10 Signs of Sewer Line Problems
Catching potential issues early on can prevent extensive - and expensive plumbing repairs. It's important to recognize and address sewer line problems early.
Sewer Line Problems Can Cause Significant Damage Inside - and Outside of the Home, Including Potential Damage to Your Foundation. Keep an eye out for these symptoms of potential sewer line problems to be sure you address these issues quickly. It can be helpful to have a plumbing professional check your lines on a yearly basis.
1. Sewer Blockages
If you have a backup or drainage issue in multiple drains throughout the house, it is likely that your main sewer line is the culprit, as all drains rely on the main sewer line to drain properly. However, if only one drain empties slowly like the one in the kitchen, then the issue will likely be with that drain, and may have a solution as simple as cleaning out your U-Pipe. Regular backups may be a sign of broken sewer lines.
2. Sewer Gas or Odor
Smelling sewer gas in or around your home is a tell-tale sign that there is a crack somewhere in the sewer system. In some cases, though backups and sewer odors can occur as a result of clogged sewer vents due to debris such as nests entering the vent pipe from the roof.
3. Mold Problems
Mold growth is yet another sign of a break in the sewer line behind your walls. Mold requires moisture in order to thrive. If you smell a “musty” smell, you are actually smelling the digestive byproduct of mold. Possible sources of moisture include roof leaks, window leaks, and AC unit leaks. If you do not detect any of those problems, chances are you have a failed pipe somewhere. If sewage smell is comingling with the musty smell, chances are it’s the sewage pipes.
4. Slow Drain
If your pipes drain slowly despite regular attempts to clear the lines through traditional methods (do not use chemicals for this problem as they can lead to the breakdown of your pipes.) If clearing the lines does not work there is a good chance that broken pipes or root intrusion are the culprit. A sag or belly occurring along the line can also lead to slow draining and will lead to an eventual failure and should be addressed by a plumber
5. Really Green, Lush Patches of Grass
A good sign of a sewage leak is very lush, bright green grass. Remember that sewage acts as a fertilizer and gives the surrounding area extra nutrients resulting in a very lush appearance. As pretty as that area of your lawn may be, the cause is decidedly un-pretty.
6. Indentation In Lawn or Under Pavers
A cracked sewer main can allow soil to dissipate as the ground is always getting saturated because of seepage. This will cause your walkway or lawn to sink and appear as a dip above the pipeline.
7. Foundation Cracks & Leaks
In addition to the creation of sinkholes, seepage from sewer line breaks can drain directly toward your foundation, and left unaddressed, will cause cracks and leaks in the foundation. This is one of the worst case scenarios of a neglected sewer line, and one of the main reasons to have your sewer checked regularly by a plumbing specialist.
8. Sewer or Septic Waste Pooling in Yard
This issue may be a broken or damaged septic tank, clogged drain fields, or again a cracked main pipeline. This is not what you want to have on your lawn.
9. Rodent Issues
Yes, rats. The problem can start with a rat or three entering your sewer line from the city/town line pipes that tie in to your home’s lines. Rats need very little space to crawl in, and once in, generally are annoying to get rid of.
10. Insect Infestation
If your sewer lines are compromised, any number of insects will opt to enter them, cockroaches among them. If pest control doesn’t contain the insect issues, calling on a certified plumbing expert to check your lines needs to be considered.
Jersey Plumbing Service serves Middlesex, Morris, Mercer, Hunterdon, Essex, Union, and Somerset Counties, New Jersey. If you are in one of these NJ Counties, and suspect you may have a broken sewer line, please do not hesitate to call us!