7 Signs of a Clogged Pipe


Every homeowner has experienced a clogged pipe in their home at one point in time or the other. It is often marked by slow drainage, water back-up, and/or foul odors. When you have a clogged drain, it is important to get the underlying cause fixed immediately. Else, the problem can lead to costly and major damage to the pipes, drain, and your property.

But how can you tell that your plumbing problems are caused by a clogged pipe? The following signs should give you a clear indication that you should seek immediate professional help.

1. Slow Drainage

When you have slow drainage, it is a clear sign of a clogged pipe. Some of the common scenarios associated with such a situation are as follows:

  • The sinks fill up faster than they drain
  • The shower drain is filling up
  • The bathtub drain is flowing slowly

If the problem persists, you should seek the services of a licensed plumber.

2. Strange Odor

If you notice a bad odor coming from a pipe, it is a sign of a clog. Such clogs are usually formed due to:

  • Food debris buildup
  • Hair and/or soap scum
  • Things stuck in the pipe

Sometimes, a rodent can get stuck in a pipe and cause a bad odor. Usually, bad odor is one of the first signs of a clogged pipe. 

3. Strange Noises

If the water in a drain gurgles on flushing the toilet, it is also a sign of blocked pipes. If pipes are blocked, there can also be a slow trickling noise. Any kind of strange noises from the plumbing are signs of a problem and should be handled by a professional expert.

Drains make a gurgling sound when air is trapped inside. It can sometimes be a sign of a clogged vent stack. In some cases, it can mean a problem with the main sewer.

4. Frequent Clogs

If you experience frequent clogs and water regularly backs up, these are clear signs of a clogged pipe. It is normal to have a minor clog in the drain line on rare occasions. When you experience frequent water back-ups, you should call in a qualified plumber. If the problem is not fixed in time, it can result in expensive repair or replacement.

5. Toilet Overflow

A toilet overflow is one of the last things you want in your home. It can create a big mess. It is recommended to close the flapper and use a plunger. If the problem persists, you should get professional help.

6. Unexplained Water Pressure Changes

If you get into the shower and experience low water pressure, it can be a sign of a clogged pipe. Again, this is a problem that should be assessed by an expert. Failing to act in time can increase the risk of a pipe breaking or cracking.

7. Bulges in Pipes

Bulges in your pipes at different points can mean there is more than one clog. The clogs block the flow of wastewater and cause water buildup. This creates high pressure on the pipes. You should take steps to get the clogs fixed before the pipe breaks.

When pipes have clogs, an increasing amount of pressure builds up on the pipes and joints. You do not want to have a burst pipe situation in your home. Timely detection and fixing can help save a lot of inconvenience, time, and money. 

It is even better to invest in periodic plumbing maintenance from a licensed plumbing company. It can help prevent such situations and other plumbing issues from arising in the first place.