Having a toilet or tub not drain after using it can be extremely irritating, perhaps beaten only by having it occur multiple times. If you've gone from your plumbing working normally to gradually refusing to drain or backing up more and more, there's a good chance that the problem is something that's beyond your toilet or interior piping. Here's why you may need to get your sewer line checked.
Generally speaking, when a clog develops somewhere in one's interior home or business plumbing, it tends to be a constant problem until it's cleared. In other words, until you push it out of the way with something like plunging or a sewer snake, the situation won't get any better. This usually means that you'll either have constant problems or only experience an issue once, and after fixing it, the plumbing will drain and flush properly again. However, if the problem recurs after seemingly being resolved, that's a sign that your issue may be in the sewer line.
Sewer Line Issues
The sewer line is a large pipe that carries away all the wastewater that goes down the drain in your home out to the sewer. Here, it joins the rest of the sewage of your neighborhood and gradually makes its way to a treatment plant.
Unfortunately, problems can develop with sewer lines just like they can with interior pipes. A clog in a sewer line can sometimes allow some fluid to pass through, depending on the type of clog and what else is going down your drain. However, over time, it's likely that more debris will get stuck to the clog and worsen it, meaning your plumbing situation will get worse instead of better.
Additionally, sewer lines can have other problems, like developing a break or the pipe being old and starting to lose structural integrity. These issues can also sometimes allow water to pass through.
What to Expect
If your plumber doesn't find any issues inside your house, it's time for a sewer line check. The good news is that this doesn't require digging up your yard or pulling apart the pipe. Your plumber can simply pass a specialized camera down there to take a look in real-time.
The visual display will show them any issues inside the pipe. In many cases, these cameras have equipment attached that can help to break up minor clogs found in the sewer line. However, if a bigger problem like a break is found, that may require replacing or repairing the pipe.
For more information, contact a sewer camera inspection service in your area.