Diagnosing a Blocked Drain: Telltale Signs and What to Look For

a Blocked Drain

Diagnosing a blocked drain at home isn’t very difficult. There are a number of different ways that you can easily identify whether or not one of your drains is blocked up. That said, dealing with the situation and unclogging the drain is an entirely different matter that’s best left to a professional plumber

In this brief article, we will go over the different signs and symptoms of a blocked drain so that you can diagnose the problem at home for yourself before contacting a professional plumber to fix the situation for you. 

4 Signs of a Blocked Drain 

There are four telltale signs to look out for when you suspect that you may have a blocked drain in your home. Let’s briefly go over each one of them so that you can identify these issues and diagnose a blocked drain in your home. 

Foul smell 

The first sign to look out for is a foul smell coming from one of your sinks. In most cases, a blocked drain will smell like raw sewage, which is certainly an unpleasant smell that you don’t want to have to put up with for any longer than you absolutely need to. If you notice the smell of sewage coming from one of your sinks, then be sure to contact the plumber for advice on how to proceed with resolving the situation. Depending on how bad the blockage is, it may be possible to unclog the drain yourself. But more often than not, you will require the services of a professional plumber to fix the problem. 


Another obvious sign that you’re dealing with a blocked drain is that you notice water or sewage overflowing from one of your sinks or fixtures. This is the worst-case scenario when you’re dealing with a backed-up drain because water and sewage can cause significant damage to your home and property. In almost all cases, if water is overflowing, then you should contact a professional plumber immediately. The cost of having a plumber come out to fix the situation will be far less than the cost of repairing the damage to your home and furniture. 

Gurgling sounds 

gurgling sounds are another common indicator that you may be dealing with a blocked drain in your home. If you hear any weird sounds coming from your sink, then be sure to contact a professional plumber for their advice on what you should do next.

Slow draining 

Last but not least, sinks that are slow to drain or won’t drain at all are almost certainly blocked. If you notice that the water isn’t going down as quickly as it normally does, isn’t going down at all, or is rising when the taps are not running, then you are dealing with a clogged drain that will need to be unblocked by a professional plumber. In these situations, it’s almost always best to seek the help of a professional rather than trying to resolve the situation yourself, which can end up making the problem even worse. 


If you notice the foul smell coming from your sink, have water overflowing from your sink or toilet, hear any gurgling sounds coming from your drain, or notice that water is draining slowly or not at all, then don’t hesitate to call a plumber to unblock your drains.


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