Nobody likes dealing with a clog, whether it's a backed-up shower or a sink running a little bit too slowly. While frustrating, most clogs are minor inconveniences that you can deal with at your leisure. Unfortunately, some clogs can be more severe problems. Ignoring these blockages can ultimately cause more damage to your home and more disruption in your life.
The best way to avoid these problems is by learning to recognize the signs of a severe plumbing emergency. If your drain clog has any of these three symptoms, you shouldn't wait until morning to contact a plumber.
1. Overflowing Toilet
A backed-up toilet is a serious problem, no matter the underlying cause. Not only are these obstructions less-than-pleasant to deal with, but they can also present some significant health hazards. Toilet water that's overflowing onto the floor can have the potential to make members of your household sick and cause severe damage to your home.
If you've already tried unclogging your toilet yourself, it's time to make an emergency call. Dealing with your toilet clog as soon as possible will help you minimize the damage and risk from your clog.
2. Multiple Clogged Drains
P-traps are one of the most common locations for clogs in residential structures. These simple plumbing devices sit below sinks and other drains, where their curve creates a water plug that prevents sewer gases from traveling back into the house. However, the non-linear nature of these pipes makes them an easy place for clogs to form.
While the p-trap is a likely culprit if you only have a clog in one drain, an obstruction causing multiple drains to back up can indicate something much worse. You may have a clog in your main sewer line or one of the soil stacks that carries waste from your home. Since using one fixture may cause a drain at another to back up suddenly, it's best to contact a plumber as soon as possible.
3. Sewer Smells
If your clog includes an unpleasant sewer odor, then you definitely will not want to wait until morning to solve the problem. Foul odors often accompany sewer clogs, and these obstructions are much more severe than a minor blockage in your home's plumbing. A backed-up sewer line can impact every fixture in your home and potentially cause dangerous sewer water to flood from drains.
Although clogs may not seem like they require immediate attention, it's often better to err on the side of caution when dealing with any blockage that you can't quickly resolve. Making an emergency call to your local plumber will cost you a little more money now, but it may save you from a much more serious repair in the future.