sewer backup

7 Signs of a Sewer Backup

Are you worried you might have a sewer backup? From laundry to the kitchen sink, all wastewater drains to the same municipal pipe. This is why it can be so tricky to figure out just where the problem is originating from. The most important thing is identifying the issue early on, before it becomes a mess that ruins your day.

But how do you know that a sewer backup is developing? Palo Alto Plumbing is here to help. Below are the top signs that you have a plumbing emergency.

Top Signs of a Sewer Backup

1) Foul Odors

Bad smells are one of the earliest signs of a sewer problem. Sewer-related odors may smell like mold, sulfur, or even waste. You should note that not all bad smells mean that there’s a problem with your sewer line, but if there’s no clear reason for them, it’s worth having checked out by a professional. If odors persist, there’s a good chance that a sewer backup is imminent.

A properly functioning sewer line shouldn’t smell bad. It’s designed to carry waste and associated smells away from your home. This is a sign that a blockage might be forming. Contact a reputable plumber who can get to the bottom of the issue.

2) Your Drains are Slow

How are your drains behaving? Is the wastewater flowing away at the rate it should? Slow drains in your home are another indicator that there’s already a sewer backup, or one pending. This is caused by a buildup of materials, debris, and other waste in your sewer line. Similarly, tree roots are notorious for breaking pipes in search of water. This eventually causes your sewer to back up. Many homeowners turn to chemical drain cleaners when this occurs, but that’s the wrong choice. In fact, these harsh chemicals can cause more damage to your pipes and are generally ineffective. They can also seep into the area surrounding the broken pipe and cause hazardous effects.

It’s always best to call a professional plumber when you notice sluggish drains and suspect a sewer backup.

3) Clogged or Overflowing Toilets

Trouble with a clogged or overflowing toilet is inconvenient but usually fairly easy to resolve, so don’t panic. But if the toilet starts to consistently backup without an apparent cause, it should concern you. A toilet that regularly gives you grief can be a sign you have a sewer backup that needs to be fixed by a plumber.

This situation is unsanitary, messy, and a real hassle to clean up. If you notice recurrent clogs and backups in your toilet, enlist the services of a professional as soon as possible. An expert plumber will be able to inspect and help determine the main cause of the issue and put a stop to it.

4) Unexplained Lush Spots in Your Yard

Have you recently noticed plants growing in your yard that weren’t there before? Are they healthier, greener, and growing noticeably faster than the rest of your yard? If such changes appear along your sewer pipes, it should be cause to worry because it’s possible that you might have a broken sewer line. The lushness could be a result of a water leak. The fractured sewer pipe may eventually allow debris and other forms of dirt in as the cracks widen.

If you notice a situation like this, it’s a sign that a problem with your sewer line might be in the works, so give a plumber a call for your peace of mind, and to avoid ending up with waste overflowing into your house.

5) Bubbling and Gurgling Noises

Another sign to look out for is strange noises coming from your tub, faucets, or toilets. These can be due to a blockage or a breakage in your sewer line. Usually, strange noises, like bubbling and gurgling, appear when you flush the toilet, pour something down the drain, or even turn on the water.

This happens because the water can’t flow where it should, and the air is getting in where it should not. Don’t ignore these sounds just because they aren’t bothersome to you. They may be a sign of an underlying problem. Prompt action can help you avoid a bigger problem that would cost more money to fix.

6) Marshy Patches

Have you noticed the emergence of pools of fetid waters on your property? This is a strong indication that your sewer line has cracks in it and is seeping water. These Puddles show where the sewer is leaching underneath your yard. This is a real problem, so don’t put off calling an expert.

Have you noticed the emergence of pools of fetid waters on your property? This is a strong indication that your sewer line has cracks in it and is seeping water. These puddles show where wastewater is collecting underneath your yard. When leaks appear beneath yard fixtures, like sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways, it can cause sinking and structural damage that’s expensive to fix.

7) One Plumbing Fixture Acts Up When You Use Another

Is your toilet filling with water when you turn on your faucet? Or is water backing up in your sink drains when you start your washing machine? These kinds of bizarre occurrences are an indication that you have a clogged sewer line. This is usually a result of blockages in the pipes, and can be caused by a number of things. Enlisting the services of a plumber can help prevent the spread of germs that the sewer backup can cause.

Contact Us

Wastewater can be infested with harmful toxins, bacteria and pathogens that cause illness. As a homeowner, it’s important to be proactive for both the sake of your health and your wallet. If you notice any of the above signs, seek experienced plumbing services as soon as possible. An expert can assess, diagnose and repair your sewer backup using professional tools for the job.

If you’re having issues with your plumbing, we can help. Call us at 650-405-3052 or fill out a quick contact form by clicking here.

At Palo Alto Plumbing, we pride ourselves on providing excellent plumbing services. Our two decades of experience serving clients in Palo Alto and the surrounding communities make us the preferred local choice. We can handle all of your emergency or run-of-the-mill plumbing problems. Give us a call today and let us take the problem off of your hands.