Although you might not pay much attention to your sewer lines, problems will make themselves known and they may cause extensive damage if left untreated.
The good news is that there are signs and warnings that can alert a homeowner to the hidden damage before things get out of hand.
When sewer pipes are broken or ruptured, sewage can’t properly drain through the system, leading to immediate and frequent backups. We’ve collected a few of the common causes for sewer line problems and damage:
- Rupture due to shifting soil, settling or heavy traffic above ground over the sewer line causing the pipe to brake or collapse.
- A sagging sewer line – something outside your control – due to underground soil issues.
- Tree roots that infiltrate the sewer line. Older sewer lines were sometimes constructed from porous materials making it easier for roots to seek the water inside the line, causing it to break.
- Flushing things down the toilet that don’t belong! How often do you visit an establishment and see a sign instructing guests not to flush objects? It’s a hazard that can cause issues but is easily avoided.
- Pouring grease down a drain is one of the biggest culprits. People think that running hot water down the drain as they pour grease will help wash it away but that isn’t the case at all. Grease and oil will harden when it cools, stick to the side of the pipes and lead to clogs!
Here are a few warning signs to watch for If you’re concerned about catching your sewer line issue before it’s too late.
- Frequent Backups in Your Drains. If you have a drain that clogs rather frequently, especially at the lowest level of your home, it could be the result of a break or blockage in your sewer pipe. While the tendency is to try liquid drain cleaner, be wary of repeated episodes and call a professional before the situation becomes an emergency.
- Multiple Fixtures Are Clogged. If you have drainage issues in multiple locations, for instance a shower and the toilet, this could be a very obvious sign that you have a sewer issue.
- Chain Reactions. Does the shower back up when you flush the toilet? Does the dishwasher cause the kitchen sink to fill up? If you hear gurgling noises along with a backup, you should probably contact a plumber for assistance.
- Changes In The Lawn. A sewer line typically extends from your home, through your lawn, and into the city’s sewage system. When there is a break in the sewer line, you may see an indentation in the lawn or a soggy patch of grass (without the presence of rain or snow). This is an indication that it is time for a professional to repair the sewer line.
- An Odor. This may indicate that there are cracks in the pipes allowing the foul smell of sewage to waft into your home or yard.
- Sediment. If there is sediment in the water that has backed up, it is likely that the back-up is from the sewer line.
If you have concerns about your sewer line, contact us. We have video inspection equipment that will help us identify the source of the problem and repair it quickly and professionally.