Flushing your toilet only to have it overflow onto the floor, or having your sink suddenly not empty, are nightmare scenarios for homeowners and one of the biggest reasons for calls to emergency plumbing services. A clogged drain could be a problem local to the pipe that attaches to the sink, toilet, tub or shower, or in some cases, the clog may be found in the main sewer drain. The effects of either scenario can lead to a big mess and the need to have a plumber visit at night, on the weekends or over the holidays.
Typically, clogged drains produce early warning signs before they fail completely and cause a plumbing disaster. If you’re aware of the signs and symptoms of clogged drains, you can recognize the issue and get professional help before a more serious problem develops.
Here are the most common signs of clogged drains:
Slow draining – One of the most apparent signs of a drain clog is slow emptying of the sink or tub. The problem typically becomes worse over time. Slow drainage can also occur in the shower and cause water to accumulate on the floor.
Foul odours – When a clog is present in your plumbing, water, hair and debris continuously accumulate behind the stoppage. Stagnant water and decomposing solids have a pungent odour that can spread through the air and be detected in the area around your sinks, showers, tubs and toilets.
Gurgling sounds – A drain that is blocked locally will often cause the effected fixture to gurgle as the water drains. If you have a main sewer drain clog, you may hear gurgling in your tub or shower when you drain your sink as well.
Changes in flush – A drain clog can make the water levels in your toilet rise higher when you flush, or it could affect filling and lead to lower water levels in the bowls. A main sewer drain clog can also cause water to flow into the tub or shower when you flush the toilet.
You can often diagnose a main sewer drain clog by performing two simple tests at home.
1. Turn on the tap in the bathroom and let the water run for one minute. While the water is running, watch your toilet for any signs of bubbling or a rise in water level, as these could indicate a clog.
2. The next time you wash clothes, monitor the cycles carefully. When the washing machine begins to drain, head to the closest bathroom and watch for any water backing up into the shower or tub or a change in water levels in the toilet.
At Sydney Emergency Plumbing we have sophisticated equipment that can help us locate and eliminate clogs, including electric eels, high-pressure water jet cleaning systems, and CCTV cameras. If you have the sign of a clog in a fixture drain or in your main sewer drain, get in touch to discuss how we can help.