Dealing with plumbing problems is never the preferred activity on a weekend, but it can be even more alarming when the problem involves the main sewer drain. Raw sewage in the home is more than an inconvenience: it is a health concern. The following can help you get through this trying issue with minimal damage to your home and to your health.
Clear Periphery Drains
Sometimes you can stop the flow if it is coming from a periphery drain and not the main drain, such as if it is a single toilet or sink overflowing. Don't try any chemical drain removers, as these may not even reach the clog if the drain is backed up. Instead, don safety equipment like gloves and eye protection, and use an auger or other drain clearing tool to remove the main clog. If you can stop the overflow, then you can simply refrain from using that drain until you can contact a plumber during regular business hours.
Shut Down the Water
When the main drain keeps overflowing, such as into the basement, then you must stop all flow of new material into the drain. This means making sure all water sources in the home are shut off, including appliances that drain into the main plumbing like dishwashers and washing machines. Unfortunately, you won't be able to use any of your plumbing, including toilets and sinks, until the clog has been addressed, which means calling in a 24-hour emergency plumbing service to make the weekend repair can be worth the additional cost.
Manage Water Usage
Sometimes a main drain clog doesn't back up into the home, but instead, it causes the drainpipe to spring a leak where it passes through the yard. You may notice it when doing your weekend yard work — soggy grass and the foul odor of raw sewage are telltale signs. If sewage isn't leaking into your home, you can likely put off the repair until the plumber's normal business hours on Monday. You will want to avoid the area, though, so use caution tape or brightly colored rope to alert others not to walk across the leak. Further, minimize water usage in the home so less sewage will be available to leak into your yard as you wait on the plumber.
Main drain leaks can be a hazard, but knowing when to take immediate action and when the problem can wait a couple of days can save you money on repairs. Contact a local plumbing contractor for more help.