Use the Water
If you flush the toilet and water comes up in your shower, or you turn on the washing machine and you see water coming out of your sink drain, there is a clog somewhere in your plumbing system. If water can't leave your house, then it has no choice but to come back into your house. Water that comes back up through a drain, or worse, a toilet, is a clear indication that the main sewer line is experience a clog.
You Smell Sewage in Your Home
Even if your drains are running smoothly, and your water system isn't acting weird, the smell of sewage in your home is a problem. Sewage that can't get through the sewage pipe and off to the water treatment plant will eventually back up into your house. The sewage will be able to enter your home through any available drain, and can wreak havoc on your home. There is no reason to wait to call a plumber if you smell sewage in your home, as left untreated this can be a big issue.
Sewer pipes tend to get clogged more often in older homes, because the pipes used are made out of more permeable materials than current sewer pipes. In addition, an older sewer pipe has likely already encountered tree roots, one of the main reasons sewer pipes get clogged in the first place.
The main sewer pipe to your home can also get clogged from continual flushing of products that are not suitable for your sewer system. This buildup of products that should not be flushed can cause serious sewer pipe problems. For a sewer cleaning, talk to a professional.