Your drain line is the oldest part of your home. It was installed before the slab was poured and the house framed. From the day you move in your drain line drinks up every drop of water and waste your family produces. That’s why a clog isn’t just a drain line problem, it’s an emergency; the longer you let one go, the more expensive it becomes.
Warning signs of drain line problems
When multiple fixtures have problems draining, your system is telling you there’s a problem. The first place to check are your toilets.
Toilets make the most direct use of drain lines. They also have the largest-size drain. When there’s a drain problem, it’s sure to show up in your toilets. If you see water coming back up in the shower or tub when you flush, you have a drain line problem; when toilet water can’t drain, it’s forced elsewhere and your tub and shower are the next lowest level.
Since showers and tubs are on a lower plane than sinks, they tend to signal a drain line problems long before a sink. When water builds up in your tub, or shower before going down the drain, you could have a drain problem.
To check your sink, run the water into a sink closest to a toilet for a minute or two. Watch the toilet for a rising water level or bubbles. If you see either you can safely assume there’s a drain line problem.
Finally, check your washing machine. If running your washing machine causes water to back up into a shower or tub, you may have a drain line problem. If, however, you can safely flush your toilets while the washing machine drains, the problem is with your washing machine.
Drain line repair costs
The cost of drain line repair is determined by three factors: the location of the break, the cause of the break, and damage the break has caused to home and property.
“The sooner you address a leak, the better your chances of limiting this last variable,” says Daniel Hernandez of Abacus Plumbing. “Left unattended, a drain line leak can quickly turn into a major foundation repair issue.”