A clogged sewer drain is a very serious plumbing emergency. If you suspect you have a clogged sewer drain, do not run any water in the house and call a plumber service immediately.
The signs of a clogged sewer drain are unmistakable, once you know what you’re looking at. The sewer drain is the only pipe leaving the house. It is usually six or 8 inches wide and it’s usually connected in a straight line to toilet (if you’re trying to locate it.)
The first sign is often an overflowing toilet, because of this direct connection. An overflowing toilet is a symptom of two different problems, though; that of an clogged toilet, OR that of a clogged drain. To figure out which it is, see if any other fixtures are backed up. The most common places are ground floor (or basement) tubs or showers. The sewer water will back up to the lowest point. Washing machines are another common place to see backups.
At this point, it is almost certain you have a blocked sewer drain, but if you really want to make sure, you can check the sewer clean out, which is a V-shaped valve on the main sewer pipe. Be aware though, that if you open it, you may have raw sewage spilling out. So you could easily skip this step and simply call a plumber right away.
It’s extremely important not to ignore this problem. Not only can you not use any water in the home while the sewer is plugged, if you do, the water that overflows may be contaminated with dangerous pathogens, and can cause dangerous molds to be harbored in your walls and floor. Raw sewage is no joke! Moreover, sewer drains are hard to block, because they are so big. That means that if it did back up, you have a lot of something in your pipe. It could be tree roots, or it could be your toddler likes to systematically flush lego blocks. Whatever it is, you’ll need an experienced plumber on hand to identify the cause and fix it.
My Plumber offers sewer video inspections! Clear your drains before you have a backup.