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Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service

231 Market Place, Suite 540
San Ramon, CA 94583

Phone: 925-383-6100

C-36 License #782789

plumber examining a sink's water flow

How To Diagnose A Blocked Drain

Diagnosing and fixing a blocked drain doesn’t have to be difficult if you understand your drainage system. Having the ability to recognize the signs of a blocked drain can allow you to assess where and how your drain is blocked, how you can correct it and how soon it needs to be corrected. By recognizing the following issues with your drains, you can quickly and easily diagnose blocked drains and apply the appropriate fix.

Foul Smell Near Drain Openings

Bad odor near your drains, sinks or other outlets may be the first noticeable sign of a blocked drain. Waste material, hair, grease and other debris can begin to build up around the edge of a drain and cause a partial blockage. Water or waste may sit inside the drain and empty slowly, without coming above the surface level. Although this is the earliest stage of a blocked drain, it is possible to diagnose and address the blockage at this point. Unclogging a drain early helps to avoid further damage and complications.

woman trying to unclog a drain with a plunger

Outlets or Drains are Draining Slowly

When water collects above the surface level of the drain and is draining slowly, it is a sign of a local blockage within the fixture or the drain. With luck, the blockage may be close to the surface or opening of the drain, making it easier to dislodge or remove. The blockage at this point is not complete and water is still able to drain slowly past the clog. Even a partial blockage like this is a sign that it is only a matter of time until the drain is completely obstructed. If only one outlet or fixture is affected, it usually means there is a clog or blockage close to that fixture. If more than one fixture is affected, the drains in a whole area of your home may be damaged. This type of blockage may be deeper and more difficult to fix, and should be addressed with the help of a plumber.

Drains, Outlets and Fixtures Are Backing Up

Nothing is worse than having your drains, fixtures and outlets returning sewage and wastewater to you. Once your plumbing fixtures and drains start clogging, you have a complete blockage on your hands. If only one drain or fixture is affected, it’s likely the clog is only within that fixture or drain. On the other hand, if more than one outlet or fixture is backing up, you could have a serious blockage deeper in your sewage system. Serious blockage requires a professional plumber and rooter service to safely and effectively remove the blockage. Regular drain cleaning will not be effective and may make the problem worse.

Severe Sewage Back Up Throughout Your Home

A severe sewage backup from all your drains and outlets is likely to be a problem with the main sewer line. Be sure to call your city, or local municipal water authority to establish if it is your responsibility to fix the clog. Main sewer line diagnosis and repair can be expensive, but addressing the issue immediately and using a plumber who employs trenchless sewer diagnostics can minimize damage and resolve the problem efficiently.

Recognizing and diagnosing a blocked drain quickly and effectively can save you from costly damage and hefty repairs. Stay alert for these signs of a blocked drains to ensure your plumbing system stays functional and healthy.

Are you pretty sure your drain is clogged after reading this article? Click here to find out how to UN-clog your drain!