Though you may never see the main sewer line that carries waste away from your home, like any of your household drains, it requires routine maintenance and cleaning. If you’re like most homeowners, though, the thought of tending to your main sewer line never crosses your mind until drain issues start popping up.


So how can you tell if your mainline sewer drain has developed a clog? Below, the drain cleaning experts at Drain Blaster Bill outline five signs that every homeowner should keep an eye out for.


Gurgling Drains

Have you noticed gurgling noises coming from your household drains when you flush the toilet or run water down the sink? Due to the way your plumbing system is designed, those noises typically signal a mainline sewer drain clog.


Your household plumbing bears a striking resemblance to a tree: there’s one main trunk line that carries waste away from your house (your mainline sewer drain), and several smaller secondary lines that branch away from the trunk line. Because every drain in your house feeds into the main trunk line, whenever you run water into any of the drains in your house, it eventually ends up in the mainline sewer drain. And if you do have a mainline clog, every time you use water in your house, it’ll cause problems in the main sewer line.


The gurgling noise you hear is a product of simple physics. Because negative pressure in a clogged drain forces air within the pipes to return to where it came from, you’ll hear a bubbling noise as air travels back up through the drain.


If you’re hearing persistent gurgling when you run water down your drains, don’t ignore it! Contact a drain cleaning specialist and schedule a camera drain inspection—you’ll know exactly what’s causing the noise after a thorough inspection.


Slow-Flowing Drains

If several drains around your house seem to be draining slower than usual, that’s a surefire sign of a mainline sewer clog. Remember, each drain in your house eventually feeds into the main sewer line. So when there’s a clog in the trunk line, it will affect multiple drains throughout your house.


Backed Up Water in the Shower or Bathtub

When you flush your toilet, does water bubble up through the drain in your shower or bathtub? What happens when you use your washing machine? Do you notice water coming up through any of the other drains around your house? If so, you’ve definitely got a problem on your hands.


Although a mainline sewer clog can absolutely cause water to bubble up out of your drains, clogs in any of the secondary lines can result in similar problems. If you’re dealing with this issue, schedule a camera drain inspection at your earliest convenience to determine where the clog lies.


Standing Water Around Floor Drains

It’s not uncommon to see standing water around floor drains when there’s an issue with your main trunk line. However, a clog in the floor drain itself can also cause water to bubble up and accumulate around the drain opening in the floor.


If water makes a sudden appearance around the drain when you flush the toilet, run the washing machine, or take a shower, it’s pretty safe to assume the drain blockage lies in your main trunk line. Regardless of where the clog might be, prompt, professional attention is critical to avoid more severe (and potentially expensive) plumbing problems.


Smelly Drains

If any of the drain openings around your house suddenly develop an off-putting stench, a mainline drain blockage may be the culprit. When there’s a clog in your main sewer line, sewage can travel up through the pipes, and there’s no mistaking that stench.


It’s important to note, though, that a dry p-trap (a much less serious issue) can also allow sewer gases to travel up through your pipes, which can result in off-putting drain odors. However, p-traps usually only dry out when drains see infrequent use. If you’ve noticed your drains stink even though you use them daily, contact a drain cleaning specialist immediately.   


Schedule Mainline Sewer Cleaning With Drain Blaster Bill

If you’re worried you’re facing a mainline sewer clog, get in touch with our team Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning today. We service the entire Twin Cities metro and specialize in a variety of drain cleaning solutions, including camera drain inspections, mainline sewer cleaning, kitchen drain cleaning, and bathroom drain cleaning. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 763-913-8719 or send us a message and we’ll get back to you promptly. You can also request a free estimate to get started.