Sewer Line Backup Warning Signs : Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Blog

Sewer Line Backup Warning Signs

by Aardvark Rooter on 08/14/13

As many of our customers know, Aardvark Rooter is a drain and sewer line specialist! Thus, the word "rooter" in our official name, which refers to clearing drains from root intrusions and such. As a specialist in this field, we want to be here reminding you of what you need to look out for and when to call a professional such as Aardvark Rooter to come help our with a clogged or damaged drainage system.

Of course, it's our business to get involved with these types of issues, but we don't want to do anything for you unnecessarily. We only want to do the work you need done, when you need it. That said, we still didn't want you all to simply take our word for it, so instead of producing our OWN list of what to look for, we used a separate list as a guideline for what we want you homeowners to aware of (You can find that list at ).

The article we found on does begin with, "a sewer drain clog is a very serious problem that can be considered a plumbing emergency".  Our first point therefore, is that you shouldn't waste any time getting drain clogs fixed. If you have a company you trust, get them out right away---hopefully you've already found an honest company like ours, Aardvark Rooter, to come help without a lengthy negotiation and bid process. You really may not have time to collect three accurate quotes in a situation like this. It is your choice as the homeowner, but just know that time is of the essence.

Here are the signs that you may have a sewer drain clog:

1. Multiple Fixtures Are Clogged - A very obvious sign of a sewer drain clog is when more than one plumbing fixture backs up at the same time. The toilets in particular are affected by this, but other fixtures can also be involved. If you suspect that you have a sewer drain clog start by checking other fixtures in the home.

Make sure to check out your Toilets - Toilets have the most direct path to the sewer and the biggest drain line in the house. It is rare to have a main line sewer stoppage and the toilets are working correctly.

Also check your Tub and Shower - Other drains typically affected by a main line stoppage are those in the tub and shower. This is due to the fact that they sit lower down than say a sink drain.

2. Strange Reactions When Using Fixtures - The next thing to look for when you suspect a sewer drain clog are any unexpected or unusual reactions when using plumbing fixtures.

Flush The Toilet - If flushing the toilet results in water backing up or coming up into the tub or shower this is usually a clear sign of a sewer drain clog. The flushed water that can not go down the sewer drain flows back up the pipes and comes out at the lowest point which is usually the shower drain.

Run The Sink - Another strange reaction to look for is trapped air in the plumbing system. Do this by running water in the sink closest to the toilet for a minute or so. If the toilet bubbles or you can see the water level in the toilet rising then the clog is very likely in the main sewer line and not in the toilet.

Washing Machine - An unexpected sign of a sewer drain clog can happen when you run the wash machine. If the water draining out of the washing machine causes the toilet to overflow or backs up into the tub or shower it could be the sewer main.

3. Drainage At The Clean-Out - If you have a main line clean out, you have an additional way of verifying a sewer drain clog. Open the clean out by either unscrewing or pulling to remove the cap. Check the clean out for any waste or water that may be backing up there. You should not be able to see the water coming up the clean out pipe. If water is flowing up and out of the clean out or standing in the pipe this confirms that you have a main line sewer stoppage.

Thank you to for that info. We want to make sure you understand that we will handle any and all of this diagnosis for you, especially if you are afraid of causing water to overflow into your home. Aardvark Rooter simply wants to be "up-front" about what is and is not a backup of your entire system.

Our hope is that in working with us, you will see that we understand these drainage systems at an expert level. When we get onsite, we will begin the process of finding the main problem and either getting your line cleared out by one of our many methods, or we will identify a possible breakage of the line that can also be the cause of a backup. Our company does many cleanouts and has all of the capacity to dig-up and replace part or all of your sewer line very affordably.

Give us a call if you are noticing any of the signs of a sewer line/main line back up. We'll be glad to assist you in whatever the issue may be, even if we discover that the issue is smaller and only related to one of your fixtures---We're a full service Plumbing company Federal Way, Auburn WA, and Tacoma have been using for years!

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