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Clogged Plumbing: Fixtures or Main Sewer Line?

My toilet, sink, tub, etc. is clogged. How do I know if it is an issue with my fitures or the main sewer line?


When clogging occurs in a toilet, sink or tub you may be left wondering whether it's an issue with your fixture or part of a bigger problem. There are 3 main signs that the main sewer line is actually the culprit:

  • Multiple plumbing fixtures are clogged. If you are experiencing a single clog, it most likely is a problem with your fixture. If there are multiple fixtures clogged or you are experiencing slow draining, there is a high possibility that there is a clog in the main line.

  • Sewage smell coming from drains. This one is hard to miss. When your sewer line is clogged, your nose is typically the first one to tell you, as the drains typically smell of raw sewage.

  • Odd reactions when using plumbing fixtures. If you have a clog in your main line, the water from your fixture has nowhere to go. When you do things like flush toilets, turn on the sink, or use the washing machine, you can experience water backing up in other places---like bathtubs or shower drains.

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