5 obvious signs of sewer line problems

Modern plumbers keep water systems in the home invisible, but it is still essential to check for signs of sewer line problems. These pipes last a very long time, but they are exposed to some elements that can reduce their effectiveness.

For example, rusting of the pipe can lead to degradation and cracks, causing leaks. The lines can also block due to the accumulation of debris, and aging, leading to foul smells. Luckily, most of these problems are fixable. That being said, failing to fix the pipes can lead to structural damage to the home and mold growth.

While most homeowners buy durable sewer lines, it is ideal for inspecting them regularly. Hire professional plumbers like Clover Services to repair your leaking sewer line and drain all the clogged pipes. These professionals also have quality pipes if you need replacements.

Signs of Sewer Line Problems

Homeowners should hire professional plumbers to install their sewer lines properly. It minimizes the chances of leaks and pipe breakdowns. The installers also know how to balance the water pressure to ensure your pipe works perfectly.

However, you could still experience some problems with your sewer line even after hiring a professional installer. Some of the signs of common sewer line problems include;

1. Odor in the Home

The most common sign of a failing sewer line is pungent smells. If your house smells like rotten eggs or has a different but foul odor, your first suspect should be the sewer line.

The problem could be holes in the pipe causing wastewater leakage, or the line’s air-tightness is compromised. Pungent smells are hard to do away with, and the best solution is to check and repair the sewer line.

2. Septic Waste Pooling Around the Pipe

Septic waste will only come out of a sewerage line if there is a leak. Sometimes the leaking holes are too wide and will let the waste out. This results in foul smells and dirt around the area of the pipe.

3. Blockage

Sinks, toilets, and tubs get blocked due to the accumulation of dirt. The blockage is most noticeable when the water in the sink or toilet does not drain, which could be due to debris. Although blocked sinks seem easy to fix, it is advisable to call a professional plumber.

Also, homeowners should fix blocked toilets as fast as they can. Failure to unclog the pipes could lead to an overflow in the toilet, leading to more severe water problems. Worst of all, the overflowing toilet can result in bacterial infections in family members.

4. Pests in the Home

Some pests like cockroaches and rats are attracted to dirt. They could infest your house after a sewer pipe breaks and leaks. Although you can drive the pests away using pesticides, you should first fix the sewer line to ensure there is no future infestation.

5. Unpleasant Smell in the Backyard

Another sure sign of a leaking sewer line is the unpleasant smell in the backyard. Most plumbers bury the sewer pipes in the backyard, meaning that a strong foul odor around it could be due to leaks.

If you notice the foul smell, contact a plumber immediately. You could dig the backyard to check the pipes. Also, if the lines are too old, you can get a replacement. Leaving the problem unresolved could lead to infections, especially if children play around the leaking area.

Causes of Lateral Sewer Line Problems

It is shocking to know that your sewer line can leak, but the problem is fixable. However, most of these problems are complex and require a professional plumber to deal with them. The plumber will first find the reasons for the leaks and fix them to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Some of the causes of sewer line problems are;

1. Tree Roots

Since tree roots follow a water source as they grow, they are more likely to grow towards a sewer line. It happens because the line carries liquid waste and water, which natures the tree’s growth.

When the roots get in contact with the pipe, they could begin to wrap around, straining the lines and breaking them. Other roots weaken the pipes and cause leaking. The plumber replaces the old pipe and lays it in a different place without trees.

2. Rusty Pipes

Although most homeowners buy pipes made of galvanized iron to prevent rust, hard water fastens corroding. The hard calcium and magnesium in the water eat the lines leaving small holes.

The wear and tear allow the dirty water to leak, hence the foul smell and pest infestation. Corrosion can also cause cracking in the pipes, forcing the homeowner to replace the entire sewerage.

3. Accumulation of Debris

Accumulation of legumes and cereals is another common sewer line problem. These seeds are too big to go through the sink and could fail to flow down to the sewerage. It causes clogging in the sink and other areas like the toilets.

Homeowners should pour hot water into the kitchen sinks to melt any condensed cooking oil and grease. They should also use plungers to help the dirt flow down the sewerage and reduce clogs.

4. Low Temperatures

Winter temperatures can be very low in certain areas and cause pipes to freeze. Also, ice builds up in the line, and more build-up can cause bursting. Scorching temperatures also cause pipes to burst, resulting in leaks.

Protect Your Sewer Lines

Sewer line problems are the last plumbing problem you want to experience, so you must be ready to protect your sewer lines. You can do so by inspecting your sewer lines once a year.

With yearly inspection, you can tell when your pipes are clogged and schedule a cleaning. You will also be able to spot any old and leaking pipes and replace them. You should be careful with the things you flush down your toilet and sink because they cause clogs.

Final Words

Although some signs of sewer line problems are hard to spot, you can tell through smell. An improperly functioning sewer line can cause discomfort in the home and lead to infections among your family members.


Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

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