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Is the Tub Backing Up?

Many people confuse a clogged tub with a tub that is backing up. The difference is important. A clogged tub just has something stuck in the drain or pipe, which can be removed pretty easily. A tub backing up, though, is more serious. This occurs when there is a clog in the sewer line.

The easiest indicator is if multiple drains in the house are clogged at the same time, or if water comes up and out of the tub drain when the toilet is flushed. This type of issue can present serious health concerns and unclogging bathroom drains should become your first priority.

What Is a Sewer Line Clog?

The sewer line is the single pipe that carries all of the drained waste away from the home and into the sewer beneath the street by the property. All of the plumbing in the home is connected to the sewer line, from the kitchen faucet to the washing machine, and the toilet to the tub.

sewer line clog

Everything that is sent down those drains is carried to the sewer line, so it makes sense that eventually, it may get clogged. Unfortunately, because this line is located underground, it can be difficult to assess and clear clogs. It is also susceptible to tree roots penetrating and blocking it.

Some homes are equipped with a clean-out, which provides easier access to allow clearing out a sewer line clog. If a home does not have one, it can be installed at any time by a licensed plumber. Either way, a sewer line clog is a serious problem, and will most likely need to be cleared using professional equipment. These types of clogs can be prevented, though.

Only Flush Toilet Paper

The toilet might seem like a great way to dispose of unwanted items quickly, but they are only designed to flush out waste, urine, and toilet paper. This is because toilet paper is specifically designed to dissolve in water. Anything else that is flushed will almost definitely build up over time and lead to clogs.

toilet flushHere are a few examples of what NOT to flush down the toilet:
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Wet wipes
  • Dental floss
  • Paper towels, napkins, or tissues
  • Pills or other medications
  • Cotton swabs or balls

Keeping a wastebasket by the toilet for these types of items is recommended so that nobody is tempted to flush them down the toilet.

Use a Hair Trap

Another thing that shouldn’t be sent down the drain is hair, but this can be trickier to manage. The average person sheds between 50-100 strands of hair every day, and they can easily be washed down the drain during the shower without the person even realizing it.

use hair trap

Installing a hair trap is an easy DIY fix that almost anybody can do to avoid drain pipe or sewer line clogs from happening. This will collect the hair (and any other debris) and prevent it from going down the drain. Cleaning it out is quick and easy--just remember to put the hair in the wastebasket, and not down the toilet, or else it defeats the purpose.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing has trusted experts available for plumbing emergencies as well as regular services, like drain cleaning, and preventative maintenance. Family-owned and operated since 1986, they offer 24-hour service to both commercial and residential residents in Sparks and the surrounding areas.