Your house smells like a sewer and it could really only mean one thing. The scent of the sewer flowing through your house is tell-tale sign that someone's sewer line is clogged and backed up and it could very well be yours. While you may to call in a professional to clear the clog, you can determine if your sewer line is backed up all on your own. Below are the only two steps that you need to take in order to determine if your line is clogged before you call in the professionals.
Check Your Drains
It is not enough to just turn on your kitchen sink to see if your water goes down. Chances are, the water will go down, but come up through another pipe in your home. When there is a clog in your sewer line, the water will try to drain, but it won't be able to so it will have to find it's next exit which will be another drain in your house.
The best way to check for a blocked sewer line is to take a trip to your bathroom. Flush your toilet and watch to see if it comes up through the shower drain. The shower drain is the lowest point in your house, so chances are the water will try to escape through that drain.
Turn on your sink. If the water in your toilet starts to gurgle and rise, you have a clogged sewer line and will need to call in professional help as soon as possible.
Check Your Sewer Clean Out
You probably don't know what a sewer clean out is and that's okay. Very few people actually know that they have a sewer clean out drain. This drain will be located outside of your home and usually about three feet past the edge of your house. Because some would consider this drain to be an eyesore, it will be located around a gathering of bushes or trees. Your sewer clean out is usually a white or black pipe that sticks out vertically from the ground. It has a thread cap on it and will say "sewer clean out" on the top.
Once you have located the sewer clean out drain, remove the cap. Once the cap is removed, if water rushed out of the pipe, then you do have a blockage in your sewer line.
When you have learned that there is clog in your sewer line, it is best to call a professional to do the job for you. Somethings are better left to the people who have trained for these problems. Follow the steps listed above to determine if your pipes need cleared before you make the decision to call for help.