Signs of a Mainline Clog
Your plumbing system, with all those pipes and drains, might remind you of a tree. The branches of your plumbing system are the smaller pipes that lead to your sinks and tubs. The mainline is like the trunk, and everything else is connected to it. If you have slow drains in multiple areas, there’s a good chance that the problem is in the mainline instead of one of the branches.
Drain clogging that’s in more than one sink isn’t the only way to tell if you have a clog. There are a few other signs you can look out for, too, such as:
- Backed up drains: It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare–you flush the toilet and instead of being carried far away, the contents bubble right back up into the tub, sink, or any other drain in the house. That means something is keeping things from flowing correctly through the mainline.
- Water gurgling through the pipes: if you have ever tipped a jug of water upside down, you might have gotten a good picture of what a clogged pipe is like. When the clog blocks everything except for a small opening, the water will bubble and gurgle as it tries to make its way through.
- Slow draining sinks: We don’t know which is more frustrating, a traffic jam, or a clogged drain. Either way, when things slow down, it means there’s something blocking the way.
- Bad odors: Anything trapped in your pipes will collect bacteria, and that’ll lead to the odor that you smell. It’s healthier for your family to have sparkling clean pipes with no lingering bacteria.
You likely need a drain cleaning if you notice:
- Slow-draining or backed up water. This is the clearest sign your drain needs to be cleaned. If you have water backed up in more than one fixture, you probably have a clog in your main water line (not a secondary drain line).
- Gurgling or bubbling drains. Water shouldn’t make a lot of noise when is goes down your drain. If it does, that usually means it’s passing over or through a clog.
- Foul odors coming from your fixtures. If you have a clog, all of the food and waste that goes down your drain will just sit in and stink up your plumbing.
- Frequent clogs. A clog every once in awhile is normal. But if you find yourself calling your plumber to unclog drains regularly, you can probably expect a larger, more expensive drain clearing in the near future.