You may not know much about plumbing, but you know one thing: Your toilet shouldn’t be causing your shower to back up. If you’re noticing odd backups, smelly drains, or unexplained sewage, you may be suffering from a clog in your main sewage line. Before you call for a Chicago emergency plumber, check for these signs that your main sewer line is clogged.

Backed-up Drains

Each water fixture’s drain in your home connects to one place — the main sewer line. When the main sewer line in your home is clogged, every drain in your home will suddenly become backed-up. This includes toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. If more than one drain is backed-up and the drain is gurgling, slow-moving, or simply smells bad, you can almost guarantee that the main sewer line is backed up. 

Sewer Clean Out Drainage

First, you need to find the sewer cleanout for your home. This is a pipe that connects directly to the main sewer line. It gives plumbers direct access in order to clean out any blockages. The sewer cleanout is often located either just outside your home or in the basement and is typically marked by a round or rectangular cap, sometimes labeled as “cleanout” or “sewage.” If you notice the drains in your home are backing up, check the sewer cleanout to see if any sewage is draining out of it. 

Camera inspection

Sewage in Floor Drain

When your main sewer line is clogged, any sewage and waste water inside of your pipes has nowhere to go, and eventually, all of that waste and sewage will have to go somewhere. Typically, the sewage gets forced out through the secondary drain. If you suspect a main sewer clog, check any of the floor drains in your home to see if there are signs of sewage. 

Water Back Ups

When you have a clog in your main sewer line, water will tend to back up in random places because it has nowhere to go. Common examples of this include flushing your toilet and having the shower back up, or running your laundry machine and having the sink overflow. If water seems to be backing up for no particular reason, it could be due to a clog. 

If you think you have a clog in your main sewer line, you may need to call a Chicago emergency plumber. At First Chicago Plumbing, we’re more than happy to help! With over 20 years of experience, we pride ourselves in providing honest, direct service. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (773) 661-7969.