If you experience any of the four signs above, your sewer line may be clogged. Unpleasant smells and strange noises are both signs that your line may be clogged. If you can pinpoint these symptoms, you can stop full-blown plumbing chaos before it starts. Read on to learn about the four most common causes of sewer line blockage. Tree roots are the most common cause of a clogged line, so be on the lookout for them.

Tree roots

If you notice that the water draining from your toilet makes a gurgling noise, then tree roots are likely to be the culprit. Trees are like sewer lines because they supply water, oxygen, and nutrients. If the pipes are clogged, tree roots can penetrate and fill them. If the sewer line is made of clay, tree roots can easily get inside it. PVC pipes are much less susceptible to tree roots. A common way to check for this problem is by digging down to peek through the sewer line.

Other signs of a clogged sewer line are a slow drain, gurgling sounds, or low water pressure. Tree roots can cause severe blockages and even cause damage to your pipes and septic system. To spot the signs of a sewer line blockage, inspect your drains, especially the pipes near your house and yard. If you notice rotten eggs or odors around the plumbing fixtures, you should call a plumber.

Water backing up in showers

If you’re having problems with water backing up in your shower, there’s a good chance your sewer line is clogged. There are a number of things you can do to fix this problem, including cleaning out your drains. The first step is to find out where the clog is located. It may not be in the main sewer line, which is usually closer to the bathroom. However, if the problem does occur in the main line, it will affect all of your fixtures, including your shower. For instance, tree roots can easily penetrate a sewer line through cracks or joints. Also, if your home is built before 1970, your pipes may be made of cast iron, which rusts over time.

If you can’t find the clog yourself, you can try removing the drain cover. If you can’t remove the clog completely, you can use a wire coat hanger to clean the drain. If that doesn’t work, you can also try using a plumber’s snake to clear the drain. Often, clogged drains are caused by soap and hair buildup, and if you don’t clear them immediately, they’ll only worsen.


Clogged toilets are a common nuisance, but they can also be an indication that a larger problem lies underground. While toilets are a common sight, gurgling drains and gurgling sounds are also signs of a sewer line clog. For a more accurate diagnosis, you may want to consider having a main sewer line camera inspection. Here are four of the most common signs of a clogged sewer line:

First, a clogged toilet may smell like sewage. If you notice a sewage odor, you should call a plumber immediately. A clogged sewer line will cause a number of drains to become backed up at once. Although occasional sink and toilet clogs are common, a systemic clog may result in several drains backing up at once. Toilets are often the first to experience a sewer line clog, but other low-lying fixtures may also be involved.

Tree roots as the main source of the blockage

A major cause of sewer line blockage is tree roots. Tree roots grow into the pipes of your home in search of water and oxygen. As sewer line pipes carry a large amount of water, they’re the perfect place for the roots to grow. Unfortunately, some trees can cause more damage than just clogging your sewer lines. The first signs of tree roots are slow draining water and gurgling sounds.

Whether you have a broken pipe or a slow draining toilet, tree roots are the primary cause of sewer line blockages. If you’re paying a high water bill, tree roots can cause your pipes to rupture and back up sewage. Not only will your plumbing system be slow to drain, but your wallet will also be suffering. Tree roots can also cause structural damage to your sewer pipes, which means a total replacement of them.

Unable to fix clog on own

The occasional slow drain or clogged toilet is not an issue you should try to fix on your own. In some cases, though, it may be an indication of a clog in the main line. If this occurs, a professional plumber can clear the clog and solve the problem with minimal disruption. Here are some of the warning signs that your sewer line is clogged. Using the warning signs to determine whether or not it is time to call a plumber is vital to ensuring that the plumbing system in your home remains functioning properly. Never mix chemical cleaners and caustic drain cleaners. Hydrogen peroxide is harsh and can burn the skin. Caustic drain cleaners, like potash and lye, burn grease clogs and are toxic to tree roots. For large-scale clogs, you can use copper sulfate, which is toxic to roots


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