How To Tell If The Drainage For A Toilet Is Blocked

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Telling if a toilet is clogged is easy. But it can be harder to tell if the drainage line further down your plumbing system is clogged, particularly if you’re only noticing slow draining water. So in this guide, we’ll discuss a few common signs that your sewer line and drainage for your toilet may be blocked – as well as what you should do about it.

1. Check For Multiple Backups

This is one of the biggest warning signs of clogged sewer drains. If you have a blocked toilet, and you’re also noticing changes in water levels and backups in the kitchen sink, bathroom sink or shower, bathtub, or anywhere else, you may have a blocked toilet drainage/sewer line.

This is because your home’s sewage system branches out, sort of like a tree. All of the individual drain lines are like branches, which feed into one main “trunk” – the sewer line. If the sewer line clogs, toilet water can overflow, water can back up into the sink, or water may build up in the shower or tub, since they’re all connected.

You should look for water overflow and also listen for a gurgling sound. This happens as slowly-moving wastewater moves past the clog. It hits pockets of air, which causes air bubbles to be forced to the surface of the water. These bubbles travel upward, causing gurgling sounds. You may also notice a nasty sewage smell if the blockage is very bad.

How To Tell If The Drainage For A Toilet Is Blocked | Wilco Plumbing Sydney

2. Water Overflows Into Different Plumbing Fixtures

Water will back up and overflow into various plumbing fixtures and appliances if you have a main sewer line clog. The drain from one fixture will send water down the drain, but it will be blocked by the main sewer – then forced back up another smaller drain.

Usually, this will happen more frequently with water fixtures in the basement or first floor, since overflowing water will always seek the lowest point and the path of least resistance. You can test for this in a few ways, depending on the fixtures and appliances you have:

  • Turn on your bathroom sink and see if the toilet water or tub water rises or bubbles up
  • Turn on your dishwasher or washing machine, and look for overflow in other fixtures like the kitchen sink or shower sink/drain
  • Flush your toilet and see if water rises in the toilet bowl, bubbles up in the sink or overflows elsewhere in your home

If you see overflowing water or gurgling when trying any of these tests, you need to get help for a blocked sewer line right away.

3. Waste Water/Drainage In Your Sewer Cleanout

This is another one of the most common signs of a blocked sewer line. The sewer cleanout is a big plastic tube with a cap that lets plumbers access your sewer line, and it’s not supposed to have standing water or sewer drainage.

So if you remove the cover and see drainage and standing waste water, this is a sign of a sewer line backup. The water has been forced up the cleanout, since it had nowhere else to go. Call a plumber right away.

Turn Off Your Water And Call An Emergency Plumber If You Notice These Issues!

You absolutely need plumbing service from a professional to help with a blocked sewer line or blocked drain line. The line may be broken, clogged, or even damaged by tree roots, and you can’t fix it on your own. Call the emergency Sydney plumbers at Wilco Plumbing to get the help you need. Give us a ring at 02 9186 3371 or contact us online to get started.