A toilet that suddenly overflows is a pretty spectacular sign that you have a blocked drain somewhere in the system. It can also be stinky and dangerous if nasty toilet water pours out onto your bathroom floor.
Don’t wait for this catastrophe to happen, keep an eye out for these 4 signs of a blocked drain so you can address the issue before it gets catastrophic!
1. Gross Smell
The first thing you might notice is a gross smell that you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from. You might notice it most when you get home from work after your house has been closed up all day. Or perhaps it’s a faint smell that you notice when you enter the bathroom or the kitchen.
Drain clogs are often made up of stuff that will rot like bits of food, grease, and even dead skin and hair. The aroma given off by this delightful concoction is less than pleasant.
2. Weird Sounds in the Drain
Here’s another clue that your drains could be partially blocked. What do you hear after you shut off the water? You shouldn’t hear anything as the water freely drains through the pipe and away from your home.
However, if you hear gurgling or bubbling sounds, your pipe could be partially blocked.
Since the water can’t flow freely it backs up and may trap small pockets of air. As these air pockets escape, they create the weird sounds you’re hearing.
3. A Slow Drain
Another indication of a partially blocked drain is one that takes longer than normal to drain. In general, when you open the stopper in a sinkful of water or flush your toilet, the water should rush away quickly.
If it takes a while to drain, something could be blocking the pipe. Watch for bubbles to float up out of the drain that indicates the trapped air that we just mentioned.
4. An Overflowing Drain
Now we’re back to where we started. If you ignored or didn’t notice the other warning signs, you could be stuck with an overflowing drain on your hands. The worst one, of course, is the toilet and you have to make sure the mess is cleaned up properly to keep your family safe.
Keep in mind that these other warning signs aren’t always necessarily present. Your drains can still suddenly overflow so don’t feel bad if you miss them.
Handling a Blocked Drain
There are a number of DIY remedies you can try to fix a blocked drain yourself. Depending on the type of blockage, some will work better than others — or you may not be able to clear it yourself. Calling a plumber can help fix your blocked drains and may be the only recourse in some cases.