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Signs your sewer drain is clogged

A clogged or malfunctioning sewer drain is a serious health issue, as well as a revolting prospect. The obvious signs of a problem are bad smells, a bubbling or blocked toilet, and waste-water appearing in sinks, tubs, or showers. Each of these is enough to alert everyone in the house not to use any plumbing fixtures and to call in a licensed professional plumber to see to the problem immediately.

What to look out for in your plumbing system

More subtle indications can go ignored, with disastrous consequences, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these common signs the sewer is blocked and ask fellow residents to do the same.

Blocked toilet issues

Initial signs are most common in the toilet, seeing as that is the biggest and main drain to the sewer. Changes in the water level, slow drainage after flushing, unpleasant smells coming from any of your drains, gullies not running off as they normally do, and backing up, are not necessary emergencies but could be a signal of things to come.

Also keep an eye on the toilet water level and unusually noisy gurgling of the tub and sink drains when the washing machine is on. It may be a problem with your washing machine drainage and not of blocked sewage lines, but it pays to be cautious.

If the toilet is not emptying properly, run the taps in the sink nearest to the toilet to see if the water level rises or bubbles come up. If this happens it’s a general indication that the blockage is not the toilet, but further down in the pipes.

If the problem is further down the plumbing system, your plumber will locate the site and ascertain the cause.

Blocked Drain

Root intrusion in drains

A common problem is tree root invasion. Roots are attracted to pipes because of the moisture from condensation, and if a pipe develops the slightest crack they will grow into it and eventually cause a blockage. They can also infiltrate septic tank systems, especially the older concrete versions, so it’s wise to find out where your utilities are laid before landscaping your garden.

Loss of drain pressure

Plumbing systems work because of gravity and pressure. Water naturally takes the easiest route downwards, and with the use of air-traps, vents, and seals, should never have waste-water or gases coming back up into the home. If there is a dramatic loss of pressure, for example, a water main bursts, it is possible for a syphon effect to be created bringing the waste-water up the wrong way.


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For these situations, it’s beneficial to know where your property’s main drain cleanout is. This will typically be a round plastic pipe end cover in your front or back garden. If you can’t locate it, contact the home’s previous owner or the local town planner, it makes your plumber’s job a lot quicker and easier in the event of plumbing problems.

Call the blocked drain professionals for help

For public and private health and safety, Australian Standard’s regulations state that sewage pipe work can only be carried out by a licensed professional plumbing contractor, so taking on any repairs or alterations on waste disposal such as this is illegal as well as particularly unpleasant.

A small plumbing problem rectified at its earliest opportunity may well save a bigger and more costly repair job later on, so be wary of the signs. 

Contact Pure Plumbing Professionals for complete blocked sewer solutions in Sydney on 9191 7374 or complete our blocked sewer service request form today.

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Pure Plumbing Professionals Reviews


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See what our clients are saying about our plumbers

  • Cassandra whitfield from
    Services: Blocked Drains

    Just a note to acknowledge the amazing service provided to us recently by Jeremy and his team. Following on from the unfortunate experience of a blocked sewerage pipe we were informed by another company that we required a boundary trap replacement and, accordingly, were provided with a quote of i...

  • Graeme jones from
    Services: Blocked Drains, Services: Emergency Plumber

    Was not having a Good Friday with a seriously blocked drain problem. Called Pure Plumbing and extremely pleased with the service provided. In the first instance the public holiday call out fee was much more reasonable than others we had called. The plumber arrived within an hour - and even called...

  • Greg hill from
    Services: Plumber, Services: Hot Water

    Thank you for your fast service fixing our leaking shower taps.

  • Gregg from
    Services: Plumber, Services: Hot Water

    Perfect. Thank you once again for all of your great work. The attention to details and quality of craftsmanship shows in your work. I’m truly grateful that you guys are my plumbing team.

  • Heather from
    Services: Plumber

    Hi Jerram A massive thank you for sending Michael to fix our toilet and main bathroom taps - it is a huge change to have working plumbing!!! Can’t thank you guys enough. Have a great day Heather 😊

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