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How To Determine A Drain Clog Location

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A clogged drain will cause sewage and water backups in your home, which in turn can lead to major biological hazards and water damage. It's important to locate a clog quickly so that the drain can be cleaned out and repaired.

Single Fixture

Examples of a single-affected fixture include toilet backups or single sinks that are slow to drain.  When only one fixture is affected, you can rest assured that the clog is likely somewhere in the drain line just below the fixture. You may be able to clear the clog yourself with a plunger or small sink auger, or you may be able to remove the trap beneath the sink and clear the clog yourself. 

Room or Home Sector

Rooms or home sectors may share a secondary drain line. For example, the tub, sink, and toilets in your master bathroom typically all empty into the same waste pipe. You likely have a secondary line blockage if there are several drains backing up but they are in the same room or in a specific area of the home, such as if only second floor drains are backing up. A plumber can plug all the affected drains, then they will use an auger or water jet to clear out the clog in the secondary line so that the drains empty properly again. 

Whole House

All of the secondary drains in the home connect to the main drain line. In some homes there is direct access to the main drain line via a floor drain, which is typically located in the basement or in a utility room, although it may sometimes be in the garage or a bathroom. In other homes, the only access is via a sewer line cleanout port located either in the home or just outside of the home. In either case, your plumber will need to use a large auger or hydrojetting to clean the clog. They may also opt to use a camera inspection to locate the exact location and cause of the clog. 

Yard Flooding

The main drain line passes through your yard and into either a municipal sewer drain or into your home's septic tank. If raw sewage is appearing in the yard, making it smelly and boggy, then chances are the clog has caused the drain line to burst. In some cases the clog can be cleared and the line patched. In other instances it will be necessary to replace the line completely. 

Contact a clogged drain cleaning service in your area if you need more assistance in locating and fixing a clog.