Whether you already know you have problems with your sewer pipes, or you want to know what to look out for if something does happen in the future, it is best to understand the basics. When you can tell if what you are dealing with is something that you might be able to fix yourself or you’ll need sewer line replacement, it makes the whole ordeal much less stressful and easier to handle.
Signs of a Damaged Sewer Line
The primary symptoms that signal you could have a problem with your sewage pipes are:
- Backups and Blockages – You might be experiencing a problem with a sink, shower, tub, or toilet not draining correctly. If this is the case, then the problem could be confined to just one drain. The most common causes of a clogged drain are food waste, grease, dirt, hair, soap, and mineral buildups, just to name a few. These issues should be reasonably uncomplicated to take care of with minimum tools. But if you are not able to unclog your drain, it is best to call in a professional. Additionally, if you’re noticing that your toilet is not flushing correctly or is overflowing, or water is backing up in your tub or sink, you could have an issue with your main sewage line, which might have become clogged or misaligned due to shifts in the foundation or surrounding soil.
- Sluggish Drain – If you see any of your drains slowing down when the water is flushing and you have already tried to clear out your pipes, you might have an obstruction in the main sewer line. In that case, you might need to have the line inspected to see if there is a blockage and where it’s located.
- Strong Sewer Stench – The only time that you will notice an unpleasant sewer smell while inside or outside your premises is when there is a problem with the sewer or septic system. If you’re experiencing a foul sewer odor, it’s advisable to have the sewer line checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
- Patches of Thick Grass – If your grass is darker and thicker in your sewer pipe area, you could have a break or intrusion in the line. This rich, thicker grass is one of the most common signs of a sewer line problem, especially if you have not recently put any fertilizer in that area. If you have a septic tank, you will naturally have a patch of grass that will present this way because of the leach field, and there is no cause to worry in this instance.
Yard Depressions – If you notice areas in your yard that dip in and are in the vicinity of the drain pipe, the main sewer line is most probably cracked or broken. While a depression in your yard can be caused by a leaky water pipe, it could also be due to wastewater from the sewer system.
- Pooling Waste – Actual sewer seepage coming up to the surface of your lawn is another sign of a cracked, broken, or collapsed sewage line. Generally, where the pool is located is where the issue is, so it should not be a problem to locate the break.
- Foundation Issues – A cracked, broken, or collapsed sewer line within, underneath, or next to your foundation can lead to different issues, including cracks/spalling in the foundation and even differential settlement. If you’ve noticed any of these issues or other foundation problems, you should contact a reliable foundation repair contractor immediately, as this could mean that you have a more significant problem than just a pipe issue.
Armed with the above knowledge, you should know what to look out for as well as be able to tell if there is something that you can fix yourself or something that is more serious and needs professional services. If you’re unsure at any point about what to do, it is always best to call in an experienced professional who can look over the problem and help you with your sewer line repair or replacement. You also need to make sure that you always hire a reputable contractor to do the job. It is well worth the extra cost to know that your problem is taken care of correctly the first time.