Many times a sewer mainline pipe clog may be unseen but it can cause a lot of damage inside your home. If there is a clog in a sewer’s mainline, it could cause raw sewage to backup and come out of the drains in your home. This can lead to an expensive sewer line replacement or repair and significant damage to your home. If you understand and respond to your home’s early warning system, you can help to prevent severe plumbing and sewer issues. If you do have sewer problems, it can be expensive to replace or repair.
In older homes especially, the primary cause of sewer mainline pipe clogs were tree roots. Many times when fixing the problem the plumber will find in the ground broken down drains that have tree roots in the drains. The roots of the trees have crushed these pipes. In newer homes, the builders are more careful where they build the homes so tree roots are usually not the primary cause. Some newer causes are certain thicker toilet paper, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, clogged toilets or drains, or small toys.
Sewer mainline pipe clogs can occur in the main or one of the secondary lines. Your home has one main sewer line that goes out of the house and smaller lines that branches off the larger one. When the clog is in the larger mainline it could mean that any water you run into the sink, bathtub, into the washer, toilet filling up, etc can cause problems. When the clog is in the secondary line then it will be isolated to that line. For example, if the cause is the bathroom sink, the water will come back up into the bathtub or it will not go down but when you flush the toilet, you will not have any problems. If it is a sewer mainline pipe clog anytime you run water you will cause the toilet to gurgle and water to come back up into the floor drain in the basement or into the bathtub.
One of the signs of that you may have problems with your sewer mainline pipe is seeing water backing up out of the toilet or drain plumbing or a gurgling sound. For example, if you start to notice that when you are done using the washing machine the toilet starts to make a gurgling sound or if you have a basement, there is water around the floor drain this could be a sign of possible problems in the sewer mainline. Either of these are first signs of a possible problem,
To find out the cause you should contact a plumber, especially if it is an older home to ensure it is not tree roots.