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Causes And Warning Signs Of Sewer Line Problems

Causes And Warning Signs Of Sewer Line Problems

The plumbing lines in your home, including your drains, fixtures and pipes are all connected to the most important piece of your entire homes plumbing system, the sewer line. Between improper use and outside factors your main sewer line can really take a beating over the years.

There are a lot of factors that can cause sewer line problems but the prime suspect tends to be tree roots! Roots are constantly seeking moisture and they often find that water source in your sewer lines. Older pipes tend to be most susceptible, especially clay tile pipes which are easily penetrated by strong tree roots but after prolonged exposure, even concrete and PVC pipes can become penetrated, causing issues.

Beyond tree roots, sewer lines are susceptible to other factors causing damage such as random objects becoming lodged, temperature changes which cause deterioration, or shifting ground which could lead to breaks, cracks or bends in the pipe flow. Recognizing these issues before they become a real problem is essential to keeping your system healthy and saving money in the long run. Here are a few warning signs that you may have a sewer line issue.

  • Frequent Drain Backups – Many times a liquid drain cleaner will do the trick but if you’ve tried that already and are still having issues you may want to call a professional immediately. This could be a sign that you may have a break or blockage in your pipes.
  • More Than One Fixture Is Clogged – Multiple drains not flowing properly can point to real problems. A very obvious sign that there is something going on with the sewer line is when multiple fixtures are clogged and could mean something has deteriorated or is backed up.
  • Unpleasant Smells – This goes right in hand with clogged drains and fixtures. As water and waste sits stagnant, backed up in the pipes, it can create a very unpleasant odor that may eventually travel back in to the house. If you are noticing unpleasant smells coming from your drains you should call a professional to come check it out.
  • Strange Occurrences – If you’ve ever flushed a toilet and noticed that your tub or shower has water coming back up through the drain that could be a concern. Also, gurgling noises can also be a sign of a broken or clogged pipe.
  • Changes To Your Lawn – Typically, a sewer line runs from the house, outside through the lawn and into your city’s sewage system. If you’ve noticed a depressed patch of lawn or a soggy patch of grass when it hasn’t rained or snowed recently, there may be cause for concern.

Ultimately, catching plumbing issues before a major incident occurs will save time and money, not to mention stress of having to deal with the issue once it has become a major problem. By contacting a professional plumber at the first signs of trouble, this could alleviate the costly pain of having to repair or replace pipes down the road.

As always, E&K Contractors stand by their work 100%, with over 40 years of business. Our team of excellent, certified professionals can help diagnose and fix any plumbing issues you may have. Feel free to contact us with any question or concerns you we will gladly get your system back up and running!


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  • Tyler Johnson
    April 15, 2020, 3:21 pm REPLY

    That’s good to know that if your drain backs up a lot, that it could be a sign of a sewer issue. I have been having an issue with that lately, and that could be the issue. I just thought that I wasn’t doing a proper job of clearing out the drain, but that might be something that I will have to get a plumber to help me out with that since it sounds like it would need some specific equipment to fix that.

  • Zachary Tomlinson
    June 26, 2020, 8:21 am REPLY

    Thanks for helping me learn more about sewer line problems. My friend owns a small office around town, and he noticed earlier that his office pantry, along with its bathrooms, has this weird and bad smell from them. I had no idea that this could be caused by a clogged drain or a fixture. I’ll share this with him and suggest that he contact a commercial plumbing expert to get it sorted out.

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