Drain pipes aren’t something many homeowners in Plainfield, IL, look at too often. Most of the time, they travel through areas that are out of homeowners’ sight, such as cabinets or basements. When the pipes run outside of your home, they typically run underground until they reach the main sewer line. There’s no easy way to check out those pipes with the naked eye. Instead, you have to watch for clues that there is a problem. When you are aware of the signs of a broken drain, you’ll know when to call for help. A professional plumber can look inside the drain to identify the problem and make a plan for repairing it.

Slow Drain

Wastewater should be able to flow quickly and freely down your drain. A blockage in the pipe could slow the process. When something is stuck in the pipe or there’s a buildup along the side, the drain can accommodate less water at one time. You may end up with a sink full of water after washing your face, or you might be standing in an inch-deep pool of water by the end of your shower. Your toilet bowl may empty at a snail’s pace rather than flushing out waste with the force it needs.

The only way to fix this issue is to clear the clog. Plunging can resolve minor blockages that are near the top of the pipe. Deeper issues require more effort. Homeowners often reach for drain-cleaning chemicals, but those can cause serious issues for your pipes over time. It’s much better to call a Plainfield plumber who can expertly snake your blocked drain.

Noisy Drain

When drains are clogged, you may see more than just a slow flow. You might hear the problem as well. Abnormal draining can create a vacuum effect. As a result, water may gurgle loudly as it goes down the drain.

In addition to clogs, cracks or holes in your sewer line can also cause these sounds. The break in the pipe will allow in air. As the water flows down your pipes and the air pushes up out of the drains, you are likely to hear a gurgling noise. The toilet is an especially common place for this to occur.

Toilet Trouble

A broken drain line can affect your toilet bowl in an additional way. You may notice that the water level is constantly changing. Some days, it may seem to sit at a normal level. On other days, the water may be quite low. This back-and-forth water level could point to a problem within the drain line. It may mean that there is a clog somewhere along the way or that there is some trapped air inside.

A broken drain isn’t the only potential cause of low water levels, though. The fill valve or the inlet holes, for example, may be causing the problem as the water flows in rather than as it goes out. The best way to find out for sure is to have a plumber assess the situation.

Bad Odors

Clogs in a drain pipe are often caused by cooking grease and food scraps that become stuck. Like any food that sits out too long, that mess will eventually start to smell. In fact, it’s a prime breeding ground for bacteria, so the problem is likely to only grow worse as times goes on.

Even worse, a drain problem could send the scent of sewage into your home. A break in the sewer line will allow the gases inside the pipe to waft throughout the surrounding area. Your nose is sure to detect the problem. Depending on how far down the sewer line the break is, you may pick up the scent in your basement or yard.


When drain lines don’t work properly, wastewater may start flowing in the opposite direction. This means it will end up back in your home. It doesn’t always come out in the same fixture where it started. Rather, you could end up with a sewage backup in your shower.

Understandably, you may be quite upset when raw sewage makes its way into your house. This is a biohazard situation, and it can smell terrible. If this situation happens to you, make a call to a Plainfield plumber right away.

Fungal Growth

A broken drain could allow moisture into places where it’s not supposed to be. Mold and mildew love dampness. If you spot mold growth, there may be a drain problem nearby. Don’t just clean up the mold and mildew and then move on with your life. It’s best to identify the root of the problem. Otherwise, the problem will just keep returning.

Wet Yard

When a break is in the sewer line that runs through your yard, you may have to be a bit of a detective to realize there’s an issue, especially early on in the process.

Soggy spots in the yard are one sign to which you’ll want to pay attention. They may indicate that water is leaking from an underground pipe. You might notice that there is a standing puddle in one spot, and it never seems to go away, even when it hasn’t rained for a few days. You may also realize that the ground is particularly soft or seems to sag in one area.

A broken drain line may actually help improve the quality of your grass. As sewage seeps from the crack in the line, it can work as an effective fertilizer. Suddenly, one area of the lawn may be lush and green compared to the rest of your yard.

Broken Foundation

As a broken drain allows water into your yard, it can change the structure of the soil. The more the ground dips or sinks, the more stress it will put on your foundation. Eventually, the foundation may crack. In addition, a crack may develop in one of your walls. These problems can be quite a headache to repair, so it’s best to identify a drain problem before it gets to this point.

Pest Infestation

While a broken drain is a terrible situation for a homeowner to deal with, insects and rodents may love it. A break in a line can be the perfect place for a critter, such as a rat, to slip into the pipes. From there, the creature might make its way into your home.

Bugs, such as sewer flies and cockroaches, can also come in through damaged pipes. To make matters worse, the dampness that a broken drain can leave behind can be an ideal place for creepy crawlies to breed.

If you eliminate a few unwelcome visitors but they keep returning, it’s time to investigate whether they’re coming in through a break in your plumbing.

Sewer and drain help is available from TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Plainfield. Our family-operated company has been serving the local area since 2008. Not only do we fix drains, but we also work with water heaters, sump pumps, and other plumbing fixtures. We are also your reliable company for heating and cooling services. Call us for your furnace, air conditioner, boiler, heat pump, and mini-split needs. When you need home plumbing services, make TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing your first call.

Schedule your appointment with TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Plainfield today.

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