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5 Indicators of a Blocked Drain

Overflowing water, foul smells and a rise in the population of pests are just a few of the unsavoury but very common consequences of a blocked drain. It’s surprising what people put up with before they finally get a professional to fix the issue. Unfortunately, as uncomfortable as these issues are, they’re not the worst things that can happen if you allow a blocked drain to build up.

Spotting the signs of a blocked drain will help you take action before more serious damage can be done. In this article, we’ll explain the most common indicators of a blocked drain. 

In this article:

1. The sights

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

If you only experience one instance of the issue, the blockage is probably localised to that specific point of drainage; however, if all of the features are backed up, then you may have a more serious issue, like a blocked sewer drain. 

Toilets can be helpful to reveal the extent of the issue. If flushing the toilet causes water to rise in the shower, or running taps cause water to rise in the bathroom, the problem is a blocked drain. 

The description above also applies if any other water-based appliance is causing water to appear elsewhere when used. If this happens, take a close look at external drains and maintenance hole covers on the property for signs of rising water. Do this from the outside. You should never enter maintenance holes due to bacteria and hazardous gases

The smells

Foul smells are one of the more obvious and unwelcome indicators of a blockage. They also provide a few clues as to the cause of the blockage. When the cause of the jam is an organic material and begins to rot, you will undoubtedly notice the smell. 

Usually, the rotten smell appears before any visual symptom, so it’s important not to ignore any unusual odour on the property that can’t be identified. 

Blocked Drain services 24/7
blocked drain services 24/7

3.The sounds

If the pipes and fixtures produce an unusual sound, it could be an indication of a blocked drain. Gurgling noises from plug holes, toilet flushes, drains and pipes are early 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 a backflow of sewage into the basement or foundations of the house. Usually, you will see early signs when this occurs. There will be damp patches in the basement around drains or sewage channels and foul odours emanating from them. When this happens we recommend you immediately call a professional 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 insects. Sewer line repair may be necessary if you notice an increase in pest populations in your home.


We recommend you 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 important to carry out this inspection to prevent further damage. It’s also important to hire a reputable plumber to fix your blocked drain.

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 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 water company should attend the issue. 

Whether the issue is within your property or not, it 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 find the best solution.

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