Bathtub Clog Vs. Sewer Pipe Blockage

By |Published On: June 23rd, 2015|Categories: Bathroom Plumbing|

Many homeowners in greater Los Angeles experience a bathtub clog in their home, but not everyone realizes whether it is really a bathtub drain clog or a problem in the sewer line. As professional plumbers in Los Angeles, we see this type of thing all the time and know how to identify and locate the problem. We’re going to help you by giving you our secret testing techniques! So, to help explain the difference, let’s start picturing a bath tub clog when a person is taking a shower.

Under normal circumstances, water should drain easily. The level of the water should never rise to your ankle level in the tub or standing shower. If the water level is increasing while taking a shower, there might be a drain clog in the bathtub or in the sewer line.

Bathtub Clog Vs. Sewer Pipe Blockage

Bathtub Clog Vs. Sewer Pipe Blockage

There are three things you can do to know if the problem is in the bathtub drain or in the sewer pipe.

  1. The first thing to check is, whether there are any bubbles or water coming out of the toilet in the same bathroom when using water in the tub. If you turn on the water in the tub and the water overflows inside the toilet bowl, then it is very likely that the blockage is in the sewer pipe.
  2. The second thing you can do to differentiate the sewer problem from the bathtub drain is to shut off all the faucets in the bathroom and try to flush the toilet a few times. After flushing the toilet, check and see if the water level rises in the bathtub. If it does go up, then the sewer line must be checked to locate the blockage in the sewer line.
  3. The third thing to do for checking whether a clog is in the bathtub or deeper in the sewer line is to turn on a sink faucet and watch inside the bathtub to see if water at the bottom of the drain elevates. If all three steps rule out a sewer blockage, then the cause of the slow drain is in the bathtub pipes.

Finding out where the problem of the clog is will give you a better understanding of what plumbing service to ask a plumber to perform in your bathtub, or, if it is a sewer problem, it will allow you to properly describe the situation to a plumbing service technician who can fix the slow drain issue permanently. In conclusion, bathtub clogs may surface due to a sewer blockage, or the clog can simply be in the local pipes of the tub or shower drain. Knowing these plumbing tips will help you to locate the shower or tub drain problems easier.

Signs Of A Blocked Sewer Pipe

Here are some signs you have a blocked sewer line.

  • Constant backups - If all of your sinks, fixtures, and toilets are backing up, there's a chance your main sewer pipe is blocked.
  • Sewer odors - If your sewer pipe is blocked and breaks, it could release nasty sewer odors throughout your home.
  • Slow drains - If all of your drains seem to be draining slower than usual, your sewer pipe could be blocked or broken.
  • Foundation issues - If your house was built on expansive soil and the soil gets wet from a broken sewer pipe, it can cause the soil to expand. If the soil expands, your foundation can shift.
  • Wall damage - If a sewer pipe is blocked or broken inside a wall, it can cause your drywall, wood, or paint to deteriorate.
  • Invasive pests - Rats and cockroaches can use cracks in a broken sewer pipe to enter your home.
  • Strange yard growth - When sewage leaks into your soil, the grass above begins to flourish thanks to the "fresh fertilizer" it's being fed.
  • Potholes - Besides puddles, you may notice potholes or dips in your yard. That's what happens when sewage meets expansive soil. Expansive soil is clay-rich soil that expands when it's wet and shrinks when it dries.

How To Repair A Blocked Sewer Pipe

If you have a blocked sewer line, most professionals recommend clearing the blockage using hydro-jetting. Hydro-jetting is a clean, fast, and safe solution for eliminating tough clogs such as tree roots and grease. Read more about hydro-jetting.

Signs Of A Clogged Bathtub Drain

Here are a few signs you have a clogged bathtub drain.

  • Bubbling - If you hear your toilet bubbling or gurgling when you're using your bathtub, you might have a clogged drain.
  • Backups - If water is backing up in your bathtub, sink, or toilet, chances are you have a clogged drain.
  • Leaks - If water is leaking from under your bathtub, toilet, or sink, you could be looking at a clogged drain.
  • Slow drains - If water is draining from your bathtub slower than usual, chances are you have a clogged drain.
  • Foul odors - If you smell a bad odor from your bathtub drain, it could be clogged.

How To Clear A Clogged Bathtub Drain

There are a few different ways to clear a clogged bathtub drain. You can use a plumbing tool such as a plunger or sewer snake, or you can use an at-home remedy such as salt, Borax, and vinegar. Read more about at-home remedies for a clogged drain.

Call The Professionals

If you live in the Greater Los Angeles area, get in touch with New Flow Plumbing. We'll get you started with a CCTV sewer camera inspection to determine where your problems come from. Then, we give you a free repair estimate, followed by available repair options.

About the Author: New Flow Plumbing Inc.

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