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Blocked drains may take time to build up and become visible, but once the problem has started to take effect, it will be self-evident all-around your property. 

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of a blocked drain helps to take action and put a solution before the problem scales. On this article, we will explain the most common indicators of a blocked drain emergency. 

On this article:

1. The sights

One of the most common signs that a drain blockage is building up is if your toilet, bath, shower or sinks are draining slowly. If a blockage issue is advanced, water may not drain at all. 

If only one point experiences issues, then the blockage is probably localised to a pipe joined to that appliance; however, if all of the features are backed up, then the blocked drain potentially is located on the sewer drain. 

Toilets can be helpful to reveal the extent of the issue – if flushing down the toilet causes a rise of water in the shower, or running taps cases a water rise in the bathroom, indeed the p55roblem is a blocked drain. 

The description above also applies if any other water-based appliance is causing water to pop up elsewhere when used. If it happens, take a close look to external drains and maintenance hole covers on the property for signs of rising water. Ensure to do this from outside and safely, as entering maintenance holes is dangerous due to bacteria and hazardous gases

The smells

Foul smells are a clear indicator for a blockage and can be one of the most evident hands of an underlying problem – when the cause of the jam is an organic material and begins to rot you will undoubtedly notice the smell. 

Usually, the rotten smell arises before any visual symptom, so it’s indispensable not to ignore any unusual or disgusting odour in the property that can’t be readily identified. 

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3.The sounds

If the pipes and fixtures produce an unusual sound, it could be a blocked drain indicator. Gurling noises from plug holes, toilet flushes, drains and pipes are early caution signs – these sounds are produced when air trapped in the pipelines is pushed up through the water system. 

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4.Floods, damp and water stains in the basement

The greatest danger that a broken sewer drain pipe presents in your home is that it will cause a backflow of sewage into the basement or foundations of the house. Usually, you will see early signs when this occurs; you will notice damp patches in the basement around drains or sewage channels and foul odours emanating from them. When this happens is recommended to immediately call a profesional plumber to prevent the foundation of your house from being damaged.

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5.Increase in pest populations

Malfunctioning sewer lines are like magnets for mice, rats, and some insect pests. Sewer line repair may be necessary if you notice an increase in pest populations in your home.


It is recommended to make sure that the septic tank is inspected at least three times every five years to prevent possible incidents with the sewage network and other minor blockages. It’s imperative to carry out this inspection to prevent further damage and to hire a reputable plumber.

What’s the next step?

Any indicator listed above is cause for concern on its own, but if you perceive two or more – our advice for you is to tackle the issue right away.

The first thing to do is find whose responsibility it is to deal with the issue. As a rule, you would only take responsibility for the parts of the system that sit within your property boundaries and are used solely by your home. 

If a blockage is located within your property’s water system, you should handle the issue; however, if part of the water-system is situated within your parcel and another part is shared with neighbouring homes, then the local sewage company should attend the issue. 

Whether the issue is within your property or not, is better if you handle any blocked drain emergency with a certified and fully insured plumbing company. If you are experiencing any of the blocked drain indicators mentioned above, you can contact Twin Electrics and Plumbing experts 24/7, and we’ll do everything in our power to find the best solution.

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