Why Are All My Drains Clogged?

We’ve already shown you how to prevent common clogs and even how to unclog your toilet.

But what if all of your drains (or at least many of them) are clogged? What’s up with that? And what do you do?

If that’s your situation, you likely have a problem with your main sewer line and you need to call in a professional plumber. Here’s why.

Note: For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to assume you are connected to a sewer line and do not have septic tank. If you have a septic tank, the problem may be that your tank is full. You need to contact someone to pump it.

Your plumbing is like a tree

To understand why all your drains are clogged, you need to understand how your plumbing system works.

Think of your drains like a tree.

Each of the drains you see (bathtub, toilet, kitchen sink, etc.) are the tips of the branches. These small branches flow downward to form larger branches in your house. For example, your bathroom sink, toilet and shower drain all likely converge into a larger drain.

Then, each of these larger branches connects to one main sewer line (the trunk) that then drains into the sewer system.

Therefore, taking a look at which drains are clogged can tell you where the blockage is. If 3 drains in the same room are clogged, there’s likely a clog in that “branch” of your plumbing system. And if all your drains are clogged, you probably have a blockage in the “trunk” of your system—the main sewer line.

Causes of main sewer line clogs

The main sewer line is much wider than a sink drain, so it takes more for it to clog. However, it can happen. And, when it does, the most common causes are:

  • Tree roots invading the sewer line. Tree roots grow toward moisture. Those roots are strong and can grow into your main sewer line, causing it to clog.
  • Grease buildup. Grease should never be poured down the drain. It never makes it all the way to the sewer before cooling and sticking to your pipes. Then, it grabs other debris as it passes by, eventually completely clogging the sewer line.
  • Collapsed line. If the ground around the sewer line has significantly shifted since being installed, the pipes can crack and collapse.

Get a plumbing pro’s help

All of these main sewer line problems require a professional’s help. Besides simply removing the blockage, you may need to actually repair the drain, as well.

Need a professional plumber in Florida? Plumbing Today can help. We have locations in Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, & Naples and serve the surrounding areas. View our full plumbing service area in Florida.

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